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Meanwhile the streets lie choked
by fumes and pollution as we breathe
tight tokes of the deep white smoke.

~ from 'City Boy' by Mantra

OutLoud is a spoken word poetry slam competition run by Australian Poetry in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Express Media (the national young writers’ organisation) and Red Room Poetry.

Stemming from Red Room Poetry's New Shoots project, OutLoud encourages primary and secondary students to create poems inspired by the new theme of environmental sustainability.

Held as part of Melbourne Writers Festival, OutLoud is founded and headed by Creative Director and poet Emilie Zoey Baker, and funded by the City of Melbourne Arts Projects Grants 2019.

In its model, schools enter teams of up to four students who create, rehearse and then perform an original slam poem. Professional judging and inspired mentoring, by Baker and other leading slam-poet-teachers, have made the program an enormous success in its history to date.



2019 Program

This year, Victorian schools are invited to register in the first-in-the-nation primary school poetry slam competition, with OutLoud primary finalists to appear at the Melbourne Writers Festival. OutLoud secondary schools will also battle it out again this year with their high-profile Final also at the Festival.

For the first time, primary school students have the chance to register in OutLoud Eco!Slam for FREE. 

Registrations for the secondary and primary slam competitions are open now, and the finals will again be at The Melbourne Writers Festival in their new home, The State Library of Victoria, on the 2 and 3 September.

Register today through Australian Poetry


2018 Program

OutLoud kicked off in 2018, with Victorian secondary schools producing and performing original spoken word poetry performances (max. 2 min) to professional judges, at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Final at Federation Square. 

Positive impact

'Poetry in itself was a whole new world for me. As it is an art form of speech that requires you to be able to speak your mind and to express your views through literature and the use of rhyme and rhythm. I am generally a very shy person and not really good with being in front of an audience, but doing poetry and going through the Outloud comp has made me feel more comfortable in front of audiences.'

~ Shalom, 2018 Eco!Slam winner, St Albans Secondary College, Year 10

'My poetic adventures have just begun and I hope to continue influencing others through my words and enabling them to find deeper meanings and purposes to their own lives and dreams.'

~ Akegma, 2018 Eco!Slam winner, St Albans Secondary College, Year 10

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