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Good news for students in grades 4 through 12 throughout western Pennsylvania. If you’re working on a poem to submit to Ligonier Valley Writers’ 31st annual Student Poetry Contest, you have more time. In response to the ongoing challenges of this school year, the deadline has been extended from March 11 to Monday, March 21.

Ligonier Valley Writers’ 31st annual Student Poetry Contest for poets in grades 4 through 12 is now open to submissions. 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 earns $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 NEW deadline for submitting your writing is March 21, 2022.


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:

• any strong emotion

• a song or singer

• your favorite animal

• a friend or family member

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
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