Youth and Schools

Poets Out Loud empowers young voices through creative writing and slam poetry. We offer school workshops, after-school courses, mentoring, and a flagship performance, all run by professional poets.


“This whole writing and mentoring process has opened my eyes to the world of poetry. And I don’t ever want to go back.”

Georgia Smith, 16 y.o., Poets Out Loud Youth Program 2020

Poets Out Loud Youth Slam – entry now open!

Poets Out Loud Youth Slam is a thrilling live competition hosted annually with Byron Writers Festival. Hosted by Sarah Temporal, this must-see event showcases the power of young voices.

Got something to say? If you’re aged 12-18 and live in the Northern Rivers, we want to hear from you! Poets Out Loud Youth Slam is a unique opportunity to learn from professional poets and connect with like-minded friends. You get 3 minutes on stage to share YOUR voice and YOUR story. The winner takes home $400 cash and kick-starts their writing career with help from Byron Writers Festival.

Sign up for 2024 here


Sign up to a free workshop to try your hand at slam poetry. Learn from professional writers, connect with friends, and have fun!

Poets Out Loud is coming to:

Kyogle Youth Space: Wednesday 26 June, 3:30pm – 5pm Sign up

Murwillumbah Youth Space: Saturday 29 June, 10am – 12pm Sign up

Byron Writers Festival headquarters: Sunday 30 June, 10m – 12pm Sign up

Lismore Library: Friday 12 July 1pm – 4:15pm Sign up

“It’s really powerful and I’d encourage anyone to do it. All the nerves go away as soon as you’re up there. Just feeling other people connect with the poem was so special.”

Inde Henderson, Runner-up 2021 Poets Out Loud Youth Slam

“These are young, courageous, brave, edgy thinkers, and we need more of these. It just makes me feel that we are in really good hands.” 

Mandy Nolan, Judge for 2023 Poets Out Loud Youth Slam

“I was really impressed by how you scaffolded the writing process in order to get even the most reluctant writers expressing themselves. They were eventually so proud of what they created that they couldn’t help but share their writing.”

Stuart McKerihan, Teacher, Hinterland Christian College

Summer Holiday program for teens

SLAM CAMP is a FREE school holiday program for teens to explore creative writing and performance, so that you take your passion to the next level! Run by Poets Out Loud director Sarah Temporal with guests sessions from comedian Mandy Nolan and musician Mitch King, this 3-day intensive will build confidence, skills, and peer connections. Held at Drill Hall Theatre on January 16th, 19th, and 23rd, 2024.

More Info

“The right words in the right order can change the world.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton.

Our team

Sarah Temporal, Director. Sarah Temporal is a prize-winning poet who has inspired hundreds of young people to express themselves with the spoken and written word. Along with producing the Poets Out Loud Youth Slam, Sarah mentors young writers, runs after school writers’ groups, and designs workshops to inspire learners from Years 5-12. Sarah has delivered poetry education sessions for Red Room Poetry, Byron Writers Festival, GranSlam!, Kyogle Writers Festival, Murwillumbah Youth Festival, the Storyboard masterclass program. She is available for workshops, teacher PD, and poet-in-residence. See more >>

Jedda Winkworth, Poet-mentor. Jedda is a writer and poet who is passionate about the power of spoken word to move, heal and inspire change. She was selected to represent Griffith University in slam poetry demonstrations at the 2018 Georgetown Festival, Malaysia. Published in Talent Implied Anthology, Getamugstit magazine and Healing Times magazine, Jedda has competed in events such as the Nimbin Performance Poetry Cup and the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Open Slam. Jedda is a contributing artist to Poets Out Loud Youth Program and mentors young writers for the Youth Slam.

Katinka Smit, Poet-mentor. Katinka Smit began performing as a poet alongside an acting career (mostly theatre) in Newcastle in the 90s. She has worked as a life skills coach with disadvantaged youth, as a speech and drama tutor in youth theatre, and volunteers for the Byron Writers Festival’s Story Board and youth master class sessions. She was a 2018 finalist in the Nimbin Performance Poetry Cup. Katinka is a poet-mentor assisting young writers in Poets Out Loud Youth Slam.

Contact us