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Contest Rules

Teacher aiding student with assignment.

Who Can Enter?


You Can!  If you are a student in grades 3-12, at any public or private school, or if you are home-schooled or privately tutored, we want to read your poetry.


How Many Times Can I Enter?


Just once per contest, please.  We know you love to write. That’s what we love about you, but we can only accept one poem per contest, so make it a good one!


Remember, the poem must be your own original work.  It can be about anything you like, but it must be a minimum of two lines up to a maximum of 20 lines in length. Unfortunately, we cannot accept concrete or blackout poems.  Offensively graphic poems or those containing profanity will not be accepted.  Also, no collaborative works (a single poem with more than one author).

All submissions become the property of Appelley Publishing and may be considered for publication.  You retain all copyrights to your individual work, of course. 

A Note For The Teacher


Please remember that all entries from the same class may be mailed together in one package to save on postage.  Whew! That’s a relief, but each poem still needs to have a completed Entry Form attached.


All entries submitted through our website must include a completed Online Entry Form


All entry forms must be filled out completely to be eligible for the contest, so yeah, entry forms… kind of a big deal, and yes, that will be on the exam. (just kidding)


“Teacher’s Bonus” Award (It’s about time!)


No, we haven’t forgotten the unsung heroes, so here’s a big THANK-YOU!

If you are a participating teacher, you will automatically be entered to win a “Teacher’s Bonus” award of 500.00 Dollars!

Can you say, “Ice Cream Party!?”           

Okay, maybe not.  We trust your judgment.

The nice thing is, as a teacher, you will receive one ballot for the very first student entry you send.

Then, you can increase your odds of winning with additional ballots in increments of 10, as follows.


1 student = 1 ballot, 10 students = 2 ballots, 20 students = 3 ballots and so on.            

We really like to see full class participation from our students.  After all, it’s free and it’s fun!


All you need to do is simply count the total number of participating students. Then, print that number on the “Teacher’s Bonus” entry form found here and send it in.  If you would prefer to submit through our website, you may do so here.

We’ll handle calculating the number of ballots for the drawing.  (We just bought new batteries for our calculator, so we’re good.)

Participating teachers who submit poetry within three weeks will be eligible to win one of two "Early Bird Amazon Wish List" prizes worth $250.00 apiece! Winners will be chosen by random drawing and prizes will be awarded in December or January.

Home educators are also welcome to enter.

Contest Dates


If you are mailing your entry, it must be received by December 6, 2023.

If you are submitting your entry online, the deadline is one week later, December 13, 2023.  (see how that works?)

And guess what?  If you are chosen as one of our Division Winners, your fantastic, award-winning poem will be featured on our very own website on April 5, 2024.  Exciting!


How Are The Winners Chosen?


Well, first things first.  All winning entries must meet the line requirements and must be in good taste.  We appreciate good grammar and correct spelling, but even more important are what we call the 3 Bs.


1.    Be an original.  We are checking for originality.  If a previously published poem has simply been copied and submitted, it’s pretty easy to spot.  We want to read what YOU write, so make the poem your own.


2.    Be creative.  You are only limited by your imagination, so let it run wild!


3.    Be authentic.  Be yourself.  Write about what you know, or what you care about, or what you dream about, and remember, the best judge of your poetry is you.  If what you wrote makes you happy, you’re already a winner.  


Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!  


1st place winners are selected in each of three divisions (Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12) and each winner will receive a cool 500.00 Dollars!  “Sweet!”


But wait!  How about some cash just for entering?  The people in our creative department are calling it…  are you ready for this?  “Just For Entering Cash!”  25 lucky students will be drawn at random for cash prizes ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 Bucks!  Cha-Ching!  




All decisions by our judges are final.




This is a free contest.  There are no entry fees.  There is no purchase necessary. There is no financial obligation to enter or win the contest.




When you submit a poem to us, you retain all the rights to your work.  Winning poems will appear on this website with the copyright notice intact and may be published in a future anthology.




The names of our contest winners and their award-winning poems will magically appear on this website on April 5, 2024, so mark it on your calendar!  We will notify all prize winners by email, and make award arrangements at that time.


Privacy Policy and Legalese  (Read our COPPA Policy Here)


Personal information is collected for the purpose of notifying contest winners and contact info will not be made public, leased, sold or distributed by Appelley Publishing.  No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.  Minors must have parental consent to enter.  Sponsored by Appelley Publishing.  All rights reserved.  All information provided herein pertains to the contest closing in November 2023 and may be updated without notice.

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