Submit your entry from April 1 – 30. Please email your poem to along with your name, age and grade.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Age Categories:
    • Group 1: 12-15 years old
    • Group 2: 16-18 years old
  2. Any format of poem is acceptable.
  3. Length: No longer than one single-spaced typed page
  4. Must be an original work


Groups 1 & 2:

  1. 1st Place – $35 gift certificate to Richmond Centre
  2. 2nd Place – $15 gift certificate to Richmond Centre

Judging Criteria:
Creativity, clarity, originality, and the literary merit or message of the poem

* RPL reserves the right to disqualify any offensive and/or inappropriate submission

Rules and Regulations for RPL’s Teen Poetry Contest 


  1. There must be only one author per entry.
  2. All works that have published in print or on the Internet, including self-published works, as well as works that have been broadcast or delivered in front of a public audience, are considered previously published and are therefore not eligible for the competition.
  3. Previously published authors may submit texts providing that the submissions are unpublished works.


  1. Candidates warrant that they have created the submitted work and must own all rights to it. Candidates will hold the Richmond Public Library and its staff members harmless from and against any and all loss, damage, costs and other expenses arising out of claims, whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly from breach of this warranty.
  2. In submitting their work, each candidate grants the Richmond Public Library the following licenses free of charge and irrevocably:
    1. The right to edit, abridge or excerpt the work for the purposes of publication or broadcast. (The author will be consulted if significant edits are necessary.)
    2. The right to translate an excerpt from the work submitted.
    3. The non-exclusive right to reproduce and publish an excerpt from the work submitted on the websites and platforms controlled or authorized by the Richmond Public Library, both in the original language and in possible translations.

* Richmond Public Library offers prizes for teen’s poems judged the best according to stated criteria contest because it supports our goals of literacy and community engagement, and is both an incentive and validation for teens to express their feelings and tell their stories in this unique literary form.