Women of the World Poetry Slam FAQ

What is the Women of the World Poetry Slam?
The Women of the World Poetry Slam, or WOWps, is a performance poetry tournament much like NPS, though designed for individual competition. Poets from all over the world meet and compete in a multi-day performance poetry contest.

The Women of the World Poetry Slam is a four day poetry festival, in which 72 of the best women poets in slam will compete against each other in order to crown the Women of the World Poetry Slam champion. In this event, poets compete in preliminary competitions (referred to as “bouts”) over two nights. The poets with the top twelve scores from those days move on to Finals, where one poet is crowned the champion!

In addition to the competition, each day of the festival features poetry workshops, themed open mics, special nighttime events, and parties. Competition at WOWPS is limited to poets who live their lives as women. All competing poets must be individual members of Poetry Slam, Inc.

How big is the Women of the World Poetry Slam?
The event is generally limited to 72 contestants.

Who can compete in WOWps?
Certified venues have the first right to register, and as many as 60 certified venues can register their rep before the registration opens up to storm poets. Should more than 60 certified venues register a representative, the first 60 will be guaranteed spots, and the remaining certified venues will be considered with the "Storm" poets and registered venues. Once registration opens up for storm poets, the storm poets, the registered venues, and the certified venue reps that came in after the venue deadline are entered into the draw for spots. When we have more people register than we have available spots, the spots are awarded by random draw, which will be conducted the weekend after registration closes.

When does registration happen?
Registration opens (Certified Venues & Previous Year's Champion):
2nd Monday in December

Registration opens (Registered Venues/Storm):
1st Friday in January

Registration closes:
3rd Friday in January

Last day to cancel and receive any refund for WOWPS: 45+ days out =100% refund, 30+ days out = 50% refund, 29 days out =0% refund of tournament fees but not memberships dues.

When does WOWps take place?
WOWps is held in March. Preliminary rounds of the competition take place on Thursday and Friday and the Finals on Saturday. There is also a “Last Chance” slam, in which PSi members can compete for the final remaining spot in the competition. To learn more about becoming a PSi member, click here.
Check the official site for dates as soon as they are announced.

What is the format for WOWps?
It is a uniquely structured event and PSI is happy to have modified the typical 3-minute poem format for this tournament. Each poet reads two poems on each preliminary night. On the first night of bouts, the order in which the poets perform in the first round is randomly assigned by a draw (which takes place during registration). Each bout consists of twelve poets and a calibration poet in both rounds. Poets read a four-minute (or less) poem in the first round. The order of the second round is determined by the score in the first round. Poets read from high score to low score in the second round and they read a one-minute (or less) poem. On the second night of competition, poets will read against a different slate of poets and most of them will be in a different venue. In the first round, they will read a two-minute (or less) poem. In the second round, they will read a three minute (or less) poem.

After the preliminary bouts are completed, the poets with the twelve best scores and ranks advance to the finals. The thirteenth poet is designated the calibration poet. All poems in the finals are three-minute (or less) poems. No poems may be repeated during the tournament.

All twelve finalists will read in the first round; the seven poets with the highest scores move on to the second round. These seven poets read another poem and the top four go to the final round. These four poets will each read one more poem, and the high score of that round is the Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion. If there is a tie between the top two poets, they read one more poem in a sudden death match, or they agree to share the title. In a sudden death match, judges indicate which poet they prefer by choosing one poet or the other (no scores) and the champion is crowned.