Schools Program

OutLoud the Victorian youth spoken word poetry slam!

Subscribe to our Youtube channel where you can view all all your faves performing live this year for the 2017 OutLoud Slam Poetry Competition! Go here.

What is it?

OutLoud is a spoken word slam competition where secondary students compete in teams of up to four. Now in its seventh year, it is supported by the City of Melbourne 2017 Arts Grants Program.


How does it work?

Schools rehearse, develop and polish an original spoken word poetry performance and then present their pieces to professional judges who score each act out of 10. The brief is five points for content and five for presentation. There’s a two-minute limit and only Victorian secondary schools are invited to enter. Past Judges of OutLoud have included Jason Steger (literary Editor, The Age), Alicia Sometimes (Read with Raf 774) MANTRA (leading Australian hiphop artist), Abe Nouk (award winning spoken word performer), Michaela McGuire (Director, Emerging Writers Festival), Jo Case (Program Manager Melbourne Writers Festival), Mahogany Browne (Curator Nuyorican Poets Café), and David Ryding (Melbourne City of Literature office). Heats and finals are hosted by Emilie Zoey Baker aka EZB aka Big Deal.

What do you win?

I’m glad you asked! The winners receive a paid performance at the State finals of the National Australian Poetry Slam at the State Library, a radio interview and a professional workshop with a leading internationally acclaimed hip hop artist and poet. They also receive individual subscriptions to Australian Poetry (publishers of Australian Poetry Journal and Australian Poetry AnthologyExpress Media (publishers of Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal, publishing poetry, fiction, articles, comics and visual artwork by people under 25.). It will also rain glory and gold plated kisses from the sky. (Ok that last bit might not be true but there are some other sweet prizes including a trophy!)

When is it?

Australian Poetry is thrilled to be again facilitating the OutLoud final as part of the 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival Schools Program. Date of the Heats and the following Grand Final to be released in 2017.

How long has this been going?

From humble beginnings in 2010, OutLoud has grown from four schools battling it out to a massive twenty competing in two heats of which four schools go through to a final at Deakin Edge in Federation Square.

Once again Australian Poetry has appointed OutLoud founder and leading Slam Poet Emilie Zoey Baker (EZB) as Artistic Director.

How do I start?

The best way is to fill out a registration form with your school’s details. You can find the registration form by clicking on the button below.

Registration Form


To view the gallery, click on the image.

The OutLoud standard has soared over the last five years: teams just get better every year. Some of them are overtaking the adults – I’M SERIOUS! The 2016 competition was off the charts and I can’t wait to see what these teenage brave-hearts come up with for 2017.

Emilie Zoey Baker (EZB)

Artistic Director, Out Loud