Wednesday, 8 June 2016


Caravan Slam returns to Django Bar on Thrusday 7 July. Doors open 7pm, Poets start 8.

Book a spot on our Facebook group and confirm when doors open.

16 poets, 3 minutes, original work.

Best fun you can have for price of half a cocktail!

$5 entry, poets free

Click the link!

Caravan Slam July Slam

Monday, 5 October 2015


Caravan Slam returns to Django Bar (downstairs from Camelot Lounge) in October! It's a little earlier due to venue availability.

JESSE JOHN BRAND 2013 Australian Poetry Slam champion is our October feature poet. You're in for one wild ride!

MARTIN CHARLES vocalist extraordinaire will be playing from 7.30 -8 so get there early to enjoy his fab performance!

Book a spot in our slam by posting here, then show up when doors open at 7pm to confirm. This one will book out!

When: Thursday 15 October
Where: Django Bar, 19 Marrickville Road, Marrickville opp Sydenham Station.
Doors open 7pm, slam starts 8pm, Jesse John Brand performs around 9pm
Performers free, guests $5
All proceeds go to Caravan Slam future projects


Poets keep asking me how to make a chapbook or an ebook. It’s easier than you think.  Poets everywhere have resorted to printing and publishing their own work. Island Press in Australia, which has survived for 45 years as a publisher of poetry, started out this way with a platen press that could only do one page at a time. The digital age is our blessing as it makes printing available to everyone.

Chapbooks are not money makers, they are calling cards! If you price them modestly, you will recover your printing costs – and make your fans happy to take home a little piece of your work J

Using a simple template, I have produced a chapbook, Wild Red Heart, and an ebook of stories and poems, The Forests of the Night, using the methods I am describing here. You can find them soon on

1.    WRITE your poetry. Content is the most important thing!

2.    TEMPLATE.  Find a template online. I used a free template that converts to PDF, which is easy to upload. There are quite a few on the net. If you want to publish, Smashwords or Pressbooks are both good. Smashwords is free and Pressbooks is only free if you don’t mind their watermark. Pressbooks also has a print on demand service if you would like to see your book in print the old fashioned way.

3.    DESIGN a cover. A simple font for the title and your name is best. Use an image which you would  like to see on a book cover – a more graphic style is easier to reproduce in colour or black and white.

Des Pensable,  who has published his novel Visions of Chaos on Smashwords,  recommends getting a professional book designer for the cover. I design my own using my own artworks or photographs. Or get an arty friend to help! I don’t even use Photoshop, I just produce mine using Word, which works if you have a good image that does not need tweaking.

If you are happy with a white cover, Officeworks is the cheapest printer, Officeworks Broadway has the best equipment and specialises in printing.

4.    FORMATTING.. Use an easy to read font eg Arial or Times New Roman (preferred by publishers). Limit fancy fonts to the cover page if you must have one – but simple fonts are best for the cover too. Don’t use more than 2 styles of font eg one for the heading, one for the body text. You want the font to be invisible to the reader.

5.    INSERT LINKS to your performances, either after each poem or at the end of the book. This is not compulsory, but it’s a nice touch that makes the book interactive with the reader.

6.    PROOFREAD!!! Run it through spell and grammar checks, then read it line by line with a ruler under each line, or get a friend to read it.

7.    PRINT the book on your home printer. Print the chapbook in Adobe Acrobat booklet option, Word sucks for booklets. Do a test print first to make sure the pages fold in the proper order, this can be tricky.

If printing at home, keep it to 40 folded pages (ie 10 x A4 pages) including cover so you can print more easily. I print Wild Red Heart on my home printer (HP Office inkjet) because Officeworks won't do coloured covers (because to do that they have to count the pages). It's labour intensive but not hard.

All you need is paper, a metal ruler for folding and a long arm stapler. Then you:

  • print the book,
  •  collate the pages,
  • use the metal ruler to get a neat fold in the middle by folding the pages in half over the ruler,
  • then use the long arm stapler to bind the book by stapling on the outside of the fold so the staple prongs are inside the book. You don’t want to stab your customers! 

8.    EDITION.  If printing at home, print an edition of 50, then number them like art prints ie 1/50, 2/50 etc. This makes them a little more special.

9.    ISBN: This is the international library catalogue number. You need this to get your books into libraries or bookshops. It is not needed for ebooks. I didn’t use one because I am selling my chapbook at poetry readings. You can buy them yourself for around $22 each if you are doing the distribution or get them free at Smashwords or Pressbooks or similar print on demand sites.

10.  DISTRIBUTION. You can sell or give away your chapbook at poetry readings, on commercial online publishing sites, or on your own website. Keep track of how many you have printed and how many you have distributed, this may even impress a publisher. Always keep a few ready for your fans!


You can download Scrivener (it’s often on special), which will format books for you in PDF, epub or MOBI. You can convert to epub or MOBI (Kindle format) in Calibre, which is free.

Professional printers are really expensive, so go with print on demand if you want hard copies of longer books. They aren’t cheap but you only buy what you need.

If you are really popular, eventually a publisher will pick you up and pay your costs (and recover them from your royalties, so you won’t get rich that way either!)

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Slam time for Sydney!


Caravan Slam returns to Camelot Lounge Marrickville in July!

PETER ROADS winner of our May slam and Caravan Slam regular will feature with his dark delights!

Book a spot in our slam by posting here, then show up when doors open at 7pm to confirm.

When: Thursday 23 July.
Doors open 7pm, slam starts 8pm, Peter Roads performs around 9pm
Performers free, guests $5
All proceeds go to Caravan Slam future projects

Saturday, 23 May 2015


Photos here !!      Caravan Slam May 2015 photos

Congratulations to all our 20 slammers last night at Caravan Slam! You all rocked! Special mentions to Jade Oldfield, CS founder and force of nature,DA Carter our regular sacrificial poet, Martin Charles vocalist extraordinaire and medium for Barbara Hutton, Michele Seminara our lovely feature poet. Congratulations to Peter Roads May slam winner!

Martin Charles channels poor little rich girl, Barbara Hutton

Martin Charles sings Poor Barbara

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


In April 2015, the Caravan Crew moved tent to The Record Crate, where a few brave souls made magic in Sydney's biggest thunderstorm!

Des Pensable also launched his book, Visions of Dreams Vol 1. Available for download on Smashwords.

Click to see our Caravan Jam:

Caravan Jam April @ The Record Crate

Caravan Slam Poets:
  • Lou Steer
  • Peter Roads
  • Ilias Kouvelas
  • Kari McKern
  • Lewis Tr
  • Des Pensable
  • Robert Gray