We’ve been getting a lot of queries recently about what Word War is and what the rules are, so here’s a break down!
Word War is a slam competition with 10 monthly heats running over the course of the year, culminating in a final in December. Winning the heat means that you win £20 and secure your place in the final. If you win the final you get the Word War Two trophy, £200, a guest slot at Evidently and a place in the UK National Slam… which aint bad!
We pick 3 people out of the audience to be judges (providing they don’t know any of the performers) and are asked to judge out of 10 on content and out of 10 on performance. For the final we ask 5 judges from across the poetry scene to judge.
1. Poetry must be your own original work
2. No singing or props.
3. There will be two rounds. The poets will draw numbers from a hat and perform in that order. In the second round the order will be reversed.
4. Poets have 3 minutes to read/perform their poetry. The clock starts starts from the very first thing you say - including hello.
Points will be deducted for over-running as follows:
1-9 seconds minus 1 point.
10-19 seconds minus 2 points.
20-29 seconds minus 3 points.
30 seconds minus 4 points, host will stop you, you’ll be judged on your incomplete poem.
5. The poets will be scored out of 10 in two categories. Written content & quality of performance. The highest total score over both rounds goes through to the final and wins £20. In the event of a tie there will be a final sudden death round.
6. If you don't get through you can compete in any of the other heats. BUT you cannot perform the same poems in two consecutive heats. (For example poems performed in Heat Six cannot be performed in Heat Seven but can in Heat Eight)
7. Judges’ decisions are final. Please remember the slam motto: "The points are not the point, the poetry is the point".