How to Enter

The 2023 River of Words Competition is open for submissions. The portal will close on January 31, 2023 at 11:59pm PST. Submit an entry.

2023 Contest Rules

Please read the detailed instructions to our new submission process as many things have changed since last year.

1. All submissions are due by January 31, 2023 at 11:59pm PST after which the submission portal will close and no late submissions will be accepted for any reason. Winners will be announced in early April 2023. If you are a resident in Georgia or Arizona, please refer to the competition deadlines for your state's competition.

2. The contest is open to K–12th grade students, ages 5–19. Students must be enrolled in a school or homeschool program to be eligible. All entries must be submitted by a parent, guardian, educator, or facilitator unless the student is 18 years old or older.

3. Participants may submit up to 5 entries for poetry and 5 entries for art (total of up to 10 entries). If more than 5 entries are submitted, we will only accept the first 5 as is. If multiple files or pieces of artwork are being submitted, then this form must be filled out once per submission. 

4. All poems must be original work.

5. Poems should not exceed 32 lines in length (written) or 3 minutes (signed). For ASL poetry, please include a brief written summary of the poem’s content.

6. Collaborative poems and artwork are accepted, but only one student (chosen as the group representative) will be eligible for any prizes awarded.

7. At this time, we are able to accept poems only in English and Spanish.

8. We are going back to mail-in art submissions. Art must be mailed in order to be considered for the 2023 competition regardless of medium. If the art is a digital piece, please have it printed. Art will not be returned to the artist.

9. All artwork must be original work. Acceptable media are paint, pencil, markers, ink, crayon, chalk or pastel (fixed), photography, cloth, collage, and computer art.

10. Revisions will not be accepted. Please make sure your work is completed before submitting to the portal.

11. By submitting work of any kind to River of Words, you are granting, on behalf of yourself and the student, to River of Words all rights in the work, including but not limited to the right to publish, reproduce, perform, distribute and to include the work in the River of Words annual anthology, on River of Words websites, or in any other publications deemed appropriate by River of Words. Works submitted to River of Words cannot be submitted for other publications or competitions.

12. Teacher and group submissions will only be accepted through this portal. We no longer accept submissions via Google or Dropbox. There is a new parent/guardian permission form to distribute in your classroom. Old parental permission forms will not be accepted. Download the form here.

13. Questions and concerns can be emailed to rowinfo@stmarys-ca.edu.

Submit an Entry