Submissions and Contest Rules
- Poets must be in grades 1-12. There are no residency requirements.
- Each poem MUST be submitted online, accompanied by an entry form with contact information.
- Poems must be turned in online using the form below by 11:59pm on April 21, 2023.
- There is no theme; all subject matters welcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are winners chosen?
Potential finalists from each grade are sent to this year's judge, Dorthy LaVerne McCarthy. She will select one winner from each grade for a total of twelve equal winners.
What are the prizes?
Winners will receive a certificate and a keepsake book containing all the winning poems and will have the opportunity to recite their poem at a poetry reception (not required).
What happens once I have submitted my poem?
Once the poem is submitted to us, we cannot return it. All entries must be submitted online using the form below. Please verify your contact information is correct BEFORE you submit your entry. We will not be able to verify or change contact information once an entry is submitted. Due to the high volume, we are unable to personally return phone calls regarding the poetry contest.
How/When will I be notified if I've won?
Winners will be notified via email by May 5, 2023. The library will contact you via the email address you provide. If a valid email address isn't provided, we will be unable to contact you and your entry will be disqualified. Due to volume of entries, if you are not selected as a winner, you will not be notified.
How many poems can I submit?
You may provide up to 3 poems; however, each poem must be submitted individually with COMPLETE contact information. No bulk submissions. Any poem over the limit of 3 will not be considered. Poems submitted without a complete entry form will be automatically disqualified.
The contest has ended. Please look for the next poetry contest in March 2024.
What do I do if my child doesn't win?
Encourage your child to continue writing. The only way to get better at writing and handling tough things like rejection, is to keep doing it.
Here are some links to some children's writing publications. Each have contests and submission opportunities of their own:
You can find many books that encourage kids to become better writers. Many of these books include prompts and other writing inspirations for them to practice:
Speak with your child's teachers. They may know of other creative opportunities that are available, so your child can continue writing and submitting. And of course, please encourage your child to enter the Youth Poetry Contest next year.