Contest Entry Forms and Rules in English

For Student and Facilitator Paper Entry Forms, read the Contest Guidlines and River of Words Privacy Notice thoroughly before printing. Forms are at the bottom of the page. 

River of Words Celebration | April 17, 2021

The Center for Environmental Literacy team is currently working on reviewing submissions for the 2021 River of Words Contest. Finalists will be announced Mid-March 2021. Please save the date for the upcoming celebration for our 2021 contest winners and finalists on April 17, 2021!

River of Words Contest Rules & Submission Guidelines

  1. River of Words® (ROW) is a program of The Center for Environmental Literacy and a part of the Kalmanovitz School of Education, at Saint Mary’s College of California. 

  2. The contest is open to K through 12th grade students, ages 5-20. Students must be enrolled in school 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. Students may enter the contest as many times as they like. Teachers/Facilitators should submit all the Group entries from their classes together. Every group entry MUST include a Facilitator Form (completed by the facilitator) and a class list. Please note: Student names only need to be posted on the class list once, even if the student submits multiple entries. Class lists do not need to be split into art and poetry sections. For each student entry within the Group, the parent or legal guardian’s consent must also be included.

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

  5. When submitting entry through the mail with a Paper Student Entry Form, one paper entry form should be attached to each artwork or poem, fastened back-to-back, glued, taped or printed double sided. The second page of the Student Entry form titled “PARENTAL CONSENT AND GRANT AND RELEASE OF SUBMISSION RIGHTS” must be included with the entry. No staples or paperclips.

  6. When submitting entry online through the Online Student Entry Form, you will receive an email confirmation within the hour of submission. Poems can be uploaded through the Online Entry Form, however all artwork and photography must be mailed. Print the first page of the Email Confirmation of the completed Online Student Entry Form and affixed it to the back of each piece of artwork with glue or tape (be careful not to damage the artwork) — do not use paperclips or staples!

  7. All poems must be original work.

    1. Physical poetry submissions must be either typed or legibly written in ink (not pencil) and mailed with a completed Paper Entry Form.

    2. Poems should not exceed 32 lines in length.

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

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

  8. All artwork must be original work.

    1. Artwork should not exceed 11” by 17” in size-no exceptions.

    2. 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.)

    3. All art entries must be mailed. All entries must have the student’s name, school, city and state on the back — do not use a marker or anything that will show through!

    4. We do not accept color copies—all entries must be original work.

    5. 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.

    6. Entries must be mailed flat or rolled in a tube — no folding, please!

  9. Submitted work will not be returned unless specifically requested. To learn more, please email


    1. All U.S. entries must be postmarked by December 1. Students living in the states of Georgia and Arizona are exempt from this deadline as they are participating in their state's own River of Words program. Please refer to the Deadlines and Address section at the bottom of the River of Words Art and Poetry Contest page to find your appropriate mailing address.

    2. International entries must be received by February 1

    3. We are not responsible for entries that are late or lost in the mail.

  11. Entries received after the deadline will be automatically entered in the next scheduled contest.

  12. River of Words reserves the exclusive right to decide not to not hold contests, and in such case, also reserves the right not to return submitted work.

  13. Winners will be announced in April of each year.

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

River of Words (ROW) Privacy Notice


The Saint Mary’s College of California Privacy Policy can be found here: . The ROW Privacy Policy provides additional information specific to how ROW collects and uses personal information.

Children’s Privacy

The ROW website and information about ROW contests and activities is intended to be used by school teachers, facilitators, parents and legal guardians of school age children and is not intended to be used by children under the age of eighteen (18).  If you are under the age of eighteen (18), please get your parent or legal guardian’s permission to use the site and enter our contests.  

ROW will never intentionally collect Personal Data from persons under the age of eighteen (18) and we request that any forms or other submissions made in response to contests and activities be completed by a parent or legal guardian and not the child.  If it appears that we have collected or received Personal Data on a child under the age of 18 without parental consent, it will not be used and we will promptly delete the information from our files.

