Contest Entry Forms and Rules in English

Ready, Set, Create! See below for our Individual, Group, and Facilitator forms in English. 

2017 Contest Forms

NEW!  Submit your poems online. (Individual entries only)


Rules and Guidelines

(Also available on all entry forms)

1. The contest is open to youth who are age 5-19, on the deadline date. Youth older than 19 who are still enrolled in high school are eligible, but college students, even if 19 or younger, are not. Entrants need not submit work through their school; individual submissions are also accepted. 

2. Youth may enter the contest as many times as they like, but a separate entry form must be completed for each submission. Teachers should send all the entries from their classes together in one (or several, if needed) envelopes or packages. Do not have each student mail his/her entry separately. Every group entry should also contain a class list, listing the students’ names whose work is included in the group. Please note: Students names only need to be posted on the list once, even if the student submits multiple entries. Class lists also do not need to be split into art and poetry sections; all that is needed on the class list is the name of each student who has submitted work under the guidance of the listed Facilitator. Again, send class entries together, please! 

3. All entrants will be acknowledged with a Watershed Explorer Certificate. 

4. All poems must be original work. Written poetry must be either typed (preferred) or legibly written in ink (pencil does not photocopy); ASL poetry must be submitted on DVD. Poems should not exceed 32 lines in length (written) or 3 minutes (signed). The student’s name, school, city and state should be included on the poem, and a completed Entry Form should be attached with both the poem and the entry form back to back. If you can glue, staple, or tape the entry form and the poem together, or send us double-sided entries, with the form on one side of the paper and the poem on the other, that’s even better. For ASL poetry, please include a brief written summary of the poem’s content, and glue or staple this summary to your entry form. For written poems, please glue, tape, or staple the Entry Form to the poem so that each piece is back to back. (Poems not submitted in this format, or with incomplete or illegible writing will not be judged.) Collaborative poems are accepted, but only one child (chosen as the group representative) will be eligible for any prizes awarded. We are able to accept poems only in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. 

5. All artwork must be original work. Artwork should not exceed 11” by 17” in size--no exceptions. Acceptable media are paint, pencil, markers, ink, crayon, chalk or pastel (fixed), photography, cloth, collage and computer art. (Photo entries must be at least 8x10 inches.) All entries must contain the student’s name, school, city and state on the back — do not use a marker or anything that will show through! A completed entry form must also be affixed to the back of each piece of artwork. Please attach the entry form with tape or other fixative (if using glue, be careful to use one that will not run through and damage the artwork) — also, do not use paperclips! High quality color reproductions of prize-winning artwork will be provided to their respective creators. We will no longer accept color copies—all entries must be original work. 

6. Art entries must be done on paper that will allow for duplication, display or framing. Please, no notebook or typing paper, and do not mat, mount, laminate, frame or fold artwork. Entries must be mailed flat or rolled in a tube — no folding, please! 

7. Submissions become property of the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary’s College of California. Through submission of poetry or artwork, contestants and their legal guardians grant non-exclusive reproduction and publication rights to the works submitted which will not be returned. 

8. DEADLINE: All U.S. entries must be postmarked by December 1. International entries must be received by February 1. We are not responsible for entries that are late or lost in the mail. Entries received after the deadline will be automatically entered in next year’s contest. 

9. Winners will be announced in April of each year.* Winners must sign an acceptance form. 

*River of Words reserves the right to not award a Grand Prize winner in any given category if no entry merits such designation.