Update: This contest has ended and the winners can be viewed here. Thank you to all who entered!

“Poetry promotes literacy, builds community, and fosters emotional resilience. It can cross boundaries that little else can.”

Giving students a fun way to explore their creative side and an opportunity to be recognized for their talents are the goals of online curriculum provider K12‘s annual Poetry Contest.

Last year, students were challenged to compose a piece about what makes them smile. Some showed their emotions through a haiku, some through a ballad, some through a sonnet, some through a free verse. Students from around the world rose to the challenge and sent in amazing and inspirational examples of the many reasons they smile.

This year, in honor of National Poetry Month, the theme is “Your Favorite Fictional Literary Character.” We have all read a piece of literature that we connect with. Whether it’s because you see yourself in the character, want to be more like him or her, or the character portrays something about your life, we want your favorite fictional character to be your inspiration for your entry in our 2016 Poetry Contest. Send us your cinquain, limerick, or any writing style that suits your fancy. You can write about your favorite literary character from a mystery, fairy tale, comic, or legend—as long as it’s original!

Here are some important details to know about K12’s Poetry Contest:

  • It’s open to all K12 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. K12 students who are 13 years of age or younger will need their parents to submit on their behalf. Parents, please note in the submission’s text that you are submitting for your child. 
  • Submissions MUST be related to a literary, fictional character.
  • Poems must be original. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
  • Poems should be 200 words or less.
  • Video files should be no longer than one minute.
  • A first, second, and third place winner will be chosen for each grade, and they will receive:
    • First Place: trophy, poetry journal, and their choice of a poetry book
    • Second Place: trophy and a poetry journal
    • Third Place: trophy
  • Each and every student who submits their creative composition of their favorite fictional literary character will receive a certificate of participation.
  • All finalists’ work will be featured in an online gallery.
  • All submissions must be received by 5 PM (ET) Friday, April 29 via the What’s Your Story? site.
  • Complete details and contest rules can be found here.

Need some inspiration? Visit K12’s 2015 Poetry Contest finalists’ gallery.

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