It's easy to record an audio poem!


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to record an audio poem on your phone for submission to a competition:

1. Prepare Your Poem
Choose or Write Your Poem: Ensure your poem is complete and ready for recording.
Practice Reading: Read the poem aloud several times to familiarize yourself with the flow and identify any tricky sections.
Mark Your Script: Mark pauses, intonations, and emphasis points on your poem script.

2. Set Up Your Recording Environment
Quiet Space: Find a quiet location with minimal background noise. Do not record in a big room with ‘hard’ surfaces, in which you can hear your voice. Try using a smaller space. Use a duvet or blankets to ‘soften’ surfaces as this will improve the chances to recording your voice so it sounds like you.
Turn Off Interruptions: Put your phone on airplane mode to avoid interruptions from calls or notifications.

3. Choose a Recording App
Default Voice Recorder: Use the built-in voice recording app on your phone (e.g., Voice Memos on iPhone, Voice Recorder on Android).
Download an App: If you need more features, download a dedicated recording app such as “Voice Record Pro” (iOS) or “Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder” (Android).

4. Record Your Poem
Open the App: Launch your chosen recording app.
Position Your Phone: Hold or place your phone about 6-12 inches from your mouth.
Test Recording: Make a short test recording to check the sound quality and volume. Adjust your distance and the phone’s microphone direction as needed.
Record the Poem: Start recording and read your poem clearly and steadily. Aim for natural intonation and expressiveness.
Pause and Edit: If your app allows, pause if needed and continue recording. Edit out mistakes if your app supports editing.

5. Review and Edit the Recording
Listen to the Recording: Play back the recording to ensure clarity and quality.
Edit If Needed: Use the app’s editing features to trim, cut, or enhance the audio.
Add Effects: If allowed by the competition, consider adding minimal background music or sound effects to enhance the poem.

6. Save and Export the File
Save the Recording: Save the file in a high-quality format (e.g., MP3 or WAV).
Rename the File: Give it a clear and descriptive name, following any naming conventions specified by the competition.
Backup Your File: Save a copy of the recording in another location (cloud storage, external drive) as a backup.
Get Feedback: If possible, get feedback from friends or family or a CW workshop before final submission.

7. Submit the Recording
Check Submission Guidelines: Review the competition’s submission requirements (file format, length, etc.).
Meet the Deadline: Ensure you submit your recording before the competition deadline.
Transfer the File: Transfer the file to your computer if necessary, using a USB cable, cloud service (like Google Drive or Dropbox), or email.
Submit: Follow the competition’s submission process, which might involve uploading the file to a website, sending it via email, or using a specific file transfer service.

By following these steps, you should be able to produce a high-quality audio recording of your poem ready for submission. Good luck with your entry!

ENTER The Plaza Audio Poetry Prize. Judge: Paul Farley. 1st Prize: £1000 (US$1250). Deadline: 3oth June 2024.