River of Words Poetry and Art Contest

River of Words Poetry and Art Contest is a free, international youth poetry and art contest

Competition Details

Introduction: River of Words Poetry and Art Contest is a free, international youth poetry and art contest — the largest in the world  inspires children ages 5 to 19 to translate their observations into creative expression. River of Words® (ROW) is a program of The Center for Environmental Literacy and a part of the Kalmanovitz School of Education, at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Competition Rules: Poems should not exceed 32 lines or 3 minutes (signed), and poems must be in English and Spanish. Participants may submit up to 5 entries for poetry and 5 for art (total of 10 entries). 

Awards and Prizes

Art and Poetry Category Winners: One winner is selected in each of Poetry’s four age/grade categories. One winner is selected in the four age/grade categories in Art. Categories are below: 

  • Category I: K-Grade 2 (Primary) or ages 5-7
  • Category II: Grades 3-5 (Elementary) or ages 8-11
  • Category III: Grades 6-8 (Intermediary) or ages 11-14
  • Category IV: Grades 9-12 (Secondary) or ages 14-19

Specialty Prizes: 

  • International Prize: Awarded to one international entry, either art or poetry, in any age category.
  • Shasta Bioregion Prize: Awarded to one entry, either art or poetry, honoring a Northern California watershed.
  • Monkey’s Raincoat Prize: Awarded to a short poem in the tradition of the Japanese haiku.
  • One Square Block Prize: Awarded to poems that examine city-scapes and the interaction between the manmade and the natural world. 
  • “On Writing” Poetry Finalists: Features narratives that reflect on the writing process and the speaker’s connection to writing. Awarded to approximately 5 poems every year.
  • Art and Poetry Finalists: Approximately 50 finalists in art and 50 finalists in poetry are selected to be published alongside the Grand Prize winners. 

Competition Website: For more information about the competition, click here.


K through 12th-grade students, ages 5-20. Students must be enrolled in school to be eligible. All entries must be submitted by a parent, guardian, educator, or facilitator unless the student is 18 years old or older.

Submission deadline

January 31, 2023

Our Teaching Methods

Competition - our difference

Students who previously took the class:

Throughout the years, our students have successfully gained admission or are currently attending top-ranking secondary and high schools around the world: America, Australia, Canada, China, and more:

  • Cardigan Mountain School
  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Concord Academy
  • Groton School

Improving your application competitiveness, today.

Scroll to Top

Contact our course consultants for class and price information

Be the first one to register for classes with our tutors!

By submitting, you agree to Aralia’s Privacy Policy & Terms of Use

Get In Touch

Interested in learning more about our courses? Fill out the form below and we will get back

By signing up, you agree to Aralia’s Privacy Policy & Terms of Use