Spring into Poetry Contest 2023

Submitted by SJWrites on Wed, 03/29/2023 - 8:00 AM
Typewriter with scattered cherry blossoms over a blue background.

Celebrate National Poetry Month: Spring into Poetry Contest

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 third annual Spring into Poetry Contest!

How to Enter

Step 1: Complete the online registration form for Spring into Poetry 2023 by April 30.

Step 2: Submit your poem online, via Short Edition Portal, by email, or in person at a SJPL branch library between April 1–30.


  • The contest is open to amateur 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  • Works must be previously unpublished in print and online, including on personal blogs.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.

Please review our full list of Submission Guidelines for more details.

Age Categories and Prizes

  • 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.

All winners and other selected works will be published on SJPL Short Edition online platform and in the Short Edition Dispenser at select locations.


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 mid-May.


If you have any questions about the Spring into Poetry Contest, enter your questions in the comments section below or email us at shortstories@sjlibrary.org.

Upcoming Poetry Programs

Third Thursdays with Poetry Center San José (Virtual)

Thursday, April 20, 2023
7:00PM - 9:00PM


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. Suitable for ages 12+.


Good Luck!

Good luck with your compositions, and don't be afraid to give it a poe-try! 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!


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Submitted by Starla on Thu, 04/27/2023 - 5:48 PM


Your Comment
I'm 15 years old, and I just realized that it asked that entries for anyone above 13 years old should be submitted through the Short Edition Portal. I put that I would send my submission through email on the registration form. So do I send it through email, or do I shift over and use the Short Edition Portal?

Your Comment
Thank you for your question! You can either send your poem to us by email (shortstories@sjlibrary.org) or through the short edition portal. We cross reference all registration forms with the poems we receive, so we'll be able to find your poem either way

Submitted by Sampoorna Gonella on Mon, 05/22/2023 - 5:18 PM


Your Comment
Hi! Hope you're doing well. Can you tell me when we would find out if our submission for the contest has been received?

Your Comment
Thanks for your question. We sent a confirmation message to everyone who submitted a poem on 5/1. Submitting poets will also receive a follow up email with the results announcement the week of 5/30. If you have additional questions about your entry, please email us at shortstories@sjlibrary.org.

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 05/26/2023 - 11:31 AM


Your Comment
Hello! I was just wondering when the results will be out for the poetry contest.

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