Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Free Poetry Contest: Build Myself A Winning Poem in Rochester, NY!

Poetry Insider presents... 
A special poetry contest
                              for kids in the Rochester area!

Have you seen this new video, 
Build Myself in Rochester, NY?

Kids age 5-18. Enter this special poetry contest during the month of July 2011 to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Simply watch the video, write a poem about one (or, I guess, more) of the places pictured in that video. Send the poem to by July 31, 2011. 
Contest entries will be published both on this blog and on

1. Be directly connected with the above KOA video in terms of topic.
2. Any age student from 5-18 may enter.
3. Your poem may rhyme or not.
4. It may have more or less than 30 lines. Long poems are not necessarily better than lean ones.
5. Strive to connect with the emotions of your readers in the Rochester area. Write from your heart.
6. Send your best version of the poem by July 31 to  Poems after that date at midnight will not be accepted.
7. Please make sure that you write BUILD A POEM CONTEST IN ROCHESTER in the subject area of the e-mail.  And write your name (as you want it to appear next to your poem), your age,  and where you live.
8. After entering your poem, pat yourself on the back for entering. Why? You were brave by stepping out of your comfort zone by sharing a piece of yourself--a polished poem. 
Here are some great ideas to get you started thinking about how to write a poem for this contest:
Poets love to play with words and take the ordinary and make it special. Poets love to tell little stories with as few words as possible. Poets are dreamers. Poets don't always make sense. Do you know a few Nursery Rhymes? This is one that I like:
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!"
I like the sound of "Humpty Dumpty" and it's repeated in the second line. I enjoy saying it twice. The poem usually comes with an illustration. So I know he's a rather large egg. And he must have been important because all of the king's horses and men tried to put him back together again. Such a silly story inside a poem! But why do you remember it? The end words rhyme — wall and fall, men and again. The rhyme helps you remember the "story" in the poem. So what have you discovered so far?
  • It's okay to be silly in poems and rhyme words.
  • Poems can tell mini-stories about a big fat egg or more--such  as a special place, building or an experience in a special building. You can do that in your poems!
  • Write from your heart to capture the hearts of your readers!
  • Repeating words in a poem is fine, as long as it sounds good.
  • To make sure you poem is good, you will need to revise and read it aloud again and again to yourself.
In the poem, "The Wheels on the Bus," we are told eight times in the first four lines that the wheels go 'round and 'round, but that's okay. It just makes the poem more fun. Many songs can be written down on paper because they are really poems set to music — just like "The Wheels on the Bus." In my poem "Dad Says He's King of the Castle," I have mom laughing "tee-hee-tee-hee" nine times. (Pages 53-54 in Picture Poetry on Parade!) And when I visit schools, kids love to chant mom's line with me. That convinces me the line really works.
Don't forget the winner will be awarded a $50 Gift Card!


  1. Visit numbers are going up! Please tell us what made you visit?

  2. Thank you for the contest, Joe! My two boys are excited about entering.

  3. What a terrific thing to do! I hope word gets around because this is a WONDERFUL way for kids to strut their stuff.

  4. My Friend Joe, in the know, a poet extraordinaire
    A seed he'll sow, young minds will grow, with poems he will share

  5. Fantastic!! What a great idea!!! Love the video and tie-in with poetry....there's so much here to enjoy.. I can't wait to read their poems!