Submissions and Contest Rules
- Poets must be in grades 1-12. There are no residency requirements.
- Each poem MUST be accompanied by an entry form with contact information (entry form below).
- Poems must be turned in online using the form below by April 23, 2021.
- There is no theme; all subject matters welcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are winners chosen?
Due to the volume of entries, youth librarians read each poem and select potential finalists from each age division. The selected entries are then sent to this year's judge, Barbara Blanks. She will select two equal winners from each age category for a total of twelve equal winners. There is no first or second place.
What are the prizes?
Winners will receive a certificate and a keepsake book containing all the winning poems and will have the opportunity to be recorded reciting their poem for a virtual library program (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?
You will receive your poetry contest results via email between May 5-10, 2021. The Library will contact you via the email address you provide. If valid email address isn't provided, we will be unable to contact you and your entry will be disqualified.
How many poems can I submit?
You may provide up to 3 poems; however, each poem submitted must have an attached entry form with COMPLETE contact information. No bulk submissions. Poems submitted without an entry form attached will be automatically disqualified.
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.