Australian Poetry Slam


The Australian Poetry Slam is a national competition for spoken word artists. Anyone can enter. In 2017, 50 heats will be held in towns, cities and suburbs hold slam heats, in state and territory of Australia. Cafe's, libraries, festivals, community halls, pubs and clubs host these events. Audiences award scores to each poet. The favourite poet from each heat is eligible to compete at a regional or state poetry slam final. The best from each state and territory travel to Sydney, to perform for a packed out audience at the National Final. The national slam champion wins prizes and professional gigs.


The international performing writers' program

Where's my heat?

Click the map to find heats and finals in your region.

Click the map to find heats and finals in your region.

Latest News

  • Newcastle Heat - 21st September
  • NSW State Final - 14th October TBC
  • Sydney Slam Final - 13th October TBC
  • National Final - 15th October TBC
  • TAS State Final - 2017 date coming soon
  • QLD State Final  - 2017 date coming soon
  • VIC State Final - 2017 date coming soon
  • SA State Final - 2017 date coming soon
  • WA State Final - 2017 date coming soon
  • NT State Final - 2017 date coming soon


APS KICKS OFF SOON!! 2017's 1st HEAT will warm up Katoomba NSw on June 22. a nationwide round of 50 heats will finD our finest slammers. The best will compete at the National poetry slam Final IN Sydney In October.

Every year about 1000 writers perform their stuff for live audiences totalling 20,000 people! This happens across Australia, from small towns to major cities, cafes and libraries to warehouse parties, Darwin to Launceston. Winners of local heats may earn the chance to perform their unique spoken word pieces at Finals and Writers' Festivals in Sydney, Byron Bay and Bali.

How does it work?

Stage 1. HEATS:  50 heats are spread over every state and territory. Two performing writers from each heat are chosen by their community audience as local slam champions.

Stage 2. FINALS: Local slam champs head to Regional, Territory or State Finals. Audiences at the Finals choose two powerful wordsmiths to head to Sydney.

Stage 3. National Final: The audience picks one performing writer to represent Australian Poetry Slam on an International tour.

Stage 4. International Tour : The Australian Poetry Slam Champion is sent on tour to the Ubud Writers' and Readers' Festival in Bali, Sydney Writers' Festival and Byron Writers' Festival.

ARE YOU Australia's next Slam Champion?

Arielle Cottingham - 2016's Australian Poetry Slam Champion

Arielle Cottingham - 2016's Australian Poetry Slam Champion

It may sound like a huge deal for a poet from Queanbeyan, Alice Springs, Newcastle, Canberra or Wagga to tour their writing to Asia, Australia and the world, but each of these towns have produced a national slam champion who's done exactly that.

Australians are telling their stories, spitting their poetry, and rolling out their rhymes. Their audiences are more than just listening as well. They're getting out their notebooks on the train ride home and starting their own slam communities too.

If you want to speak, scream, sing, rap, howl or whisper your words, click on the "Heats" page to find a slam near you.

Want to take a seat AND cheer ON your favourite poetry super heroes?

If you want to be in the cheering, raucous, finger-snapping, poetry loving audience click on a Heat or a Final.

Judges are chosen randomly from the live audience.

check out 2016's APS champion arielle cottingham

Victorian Slam Poet Arielle Cottingham has been crowned 2016 Australian Poetry Slam Champion. Arielle is the first female winner since 2010 and first Victorian winner since 2011. Watch her incredible spoken word performance at the Victorian finals held at the Library on 2 September 2016. Congratulations Arielle!