top of page

How To Win A Generic Poetry Competition

By Sarah Parmet

1. Trauma dump.

It has been scientifically proven that the more trauma you put in a poem, the higher the score you get. I actually got access to a Generic Poetry Competition score sheet which looks something like this:

Anxiety +2 points

Barista gets your Starbucks Order Wrong +68 points

History teacher cold-calls on you when you didn’t do the reading +256 points

Sports (all of them) +300 points

Daddy issues +300 points.

Personally, I think anxiety should be given at least 10 points and the fact that they ranked dog piss above not knowing how to take a derivative? Evil. But hey, that’s America for you I guess.

3. Gay = yay.

Sappho did it. Whitman did it. Freaking Michelangelo did it. I can’t explain why, but Generic Poetry Competitions love homoerotic poetry. This is actually great for me because I still haven’t gotten over the girl from summer camp. I guess that’s how we got the sexy ringmaster poem. And the siren queen poem. And — you get the point.

3. Have a Life Changing Experience.

The answer is always the same: we want to see something uNiQue, oUt of the bOx. Well, you can’t give them that if you haven’t had a Life Changing Experience. This is a great time to promote my business, For a meager price of $69,000 (nice) a month, we can set you up with any experience you need to transcend your writing to a new level. I’d recommend the Trauma Package. It includes a traumatic event of your choice, video recording, photo booth, keto cookies, and therapy. Common requests include: kidnapping by a group of very attractive femme fatales (fan favorite), being chased by a sexy ax murderer into a forest, and faking your own death and attending your funeral (in the coffin. And yes, you do look sexy!)

Cookie flavors come in chocolate chip, cookie dough, and the taste of your ex’s mouth. Non-keto is not an option.

4. Drugs.

Who said you had to be traveling physically? Like, Whitman had sex with the earth multiple times in Leaves of Grass (looking at you, Cantos 21). “Press closer, bare bosomed night!” says Whitman. You can’t tell me he wasn’t high when he wrote that.

5. Hack the system!

Submit your piece as soon as the competition opens, then implant a bug in the Generic Poetry Competition website that makes it crash. Work smarter, not harder.

6. Thanos snap this shit. I’m not condoning violence or anything, but a competition of 100 writers is a much smaller pool than 200. You’re practically doubling your chances. Just saying.

8. In the instance that you find a really talented writer……

a. Kidnap them, lock them in your basement and force them to write you poetry. Note: The writer may develop Stockholm Syndrome like mine did (I’m very irresistible, or so I’ve been told).

b. Stalk them vicariously for one month, find enough embarrassing information about them, then blackmail them into writing the poetry. Note: This doesn’t work great if you live in a city and can’t drive because you failed your Learners Permit Test.

C. Harvest their brain, hook it up to a power source, and force it to churn out creative content. Note: this is actually a two-person job (one person to cut open the skull, and the other to put the brain in the freezer). Also, the smell is…..something.


bottom of page