Institute of Children's Literature presents



Click Here to Enter

Lost & Found! 

All kids lose things. Sometimes they're found and sometimes they're not. Tell us about a lost person, place, or thing in poetry.

This contest is your chance to write a poem for children around the theme lost and found.

It can be any style of poem. Your poem does not have to rhyme, but if it does, it better be top notch. (Check out this post on rhyme mistakes to avoid.) 

Use your imagination to craft a poem aimed at children ages four to eight, suitable for publication in a magazine or children's poetry anthology. Poems must be previously unpublished and no more than 500 words. 

Deadline: April 30, 2019

Why Enter?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $650 
  • 2nd prize = $350 
  • 3rd prize = $100 
  • 4th prize = $100 
  • 5th prize = $100 

Online Workshop

All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge and the Director of the Institute of Children's Literature and Institute for Writers.

Free Critique

Winning entries will be workshopped by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Entries should be no more 500 words. (It can be a lot less than 500 words.)
  • Entries should be a poem. Include the type of poem in the header of your entry.
  • Your poem does not have to rhyme. 
  • Entries should be aimed at readers between four- and eight-years-old.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on April 30, 2019.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
  • Every writer who enters will be invited to the online workshop for free where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)
  • Minimum age to enter the contest is 18 years of age.

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, potential in the market, appropriateness for the age range, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, clear contact information, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this Lost and Found Poetry Contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be notified of the event details by email and be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!

I'm In, Let's Do This >>

*From the Poetry Foundation: A prose poem is “a prose composition that, while not broken into verse lines, demonstrates other traits such as symbols, metaphors, and other figures of speech common to poetry. See Amy Lowell’s “Bath,” “Metals Metals” by Russell Edson, “Information” by David Ignatow, and Harryette Mullen’s “[Kills bugs dead.]” 

Copyright © 2019