BCSPCA Poetry Contest | Be Kind to All Kinds

A youth poetry contest supporting animals in need

The  City of Nanaimo’s Youth Poet Laureate, Valina Zanetti, and the Nanaimo BCSPCA invites all local youth poets between the ages of 11 and 18 to submit their original poems to raise awareness on three BCSPCA topics (see below).

Twenty poems will be chosen to create a poetry collection book.  Of the twenty chosen poems, poets of the Top 3 poems will receive awards and cash prizes presented at a City Council meeting, and attend an unveiling event at the Nanaimo BCSPCA on April 23 to read their poems.  The final poetry collection book will be provided to the Nanaimo BCSPCA to raise money for the animals in their care.  The deadline for poem submission is March 30, 2020.


  • Write an original poem based (200 words or less) on one of these BCSPCA themes:
    • BC SPCA RESCUE STORIES (Refer to real BCSPCA rescue stories at
  • Format your poem as it should appear and review it for accuracy prior to submission.
  • Maximum of three submissions (three poems) per applicant.
  • Poems are required to be the applicant’s original, unaided, and unpublished work. Should your poem be selected, you may be asked to sign a declaration that the poem is your work alone and that you have the rights to it.
  • Copyright to your poem will remain with you, the author.
  • Poems can be touching, sad, raw, funny, insightful, bitingly witty, or angry – but will not be considered if they contain obscenities or promote hatred or prejudice.
  • Poems will be selected on the basis of artistic merit, relation to the theme(s), and compliance with instructions.

How to submit your poem

E-mail a PDF copy of your poem to with the words “BCSPCA Poetry” in the subject line.  Don’t forget to include your name, address, e-mail address and phone number.  The deadline for poem submission is March 30, 2020.

Poets chosen for the final poetry collection will be required to provide a parental/guardian permission in order for their poem to be published.  We thank all poets in advance for their application, but only chosen poets will be contacted. Please keep a copy of your submission as it will not be returned to you.

Message from the Youth Poet Laureate:  This contest is a fabulous opportunity! Not only will you be aiding in raising funds for animals in need, but you will also be able to express your poetic talent. I, myself have loved animals for as long as I can remember, and have found that poetry has become very important to me as well. For these reasons, I was very excited that I got the support to introduce this new poetry contest.  The collection will be given to the Nanaimo BCSPCA for them to raise money for their cause.  I hope to see many youth poets take part in this contest! Have fun creating, and good luck!" 
--Valina Zanetti, Youth Poet Laureate



Last updated: February 19, 2020

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