Spring Into Poetry Contest!

A branch with pink blossoms in bloom.

Calling all poets...April is National Poetry Month and Spring is in the air! Along with the flowers we hope to see some budding poets blossom and bloom. Celebrate National Poetry Month by writing in rhymes, composing couplets, scrawling sonnets, or indeed penning poems of any form for San José Public Library’s first annual Spring Into Poetry Contest!

How to Enter

We will be accepting virtual submissions only. We are accepting poetic submissions from April 1-25 through our online entry and submission form, linked below.

 

Note: Our online submission form may prompt you to log in to your Google account. If you do not have a Google account and do not want to create one, or simply do not want to log in, we are also accepting submissions via email. Email a completed entry form as well as your poem to shortstories@sjlibrary.org. Poems submitted via email must be an attached Word doc, a Google doc link, or text pasted into the body of the email; other formats will not be accepted.

Submission Guidelines

  • The contest is open to poets of all ages and in any poetry style.
  • Works must be previously unpublished in print and online, including on personal blogs.
  • Poem may not exceed 4500 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
  • Poem must be for general audiences. We will not accept entries with explicit or mature content.
  • Only one submission per person.
  • All submissions must be proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Full list of detailed submission guidelines.

Age Groups and Awards

Prizes TBA.

  • Children (0-7): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
  • Children (8-9): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
  • Pre-Teens (10-12): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
  • Teens (13-17): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
  • Adults (18+): Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Additionally, all winners and other selected works will be published on SJPL Short Edition online platform and in the Short Edition Dispenser at select locations. In addition, Short Edition will be considering all submissions for international publication in their 300+ Dispensers worldwide.

Judging

Overseeing the judging process will be library staff and volunteers. To understand what the judges will be looking for, you can view the detailed judging rubric. Winners will be announced on Friday, May 7, 2021.

Spring Into Poetry Events!

Learn more about the craft of poetry from local groups, volunteers, and even San José's very own Youth Poet Laureate!

Virtual Veterans of Life Write
Friday, April 2, 2021
1:00PM - 4:00PM
Register now

Open to all veterans, veterans of life, and veteran family members of any age, any military background, SJSU students and non-students. All levels of writing experience are welcome.

 

Photo of San Jose Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao
San Jose Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao

Virtual Poetry Workshop with the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
5:00PM – 6:00PM
Register now

Celebrate National Poetry Month 2021 by attending a free poetry writing workshop.  This program is for all ages and is hosted by this year's Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Sapigao.  Parents are encouraged to be with any child younger than 8 years old. Sponsored by the Friends of Cambrian Branch Library.

About Janice Lobo Sapigao

Janice Lobo Sapigao (she/her) is a poet from San José, CA. She is the author of two books of poetry, microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016) and like a solid to a shadow (Nightboat Books, 2017). In 2020, she started Santa Clara County's first Youth Poet Laureate Program as a chapter with Urban Word New York City as part of the National Youth Poet Laureate Initiative. She also co-founded Sunday Jump, a long-running open mic space in Los Angeles's Historic Filipinotown. She co-hosts the podcast Pinaystrology, which discusses BIPOC pop culture, poems, and the planets. ​

 

Third Thursdays with Poetry Center San Jose
Thursday, April 15, 2021
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Register now

Third Thursdays is a monthly Poetry program in partnership with Poetry Center San José. Poetry Center San José's mission is to nurture and promote diverse literary expression in our community as a means of exploring, defining, and enriching the human experience.

Virtual Poetry Readings With Santa Clara County Youth Poets
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Register now

Join us for a night of poetry readings by Santa Clara County Youth poets. This program will be led by Janice Sapigao, the 2020/21 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. Sponsored by the Friends of Almaden Branch Library.

 

Good luck with your compositions, and don't be afraid to give it a poetry! You may be a poet and not even know it, and all of us here at San José Public Library are looking forward to being immersed in verse!

Comments

Your Comment
Hello, thank you for your question! My name is Marsha and I am part of the team organizing this contest. We are able to accept submissions from anywhere; from San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, and beyond! However, submissions from outside of San Jose should note that no special arrangements for prize delivery will be made; we will only route any prizes won to branches of the San Jose Public Library for pick-up. So, if someone from outside the area enters and wins, they can only pick up a prize from an SJPL location (www.sjpl.org/locations). If the winner cannot make it to an SJPL location for prize pickup, then their 'prize' would be the glory of the win/bragging rights only. I hope this clears up your question!

Your Comment
Hello, thank you for your question! My name is Marsha and I am part of the team organizing this contest. You can write the poem on whatever subject or topic you choose, there is no prompt it must follow, but to be eligible to win it needs to follow the contest guidelines/criteria (you can see the detailed criteria here --> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1au7AhmevTh2y_Mxz3EZ36E-yGzputodJ/view). I'd also recommend looking over the judging criteria so you know how your poem will be scored, you can find that document here --> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X4YgC_UU-GVwU6WFDNZz1ETFaDqYRnN7/view I hope this clears up your question!

Your Comment
Hello, thank you for your question! My name is Marsha and I am part of the team organizing this contest. We are able to accept submissions from anywhere. However, submissions from outside of San Jose should note that no special arrangements for prize delivery will be made; we will only route any prizes won to branches of the San Jose Public Library for pick-up. So, if someone from outside the area enters and wins, they can only pick up a prize from an SJPL location (www.sjpl.org/locations). If the winner cannot make it to an SJPL location for prize pickup, then their 'prize' would be the glory of the win/bragging rights only. I hope this clears up your question!

Your Comment
Hello, and thank you for your question! My name is Marsha and I am part of the team organizing this contest. You certainly can write a poem that tells a story (a narrative poem); we have no topic requirement for this contest, although the submission must be a poem. In regards to content, we only ask that you keep steamy or violent details to a minimum, and note that explicit/mature content will not be accepted. I recommend that participants reference our submission guidelines and judging criteria to get a thorough idea of what the judges will be looking for when judging submissions, you can find the submission criteria here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1au7AhmevTh2y_Mxz3EZ36E-yGzputodJ/view
-and judging criteria here- https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X4YgC_UU-GVwU6WFDNZz1ETFaDqYRnN7/view I hope this answers your question!

Submitted by D on Thu, 04/15/2021 - 11:14 AM

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Your Comment
What are the prizes? Can they be delivered via email or in envelopes through USPS so people from outside the San Jose area can receive them without having to go pick them up?

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Comments are expected to follow the basic rules of civility and be relevant to the topic being commented upon. Comments will be reviewed prior to posting. Blog comments represent the views of the person commenting, not necessarily those of San José Public Library. For more information see SJPL's Comment Guidelines.