Nature Writing Contest for Kids

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September 20, 2010 by WITS Houston

Cover of "River of Words: Young Poets and...

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2010 River of Words Watershed Art & Poetry Contest

Deadline: December 1, 2010

Each year, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, River of Words conducts a free international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of WATERSHEDS. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover.

The contest is open to any child in the world, from 5-19 years of age. Older students must have not yet completed high school. There is no charge to enter. (See entry form.)

Students may enter on their own, or as part of a group (classroom, Girl Scout troop, 4-H, etc.). All entrants are receive acknowledgment in the form of a “Watershed Explorer” certificate. (See complete rules.)

Poetry submissions are judged by River of Words co-founders Robert Hass, who served as US Poet Laureate from 1995-1997, and writer Pamela Michael. Art entries are judged by children’s book writer and illustrator, Thacher Hurd.

About 100 poems and artworks from both US and international entries are selected as finalists each year. All winners receive ribbons, books and/or art supplies, t-shirts and other prizes.

Eight Grand Prize winners—four in poetry and four in art, in four different age categories—are chosen from the US entries.

Category I — Kindergarten-Grade 2

Category II — Grades 3-6

Category III — Grades 7-9

Category IV — Grades 10-12

We also award an International Prize each year to a student from outside the United States. The International Prize may be awarded for either poetry or art.

In addition, RoW and The Library of Congress Center for the Book honor two students who live in our respective watersheds: River of Words´ Shasta Bioregion Prize and The Library of Congress´ Anacostia Watershed Prize. The winning works may be either poetry or art.

Winners are announced each April at a gala event at the San Francisco Library. The Grand Prize and International winners win an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to attend the RoW Award Ceremony at The Library of Congress.

For more information click here.

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Writers in the Schools (WITS)


Writers in the Schools (WITS) is the #1 arts education organization in Texas. With 80 writers and educators on staff, WITS reaches over 23,000 students a year in classrooms, community centers, museums, parks, and hospitals.

The glory of WITS is best expressed by the students--in their own words -- so this blog features essays, stories, and poems that were created by K-12 students in our program. All material (c) Writers in the Schools 2007-2013. If you wish to republish this work, please credit both the organization and the author and link back to this site. This material may not be used in commercial ventures of any kind.

Supporting WITS will help bring the pleasure and power of reading and writing to more Houston children helping to improve writing skills, build confidence, raise test scores, and enhance creativity.

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