Friends of the Olean Library Poetry Contest

This year’s contest will be for students in grades 9-12. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best poem at each grade level at each participating school. Poems that receive honorable mention will receive a gift at the awards ceremony. If your school is not participating in the contest, you can still drop off your poem at the library. Make sure you include contact information.

The rules are simple:

  • Students must be in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.
  • Each entry must be typed in 12 point Times New Roman font and include the author’s full name, grade, English teacher and school at the bottom right of each page.  If you don’t have access to a computer, please come to the library and use one of the public access computers.
  • The work must be original.  Please do not submit another’s work.  Such entries will be disqualified.

All entries must be received at the Olean Public Library by Friday, November 21st.  Drop them off marked to the attention of the Friends Poetry Contest at the Reference Desk at the OPL or mail to Friends Poetry Contest, Olean Public Library, 134 N 2nd St., Olean, NY 14760.

Results will be announced before the end of the year and awards will be presented at a ceremony held at the library on December 30th.  Even if you don’t win, you’re invited to the ceremony to read your work as there will be an open reading and refreshments to follow the presentations.

Some tips for writing your poem:

  • Don’t let nonsensical rhyme dictate the flow of the poem.
  • Make your work interesting by using imagery and sensory details.
  • Write about what you know.
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