Ligonier Valley Writers’ 30th annual Student Poetry Contest for poets in grades 4 through 12 is now open to submissions. We’re celebrating this milestone by increasing the cash prizes. Cash prizes will be awarded at all grade levels in different forms of poetry, from haiku to free verse to rhymed forms.


In each of nine categories, first prize will now earn $25, second prize $20, and third prize $15. For the best of the best in each grade group, now known as the Naccarato Award (sponsored by longtime LVW member Michele Jones), each of the three winners will receive $30. This means there are thirty cash prizes--and no entry fees.

The deadline for submitting your writing is March 11.


Students, teachers, and parents can get entry forms and contest rules by clicking on the button to the right or contacting LVW publicity director Judith Gallagher at or (724) 593-7294.

If you're a kid in Grades 4 through 12 who likes to write, give it a try. Homeschoolers are welcome. Try writing a poem every day for the next week and then pick the one you like best to submit.

To jumpstart your creativity, here are a few prompts. Write a poem about:

• a feeling or a relationship

• a photo or painting

• your favorite tree

• a memorable day

Help us celebrate the next generation of creativity in our region by supporting these talented young people. If you are a teacher or you know any teachers, please tell them about this contest to give more students the opportunity to experience the joy of creating and winning prizes with their poems.

Girl at School