Poetry Contest 2014 Guidelines
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Submission Dates: April 1st through June 1st 2014.
Entries must be post marked by June 1st. We receive a high volume of entries around this date, so if you submit a poem toward the end of the submission period, please be patient. We will notify you via email when we process your entry!
For homeschooled* students ages 7–19, write a poem based on the theme prompts below, corresponding to your age category. Each student may submit 3 different poems (see Multiple Entries section below).
* For the purposes of this contest, an eligible student must have received a majority of his or her education in the past year through home education. The staff and immediate family members of HSLDA and all related entities (PRO, HSF, GenJ) are not eligible to participate in contests sponsored by HSLDA or any of the related entities.
Cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster! Winners will be announced in July.
Format and Submissions:
Each student may enter up to 3 poems. Each poem requires a separate Entry Fee and Entry Form. Multiple entries may be mailed in the same envelop (two copies of each poem, please) and the multiple entry fees may be included on one check.
Mail poems (2 copies of each), Entry Forms, and Entry Fees to:
Entries must be postmarked on or before June 1st, 2014.
Please pay via check or money order. These should be made payable to “HSLDA” with a note of “Poetry Contest” in the memo line. Please do not enclose cash.
This year, we are exploring the special relationship between poetry and music. We are looking at Saint-Saen’s famous Carnival of the Animals as well as other favorite classics and want to know where these creative musical pieces take you!
Category 1: Ages 7 to 10 as of May 1, 2014
Category 2: Ages 11 to 14 as of May 1, 2014
Category 3: Homeschoolers* ages 15 to 19 as of May 1, 2014
How do I write poetry from music?
Pen and paper in hand, start by listening to the songs that interest you from your category—you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you recognize certain parts of them! As you listen, write down any words, emotions, images, landscapes, or memories that come to mind. Once you have decided which song you like best, listen to it a couple more times, always jotting down anything you imagine in response to the music. Look at the words you wrote and use these as the jumping off point for your poem.
Good questions to capture your thoughts in words: (Remember, there are NO wrong answers! So just have fun!)
Frustrated? Here’s the answer!
Creativity can be frustrating for some people because there is no right or wrong answer. The trick is understanding your goal, which is to be honest and original. We want to know what you think, not a repackaging of someone else’s clichés. If you accomplish this, you will be on your way to creating a high-quality poem.
“I chose the movement ‘The Elephant’. Does my poem need to be about an elephant?”
No! That’s the beautiful freedom of poetry. Each song is interpreting its title; your poem should be an interpretation of a section of the song, but not necessarily of the song’s title. So if you listen to “The Elephant” movement and have vivid memories of romping through a fort in your basement with your siblings, write about that memory. Be creative and let the music take you on an adventure!
Please contact the Contest Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions