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18th Annual Student Poetry Project Now Accepting Submissions

The word "poetry" is being painted.
Trust "Tru" Katsande


Submissions are now being accepted for the 18th Annual Lehigh Valley Press Student Poetry Project. The award-winning contest for Lehigh Valley students grades 3 through 12 encourages the writing of poetry of all kinds which is reviewed by a panel of local educators.

WDIY has once again partnered with the Student Poetry Project to welcome the top winner in each of the elementary, middle, and high school categories to read their poem on an episode of Lehigh Valley Arts Salon. In addition, selected winners in each category will have the opportunity to have their poems published in the Focus section of the Lehigh Valley Press newspapers. Winning poems will appear on WDIY and in the Lehigh Valley Press papers in the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month.

The entry guidelines are below.

1. The Student Poetry Project is open to Lehigh Valley elementary school, middle school, and high school public, parochial, private, charter, cyber, and home-school students in the circulation areas of the Lehigh Valley Press newspapers: Salisbury Press, East Penn Press, Parkland Press, Northwestern Press, Whitehall-Coplay Press, Catasauqua Press, Northampton Press, and Bethlehem Press.

2. Poems are to be submitted in PDF form and should not exceed one page in length using a font no smaller than 10 point. No illustrations will be accepted.

3. On the same page as the poem, include student name, age, grade, school, district, telephone number, and email of parent or guardian for contact information only. The phone number and email will not be published or shared. Poems missing this information may not be considered.

4. Each student may submit up to three poems, which must be his or her original composition. Each poem should be a separate entry. Individual poems should be at least 10 lines in length. However, students may submit up to three shorter poems on a single theme with a title, on a single page. Single poems shorter than 10 lines will not be accepted.

5. E-mail poems and-or questions to George VanDoren, Student Poetry Project coordinator: georgevan@me.com.

6. Hand-written or printed versions of poems may be mailed to or dropped off to: Student Poetry Project, care of Lehigh Valley Press, 1633 N. 26th St., Allentown, Pa. 18104. Teachers may submit multiple class poems in a single envelope as long as they are on separate pages and contain the required student information.

7. Entries must be received (by U.S. Mail or email) by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15.

8. Permission of a parent or guardian is required for a student to appear on WDIY's Lehigh Valley Arts Salon, have their photo taken and published on the WDIY website, and have their photo taken and published in the Focus section of the Lehigh Valley Press newspapers and website.

9. Copies of poems will not be returned.

10. For ideas on teaching poetry, go to the Student Poetry Project Facebook page.

Last year's top winners in the competition who appeared on Lehigh Valley Arts Salon were 5th grader Morgan Gallus (Eyes) from Governor Wolf Elementary School in the Bethlehem Area School District, 6th grader Amani Torres (COVID Teen) from Arts Academy Charter Middle School in the Salisbury Township School District, and 11th grader Sienna Gallus (Breath) from Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts in the Bethlehem Area School District. This year marked first time siblings had taken first place in the competition.

Shamus is WDIY's Membership and Development Director, responsible for managing the station's membership activities, grant writing, public relations, and online activities. He is also the producer and host of Tape Swap Radio.
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