Celebrating the Art of Storytelling!
Amid the political and cultural upheaval of the past two years, teens around the globe have been subjected to intense societal polarization, experienced disruption to traditional learning models, and in-person connection with peers during a critical period of their development. And yet, they have shown resilience and creativity during one of the darkest and most challenging times of their young lives.
To recognize and honor the potential of these young people,1455 Literary Arts, an independent nonprofit committed to building community through storytelling, launched its Teen Poetry Contest. With the theme of Finding Community During Crisis, this global competition is designed to inspire young writers ages 13-19 at all stages of their poetic development, and to reward their talent with recognition from a passionate creative community and the greater public.
The contest will culminate with recognition and an award of $5,000 for the winner at 1455's third annual Summer Festival (July 15-17, 2021), which this year will be available to literary and creative arts enthusiasts via a virtual platform.
Until July 1, 2021,1455 Literary Arts will accept previously unpublished poems of any length or style by any writer within the 13-19 age group. The prose should be a reflection on or reaction to the contemporary sociopolitical and cultural environment (including but not limited to #BLM, #MeToo, COVID-19, or other topical issues). The contest is free to enter, and poets can submit their entries here (or by going to: 1455litarts.org/teenpoetry). The deadline for submissions is 12:00am (EDT) on Thursday, July 1. The $5,000 first prize will be awarded to a single poet who, along with three finalists, will have an opportunity to read their poem during an online reception on July 16, during the 1455 Summer Festival.
Poem entries will be judged by the 1455 Advisory Board and the 2019 Hippocrates Young Poet Maia Siegel of Roanoke, Virginia, who will also read one of her poems at this year's Summer Festival. Special guest Beth Ann Fennelly, the Poet Laureate of Mississippi, will deliver introductory remarks and read from her own work.