The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Highline Poetry Contest returns in Winter Quarter

Linda Sanchez Aldana Staff Reporter Dec 10, 2020

Highline’s annual poetry contest is open for students to enter with cash prizes awarded to the top contestants.

The contest is being orgnainzed by the Poetry Month Committee, which consists of faculty, staff, and students from Highline.

Highline began celebrating National Poetry Month in April 2013 with the goal of celebrating poetry.

The National Poetry Month committee has two main events each year to focus on their goal of celebrating poetry.

“First, Highline College student poetry has been showcased, either through the student poetry contest or through a display of student, faculty, and staff poetry. The second consistent event is readings and workshops from visiting poets,” said Deborah Moore, Highline librarian and member of the poetry committee.

There are a few guidelines to entering the contest: The poem length can’t exceed 20 lines including the title; only three poems per person; and all submissions must include the student’s email and phone number.

All emailed submissions should include “Poetry Contest 2021” in the subject line of the email and can be emailed to Deborah Moore: by 4 p.m. Feb. 12, 2021.

Cash prizes for the winners of this contest are $200 for first place, $150 for second place, $100 for third place, and $75 to seven honorable mentions.

The National Poetry Month committee uses a specific form of judging to make things fair for those who sent in submissions.

“We use blind judging, which means the judges receive copies of the poems with all identifying information removed (names, email addresses, etc.),” said Moore. “They read all of the poems and meet as a group to rank their top 10 choices.”

Along with insuring an equitable judging process, the judges also have a specific process when selecting their top picks.

“This process takes quite some time since the contest usually brings in over 100 poems, poems are often read out loud so the judges can also hear them, and discussions take place so each judge has an opportunity to highlight the poems they think should be selected for prizes,” said Moore.