About the Contest
South Carolina students: do you believe that poetry can change the world?
Tell us how by participating in this year’s Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest! The Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest encourages young writers to capture the power of their words and experience the freedom of original literary expressions.
We invite you to participate by sharing poems about a person, place, or an experience that has changed your life. Each of us has within us the ability to empower and inspire ourselves and others. We all have ideas about our world. Your poetry may change the world in your own unique way.
By submitting your poem, you have the opportunity to meet this year’s special guest, Kwame Alexander--poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author!
First, Second, and Third Place winners will be selected for the following groups: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. Winners and their families will be invited to the State Library to read their poems, meet Kwame Alexander, receive a signed copy of his book, Out of Wonder, and awarded an Amazon gift card, up to $50!
Kwame Alexander is the author of 25 books, including Rebound, the follow-up to The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children. His newest release, Solo, a young-adult novel in verse co-authored with Mary Rand Hess is a New York Times bestseller. Some of his other works include The Playbook: 52 Rules to Help You Aim, Shoot, and Score in this Game of Life; the picture books Animal Ark, Out of Wonder, and Surf’s Up; and novels Booked, He Said She Said, and the forthcoming prequel to The Crossover, Rebound.
Kwame Alexander believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his writing and publishing program. He is also the first recipient of the Pat Conroy Legacy Award, which recognizes writers whose books have had a lasting impact on their literary community. He also hosts a weekly TV show, Bookish Show. In this series, Kwame gives the scoop, the lowdown, the 411, the skinny, on his books, fave authors, and the literary happenings of his entourage. Kwame also travels the world planting seeds of literary love and co-founded LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program. He lives in Virginia. Visit him at kwamealexander.com.
If you are interested in submitting a poem, please review the contest requirements, register, and submit your poem here.
Submissions are accepted from Tuesday, January 16, 2018 to Friday, March 16, 2018. All entries must be submitted by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2018.
Winners will be notified by email and announced on our website on Friday, April 6, 2018.
Last year’s first Young Minds Dreaming Poetry Contest received more than 600 student submissions throughout the state and showed us that young poets want to write and share their art. Watch the ETV video above and start writing!