Social Media

Our social media sites are not intended for the use of children under the age of eighteen (18). If you or your child choose to connect one or more of your social media accounts with our site to enable the sharing of Personal Data via social media platforms, certain categories of Personal Data relating to you from your social media account(s) will be shared with us.

How and Why we Collect Personal Data 

As a general rule, we only collect data directly from you when you register for a ROW contest and we will use that data for the legitimate business interests of running our ROW contests.  

Personal Data relating to Third Parties

By providing us with or allowing us to access Personal Data relating to individuals other than yourself, you are letting us know that you have the authority to send us that Personal Data or the authority to permit us to access those data in the manner described in this Privacy Policy.

What we use your Personal Data for (Purpose of Processing)

The following is a description (in a clear and plain manner) of what we use your Personal Data for and the corresponding legal ground(s) we rely on for doing so.

Please note that WHERE WE RELY ON YOUR CONSENT, THIS CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT WILL (See Special Note on Consent below).


To register you (if you are 18 or older) or

your student for an ROW contest.

Registration Data Contractual necessity
Legitimate interest

To run our contest and manage our

relationship with you or the contest entrant.

Registration Data
Contact Details
Legitimate Interest

Special Note on Consent 

Where we cannot rely on a legal ground to process Personal Data (for example, our legitimate interests), we will process the Data on the basis of consent. When we rely on consent to process Personal Data, you have the right at any time to withdraw your consent by directly emailing us at .

Should you exercise the right to withdraw consent we will determine whether at that stage an alternative legal basis exists for processing. Where participant Personal Data has already been made public pursuant to contest process (for example, when a participant is named as a finalist in an anthology or on our website) withdrawn consent will not apply.  

Accuracy of Personal Data

Reasonable efforts are made to keep any Personal Data we may hold about you up-to-date and as accurate as possible. You can check the information that we hold about you at any time by contacting us at We will correct inaccurate data, and where required, delete data as necessary.

Direct Marketing

We only send mail, messages and other communications relating to marketing where we are authorized to do so at law. In most cases we rely on your consent to do so (especially where we use electronic communications). If, at any time, you no longer wish to receive direct marketing communications from us you can exercise this right by contacting us at

Internet Communication 

When data is transmitted across international borders we cannot be held responsible for actions or omissions done by you or any third party in connection with Personal Data transmissions that occur prior to our receiving the data including but not limited to transfers of Personal Data via technological means that may provide a lower level of protection (for example, WhatsApp, Skype, Dropbox etc.).

Sharing of Personal Data with other Categories of Recipients

Generally, Personal Data may be disclosed or shared as appropriate in the administration of ROW contests, with ROW administrators, judges, and members of the Saint Mary’s community. The Personal Data of contest finalists and winners may be shared with the public at large via our website, published anthologies, and ROW events.

Personal Data will never be shared with third parties for their marketing purposes (unless you give your consent thereto).

Retention Periods

Contest participants’ poetry and artwork (collectively “Works”) may be retained by ROW indefinitely. Personal Data identifying the participant Works is retained with the submitted Works and may therefore also be retained indefinitely.  Some Works and Personal Data may also be catalogued for academic research and retained indefinitely for that purpose.

Where Works and Personal Data are no longer required by ROW, we will securely delete or the Personal Data in question.

European Union Contest Participants and Users of our Website

You may have the following rights related to the processing of your personal data:

Right of Access to Personal Data

Right to Rectify and Restrict the Use of Personal Data

Right of Erasure (The Right to be Forgotten)

Right of Portability

Right to Object to Certain Processing

Right to Lodge a Complaint

Time Limit for a Response 

We try to reply to all legitimate requests within one month from receiving them. Last Updated August 28, 2019.

2020 Paper Student and Facilitator Forms

You can also submit your entry form online.