High School Contest Opportunities: Poetry

As a junior, I often find myself looking for ways to bulk up my future college applications. As a result, I found quite a few useful youth or amateur contests that I never even knew existed. Standing out as a student is hard enough as it is, so I aim to help spread the word. Each week, a new list of youth contests relating to a different subject or field (ex- poetry, film, photography, short stories, music, painting) for the 2022-2023 school year will be published. Some of the contests included are closed for entries- they are listed so that interested students may be able to keep them in mind for next year.

This week: Writing: Poetry!

These poetry contests range in difficulty and prestige. To enter these contests, submit your work according to the requirements and instructions posted on their websites. Don’t be afraid to submit an entry; the idea of a contest can be intimidating, but there is no harm in trying. Good luck!


Adroit Journal

1. The Adroit Journal Poetry Contest

The Adroit Journal Poetry contest closes submissions on October 31 of each year. Submission categories for 2023 are yet to be announced.


2. The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize

Princeton Lewis Center for the Arts

The Leonard L. Milberg Poetry Contest is run by one of Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. The contest closes submissions on November 27, 2023. To enter you must be in the 11th grade. Winners receive prize money. Contestants may submit up to 3 poems, there are no set topic guidelines. 


The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts

3. YoungArts Poetry Awards  

The YoungArts Poetry Awards contest is now closed for the 2022-2023 school year; the contest opens again in June 2023. The contest is open to anyone in grades 10-12, and you must submit 3 – 5 poems. Prizes include money and career support in the arts. 


4. Bennington College Young Writers Awards

Bennington College

The Bennington College Young Writers Awards includes a poetry category. Submissions are now closed. The contest runs annually from September 1 to November 1, and is open to any high school student. Winners in each category receive prize money, and if a winner enrolls in and is accepted into Bennington College, they may also receive substantial yearly scholarships. Contestants must submit a group of three poems of any topic.



5. NSHSS Poetry Scholarship

The National High School Scholars poetry contest is open to any interested high school student. The contest is now closed for the 2022-2023 school year. Prizes include money and awards of recognition. 


6. The Kenyon Review Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The Kenyon Review

The Patricia Grodd Poetry contest is open to high school sophomores and juniors. This year’s deadline for entry is November 30, 2022. The winning prize is a full scholarship to the 2023 Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop.