Introduction: River of Words Poetry and Art Contest is a free, international youth poetry and art contest — the largest in the world — inspires students 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
- 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.