“Throughout history, poets have used language to express their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and perspectives. By using rhythm, rhyme, meter, and line breaks, poets have addressed everything from the nature of love or the beauty of a spring day to complex social issues. By studying poetry, students can gain a greater understanding, not only of literature and language, but of themselves and the world they live in.”

Each year, the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month—a time to celebrate poets and their craft. This year, K12 Inc. is honoring the festivities by hosting the 5th Annual Poetry Contest and giving students around the globe an opportunity to share their poetic talent.

Last year, students were challenged to compose a piece about their favorite fictional literary character. Some students connected with Harry Potter and other students bonded with Amelia Bedelia. Some showed their emotions through a haiku, and others wrote a ballad. Students from around the world rose to the challenge and sent in amazing and inspirational examples of their many favorite fictional literary characters.

This year, the theme is “hobbies.” We all have a hobby, and whether it’s playing a sport, riding a skateboard, painting, playing video games, crafting, or hiking, we want your hobby to be your inspiration for your entry in our 2017 Poetry Contest. Send us your cinquain, limerick, or any writing style that suits your fancy. You can write about your favorite hobby or all five of your hobbies—as long as it’s original!

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

  • It’s open to all students from kindergarten through 12th grade. 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 hobby.
  • 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 about their favorite hobby or hobbies 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 28, 2017, via the What’s Your Story? site.
  • Complete details and contest rules can be found here.

Need some inspiration? Visit K12’s 2016 Poetry Contest finalists’ gallery.

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