High School Poetry Contest (2018)

The City of Nanaimo’s Youth Poet Laureate, Kailey DeFehr, invites you to submit to the 2018 High School Poetry Contest this spring. The theme of this year’s contest is Out of Darkness. This may be taken as literally or as figuratively as you wish. Winners will be announced Friday, June 1, 2018. The first place cash prize will be in the amount of $100. Second and third place contestants will each receive $50. There is no entry fee. 

We thank all poets in advance for their application, but only the winner will be contacted. Keep a copy of your submission as it will not be returned to you.


  1. Compose a poem related to the theme, Out of Darkness, in 250 words or less, not including the title.
  2. Format your poem as it should appear and review your application for accuracy prior to submitting.
  3. One submission (one poem) per applicant.
  4. Poems are required to be the applicant’s original, unaided, and unpublished work.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.
  5. Copyright to your poem will remain with you, the author.

Poems will be selected on the basis of artistic merit; relation to the theme "Out of Darkness"; and compliance with instructions.  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.

How to Submit Your Poem

  1.  E-mail two copies of your poem as pdf attachments (in Times New Roman, 12 point). One pdf attachment should have your name, address, e-mail, and phone number written in the top left hand corner. The other attachment should contain only the poem.

  2. Send your poems to callingallpoets@nanaimo.ca with the words "High School Poetry Contest" in the subject.

  3. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 30, 2018.

Last updated: November 19, 2018

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