Spring Into Poetry

Oh, what wonderous treasures bring
When first we think of marvelous spring!
April is the month to compose
And compare one’s love as to a rose
In a sonnet, a couplet, a verse in rhyme
With every meter keeping time
Please grace us with your poetry
And submit to your local library
We hope you will put forth your best
For this 4th annual poetry contest
- Bill Bowman,  SJPL Library Worker

Spring into Poetry: April 1 - 30, 2024

Celebrate National Poetry Month

For the fourth year in a row, the San José Public Library is springing into action with their annual poetry contest! Details are as follows.

How to Enter

Step 1: Complete the online registration form for Spring into Poetry 2024 by April 30.

Step 2: Submit your poem online via Short Edition Portal, shortstories@sjlibrary.org, or in person at a San José Public Library location 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  • Works must be previously unpublished in print and online, including on personal blogs.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 8,000 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 Édition online platform and in the Short Édition Dispensers 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 by June 1.


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.

Refine Your Craft

Jumpstart your poetic nature with these helpful texts.

Resources for Poetry Writing

Find Inspiration from Poets

Find the greats of poetry in our collection.

Physical and digital titles

Poetry Outside of a Book

These digital resources can assist your prose.

EBSCO Reference Center: Literature

Literary criticism, plot summaries, biographies, poems, short stories, and reviews. For high school level and up.

EBSCO Reference Center: Poetry & Short Stories

Complete poems and short stories, criticism, and information about poets and authors.

National Poetry Month on Scholastic Teachables

Take advantage of April’s poetry theme to celebrate the genre and to read and write poems as often as possible.
Back to Top