Do you have a budding writer, performer, or poet aged 14-19? If so you may want them to learn about the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate, Houston city-wide competition sponsored by Writers in the Schools (WITS) and the Houston Public Library,in partnership with Urban Word NYC, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, and PEN Center USA, and with support from Penmanship Books.
The call/contest is open to all writers ages 14-19 committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education across Houston.
“Writers in the Schools and our partners recognize that providing a platform for youth voice is vital for empowering young people to effect positive changes in their communities and beyond,” said Robin Reagler, executive director of Writers in the Schools. “Fostering a love of reading and writing is our mission, and we are eager to hear the exceptional talents of those youth vying to be a voice for our city.”
Why enter? The Houston Youth Poet Laureate, will have several opportunities to share their love of Houston in a number of different venues and forums. They will also receive a book deal from Penmanship Books which will provide them with the opportunity to publish a collection of poems. They also receive a library tour and multiple speaking engagements; a mentorship from ouston Poet Laureate Dr. Robin Davidson; and a tablet PC.
The theme of the 2015 competition is “Houston.” WITS and the Houston Public Library are accepting submissions now through Oct. 4 at witshouston.org/poet-laureate. An esteemed judging panel will choose five finalists with whom they will conduct interviews on Oct. 18. The winner will be honored as the city’s inaugural Youth Poet Laureate at the Writers in the Schools “Celebration of Story” gala on Nov. 12, 2015.
Contest Rules Overview
- Submit five (5) original poems. One of the poems must speak to the theme of Houston. One may be a performance with a YouTube link. Topics strongly suggested and encouraged are: civic and community engagement, activism, and issues that really matter to you.
- Submit a Resume/CV detailing school accomplishments, community work, and artistic and personal accomplishments. Free resume workshops will be provided by the Houston Public Library and Writers in the Schools. Visit witshouston.org/poet-laureate for dates.
- Submit a statement of intent.
To view a complete list of rules and to apply online, by Oct. 4 at 11:59 p.m.
Why should parents encourage their children to read and/or write poetry? The Harvard Business Review discusses how reading and writing poetry can actually help you in the professional world.
Need help getting started writing poetry? Guess what there’s even an app for that! It’s available on iTunes and Google Play for Android. Check out this video which tells you all about it.