18th annual Great Adirondack Young People Poetry Contest


Students can take advantage of their upcoming spring “mud season” break and submit any two poems of “any length and in any form of verse.”  Members of the Lake Placid Poets’ Guild will judge all entries.

According to Board member Mara Jayne Miller the “Words from the Woods” annual poetry contest is designed to foster literacy and the experience of writing, reading and speaking poetry for school children in grades 1-12. 

"Unlike most contests, which award First, Second, and Third Prizes (Ok, call it Gold, Silver, and Bronze in the Adirondacks.), Words from the Woods awards several 'winners' in each grade," states Miller in an email. "Poems are judged by a professional poet.  At the winners' reception held in May, the young poets and their families and often their teachers come to Lake Placid to receive their awards and to receive the Chapbook, in which their poems are published.  Additionally, the poets are asked to read one of their poems ( if they wish) and in several years we have included an extra short session on how to read poetry aloud.  

We receive over four hundred submissions each year, which shows us that not only does the program succeed with its intended audiences (students, teachers, parents), but that the writing and reciting of poems is one of the most accessible and engaging ways of helping young people learn literacy by making literature themselves."

The young poets and their families are invited to a reception at Northwoods Inn on May 30 in Lake Placid where they receive their award and given a copy of the chapbook. 

So get those kids using their imagination and thinking outside the Common Core. The Great Adirondack Young People’s Poetry Contest is free and open to all students living in the Adirondack Park. 

National Poetry Month and The Academy of American Poets also has provided resources and programming to encourage the celebration of poetry. Opportunities such as Poem in Your Pocket Day, Poem-A-Day, and the Dear Poet Project give children and adults a chance to let more poetry into their lives. Enjoy!

© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.

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