Six of the Best Poetry Contests for High School Students
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Whether you’re passionate about poetry, looking to explore a new creative outlet, or you want to bulk up your college application (or a combination of all three), entering a poetry contest in high school is an excellent decision. 

Student academic competitions are great opportunities to expand your horizons and showcase your skills. They are also effective ways to set yourself up for success by opening up new opportunities, like internships, scholarships, college acceptance, and jobs. 

Poetry competitions are ideal for students interested in pursuing the humanities, but even STEM students will find them beneficial—these days, colleges place a lot of value on well-rounded students in their academic and extracurricular experiences. 

Here are six of the top poetry contests you can enter this year. 

1. Bow Seat Global Ocean Awareness Poetry and Spoken Word Contest

Bow Seat hosts a series of contests for young people to learn about ocean issues and environmentalism through creativity. Their Poetry and Spoken Word contest is open to students 11-18. 2022’s theme is “The Funny Thing About Climate Change,” and submissions are due June 13. Learn more about the contest and prompts here. 

Knovva Academy offers a preparatory course to help you develop an outstanding submission to Bow Seat’s contest and propel you to first place. Check it out!

2. The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers Poetry Contest

Scholastic hosts many different literary competitions, including an annual poetry contest. You can write your poem/s about any topic and in any style you prefer—prose poetry, free verse, formal poetry, song lyrics, or spoken word. You can submit between one and five poems, judged as a collection. Learn more and find out how to enter the contest here.

3. WriteCause Poetry Contest

WriteCause hosts quarterly writing contests, each centered around a different prompt. The April-June 2022 prompt is “Formation of Self-Image.” Anyone 12-18 years old can enter. Your entry isn’t limited to poetry; it can also be a short story or essay. Learn more about the current prompt and find out how to enter the contest here. 

4. Write the World Poetry and Spoken Word Contest 

Write the World hosts writing competitions every month, and one month is dedicated to poetry, both written and performed aloud. You can write about anything; they just ask that your piece “lays your own foundations for change.” Find out more about Write the World’s poetry and spoken word contest and their other monthly writing contests here. 

Knovva Academy offers a preparatory course to help you develop an outstanding submission to Write the World’s contest and propel you to first place. Check it out!

5. I Matter Poetry Contest

The “I Matter” poetry contest is hosted by the National Youth Foundation. It is open to students in grades K-12. Contestants are asked to submit a poem on why Black lives matter. The top prize is $500! Learn more and enter the contest here. 

6. Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

This contest is your chance to have an original work published by the renowned and historic Poetry Society! The Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition is open to students 11-17 located anywhere around the world. You have a lot of freedom with this contest, as your poem can be on any theme, length, and style. Learn more and enter here. 

These poetry contests are fantastic ways to flex your creativity, make your voice heard, and show colleges that you are motivated and ready to go the extra mile. First place is calling—we wish you the best of luck!

Knovva Academy offers prep courses for all sorts of high school competitions, from writing to STEM to art to business. Check out our current course offerings here. 

Please contact us if you want to learn more about each contest!

Poetry contests for high school students

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