“But with the true poet every thing is terse, touching, or brilliant. He gives the choicest thoughts in the choicest language. He illustrates them by everything that he sees most striking in nature and art.”

—Washington Irving (1783-1859), “Mutability of Literature”

First Prize:

$100

 

Submission Fee:

None

 

Submit:

One to three poems on any topic. All together, the poems should total 108 lines or less. Email as a Word file or in the email body to submissions@classicalpoets.org. Put “High School Poetry Contest” in the subject line of the email. Include your grade level and high school name.

Poems must contain meter. Counting the number of syllables and ensuring there are a similar number in each line is sufficient. (To learn how to write poetry with meter, see a brief beginner’s guide on common iambic meter here or a more elaborate beginner’s guide to many kinds of meter here.)

 

Deadline:

December 31, 2019, 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners announced February 1, 2020 on our e-Newsletter and on the Society’s homepage.

 

Judges:

Joseph S. Salemi, acclaimed New Formalist poet, essayist for Expansive Poetry Online, professor, New York University, Hunter College.
James Sale, poetry critic, award-winning British poet, Arts columnist, The Epoch Times.
Evan Mantyk, editor of The Society of Classical Poets Journal and website, high school teacher.

 

Who May Participate?

Any high school student, or anyone ages 13 to 19, from any country of any background. If you are outside the United States, you would need to have a PayPal account to receive the prize money should you win First Place.

 

Additional Details

The poem should be written in 2019. They may be previously published. Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Past First Place winners are prohibited from participating.

You do not have to be a Member of the Society to participate.

You will retain ownership of your submitted poetry. By submitting it to the Society for publication or for inclusion in the contest, you give the Society permission to possibly publish it online on this website or in the Society of Classical Poets Journal, but we would not be able to sell your individual poem on its own or have any further rights over it beyond these forums. You could publish it anywhere else or sell it to any publication as desired. The first step in publishing is to have it published on the Society’s homepage and we will check with you first to confirm if we have your permission to do so. At that time you may indicate that we do or do not. Alternatively, when submitting you may add a note stating “do not publish if not a winner.”

 

Past Winners

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013

 

Poetry Writing Resources

Guides

Poetry Forms

Great Poetry

Ten Greatest Poems
Ten Greatest Love Poems
Ten Greatest Poems about Death

 


Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.”

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