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Express Yourself Youth Poetry Contest logo

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September 19, 2016 - January 31, 2017


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21st Annual Express Yourself Youth Poetry Competition

About the Competition

  • Sixty finalists will each receive a medal and a copy of the poetry anthology.
  • All finalists will be invited to an award ceremony on April 27, 2017, and have their work published by the Dallas Public Library in a bound anthology.
  • One finalist will be selected to receive the Joe M. and Doris Russell Dealey Fund Award of Achievement, and two finalists will each receive a Junior Award.
  • All qualified poems will be judged on originality and structure.
  • All qualified poems will be judged separately in the following grade categories:
    2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12.
  • All finalists will be notified by email by March 31, 2017.


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Rules . . . please read carefully

  1. Poems must be the writer's own work and may not be submitted without the poet's knowledge and consent.
  2. All poets must be in grades 2-12 and live in the City of Dallas or attend a Dallas school.
  3. All entries must be received or postmarked (if mailed) by January 31, 2017. No entries will be returned.
  4. Entries must not exceed 20 lines.
  5. Only one entry per poet.
  6. Electronic submissions are preferred. Please type in Microsoft Word using standard fonts.
  7. Poems not submitted electronically must be typed or written in blue or black ink on the back of the entry form. Please do not staple poem to entry form. If the judges cannot read the poet's handwriting, the poem will be disqualified.
  8. All decisions of the judging committees are final.
  9. The poetry competition is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, or misdirected mail.


Looking for a paper entry form?

  • Submit your poem at your local branch using this form.