In 2017, the Russian State Library for Young Adults launched a new project Youth Literary Slam in which poets and writers can take part regardless their writing experience. There is the only one condition they should not be older than 35 years.
Literary battles came to Russia at the end of the 1990s from Europe where this format is extremely popular. Usually the jury consists of randomly chosen from the audience people (they receive cards with points from 1 to 5). In Europe, only non-professional poets can take part in such competitions. However, in Russia literary status is not important. Sometimes poets become popular after their participation in public slams.
The slam consists of two rounds: after the first one two participants with the lowest number of points get out of the game. Every poet is evaluated for the quality of the text and for the performance and artistry. Performances should be no longer than three minutes.
If you are 16-35 years old, write poems or short stories and novels, and are ready for stage dueling, we invite you to participate in the series of Youth Literary Slams at the RSLYA.
When a new round of the Slam is announced on the RSLYA’s website, please send your application to [email protected]. In the application, please write your first and last name or a pseudonym, your age and contact information. No more than 10 people can participate in one round. If you are not among first candidates and are not invited, you can participate in the next round. The list of participants is posted on the library website and social media. All “fighters» will receive a personal notification.
How a slam is organized
A moderator gives cards with points from 1 to 5 to six people from the audience to evaluate poets. Sometimes the jury can consist both of random people and of professional writers. Then a moderator invites participants on stage to read their short texts artistically and eloquently. Everyone has only three minutes. If one exceeds the limit, he/she loses one point. After every presentation, a chosen jury assesses a presenter. Then the points are added up, and five winners go to the second round. Then the cards are taken from the improvised jury and given to a new people’s jury. The second round has the same rules. Those who have the most amount of points are winners of the semi-final and go on to the final round.
Attention! For obscene lexicon in a text, the application is cancelled automatically.
The first prize for one or more winners is the recording of their audiobook, 30-minute length, at the library recording studio.
Coordinator of the Youth Literary Slam at the RSLYA Evgeny Kharitonov, poet, critic, member of the Union of Writers of Russia, Russian branch of PEN International, head of literary projects at the RSLYA.