Teen Poetry Contest

Teen Poetry Contest

Write to be Free
Free your mind with the power of poetry! 

Download the Entry Form

WHAT: A poem. Any kid of original poem. Concrete, found, free verse, villanelle, sonnet. Poetry is the distillation of sensation into word. So put pen to paper and write! Type or write your poem (just be sure we can read it). Electronic submissions will be accepted. Each submission should include an entry form. Entry forms are available at all Library locations and at the link below. There is a limit of four entries per person.

WHEN: April 1–30. Poems submitted after April 30 will not be eligible for the contest.

HOW: A hard copy of your poem mailed to:

Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County
800 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

OR An electronic copy emailed to


OR Hand delivered to any Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County location.

PRIZES: Prizes will be awarded in two age categories: 12-14 and 15-18.

Winners and Honorable Mentions will be announced in late May and prizes awarded at a recognition event at the TeenSpot at the Main Library on Saturday, June 8 from 4-6 p.m. All participants are invited to this special ceremony and open mic event. An anthology of the award winning entries will be published and printed using the Library’s Espresso Book Machine, and all winners will receive a complimentary copy of the book.

RULES: Entries will be judged on creativity and style. There is no theme. The contest is for teens

Need inspiration? Join us for an Hour of Poetry! Visit any Library location on Saturday, April 13 from 3-4 p.m. to join a casual writing circle. We’ll provide writing materials and prompts. You provide the imagination!