Spring into Poetry Contest 2023

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  • Works must be previously unpublished in print and online, including on personal blogs.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.

Writing Poetry for Kids!

What is Poetry?, book cover
Read, Recite, and Write Haiku, book cover
Write! Write! Write!, book cover
Jabberwalking, book cover
Read, Recite, and Write List Poems, book cover
Poetry From A to Z, book cover
Words, Wit, and Wonder, book cover
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry, book cover
How to Write Poems, book cover
Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme, book cover

Writing Poetry for Teens and Adults!

My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice, book cover
A Primer for Poets & Readers of Poetry, book cover
Singing School, book cover
Next Word, Better Word, book cover
Ordinary Genius, book cover
In the Palm of your Hand A Poet's Portable Workshop : A Lively and Illuminating Guide for the Practi, book cover
Seeing the Blue Between, book cover
The Ode Less Travelled, book cover
The Everything Writing Poetry Book, book cover
All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing, book cover
Rules for the Dance, book cover
Poemcrazy, book cover
A Poetry Handbook, book cover

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!