Call for Youth Poetry

Call for Youth Poetry Application Package (PDF)

Submissions must be received no later than midnight, Pacific Time, March 31st, 2024. 

The City of Nanaimo is seeking poetry from youth poets to help us celebrate Poetry Month! 

April is poetry month! To celebrate, the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL)- Nanaimo Harbourfront and the City of Nanaimo are partnering to create a Book Response Poetry display at the VIRL’s Harbourfront branch. Led by the City’s current Youth Poet Laureate, Paige Pierce, this project is meant to facilitate thoughtful connections between poetry and other texts including novels, anthologies, and picture books. 

We are looking for youth poets in the Nanaimo area to write a poem inspired by, responding to, or discussing their favourite book! Poems can be any shape, size, and structure. There is no required word count. 

Selected poems will be displayed at the Nanaimo Harbourfront location of the Vancouver Island Regional Library with the books they reference or were inspired by during the month of April. 


Submissions are welcome from everyone under the age of 18 in the Nanaimo region.

Applicants must include in their submission the following:

  • One (or more) poem(s) inspired by a favourite book
  • The book inspiring your poem must be identified (i.e. in the title of your poem or in addition to the information submitted)
  • A completed submission form with contact information.

Selection Process

All poems will be read and selected by the City of Nanaimo’s current Youth Poet Laureate, Paige Pierce. Paige will be looking for the following criteria in submitted works: 

  • Connection to other texts. Is there a connection to a book or work in a larger collection? At the top of your submission, please indicate which book or collection you are taking inspiration from or responding to. 
  • Creativity. Don’t be afraid to get creative and be unique! Poetry is abstract and Paige is hoping to see a range of styles and topics
  • Grammar and writing conventions. Does your poem include proper spelling and grammar? Your poem can have whatever structure, rhyme scheme, or layout you feel best suits the piece, but it has to be readable!
  • Don’t forget a title!  Please make sure to include a title for your poem.

How to Apply

Submissions must be received no later than midnight, Pacific Time, March 31st, 2024. 

There are three ways to submit:

  • Submit your application via the online submission form found HERE.
  • Submit your application via email:, ATTN: Call for Youth Poetry
  • Drop off your application in-person to the Culture & Events Dropbox, located at the Bowen Complex, 500 Bowen Road. The Dropbox is located on the lower level of the building near the tennis courts (Pine Street Entrance). The application must be enclosed and sealed in an envelope/package clearly marked:

Your Name
Call for Youth Poetry
City of Nanaimo
Culture and Events


Please reach out to the Culture & Events team using the info below.

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Culture & Events

Last updated: March 11, 2024

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