But the great Master said, “I see
No best in kind, but in degree;
I gave a various gift to each,
To charm, to strengthen, and to teach.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Singers”

First Prize:

$200. Publication in the Society’s website and The Society of Classical Poets Journal.


Submission Fee:

$5 (The fee comes with a free subscription to our monthly e-Newsletter.)



One to three poems on any topic after you pay the $5 submission fee. All together, the poems should total 108 lines or less. Email as a Word file (doc or docx) or in the email body to submissions@classicalpoets.org. Put “High School Poetry Competition” in the subject line of the email. IMPORTANT: Include your grade level, high school name, and the name of who made the payment (if not you).

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. See a guide to poetry forms here)

Artificial intelligence (such as ChatGPT) may not be used in anyway to write the poem.



December 31, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners announced February 1, 2024 on our e-Newsletter and on the Society’s homepage. (Annual submission dates Sept. 1 – Dec. 31.)



Evan Mantyk, editor of the Society of Classical Poets Journal and website, teacher of literature and history


Who May Participate?

Any high school or elementary school student, or 19 or younger, 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 2023. 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, should it rank among winners or receive an honorable mention, you give the Society permission to publish it online on this website, in the Society of Classical Poets Journal, and in publications promoting the SCP’s mission or this annual contest, but the SCP would not be able to sell your individual poem on its own or have any further rights over it beyond these purposes. You could publish it anywhere else or sell it to any publication as desired.


Past Winners



Poetry Writing Resources



NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

2 Responses

  1. Joie

    Hello, may I know where I should include pieces of information about my grade level, high school name, and the name of who made the payment?

    • The Society

      Dear Joie,

      Just put it right in the email that includes your poem.

      -Evan Mantyk


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