The Gaithersburg Book Festival is seeking entries for the annual poetry contest open to all high school students in Maryland, Virginia and DC. The deadline for submission is Tuesday, February 22, 2022. The competition will reward four poets from first to third place. and a fan-favorite poem at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 21, 2022. The festival will be held at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm located at 506 S. Frederick Avenue.
To be eligible to enter the contest, students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 in a public, private, or home-schooled program for the 2021-2022 school year and reside in Maryland, Virginia, or the district of Columbia.
The choice of subjects for the poems includes freedom, escape or community.
- be submitted as a Word document (.doc or .docx)
- be typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman Font
- be one page long
- include only the title of the poem in the filename (e.g. The_Red_Fern_edoc)
- do not include the student or school name in the record as this information is part of the application
- be the original unpublished work of the student
Finalists will be selected and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the festival. Authors will be notified by April 19, 2022 if their poem is selected as a finalist.
Prizes for first, second and third place winners are $250, $100 and $50, provided by Johns Hopkins University of Montgomery County, and the fan-favorite winner will receive $25.
Poems must be submitted electronically by midnight ET on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Finalists will be asked to record a video of themselves reading their poems, which will be posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website. A leaflet about the poetry contest can be found online, here.
2021 Gaithersburg Book Festival Poetry Contest Winners
Arushi Singh, a student at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, won first prize in the 2021 Gaithersburg Book Festival poetry competition for her poem “Leaking Memories.”
Second prize went to Potomac, Md., Richard Montgomery High School resident Caroline Dinh for “Social Cues.” Charlotte Lucas, of Bethesda, Md., resident and freshman at Walter Johnson High School, received third prize for “Gold.”
The fan favorite, as decided by votes on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website, went to Holly Keegan, a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Potomac, Maryland, for her poem. “Rest”.
The 2021 poems were judged by author and educator Sandra Beasley.