Sarah Gail Mook was a student in the third grade at Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, PA when she died suddenly on December 14, 1995. Sarah began writing poems in kindergarten. Reading Sarah’s poems over and over during the months following her death inspired her father, David, to begin writing poetry. For David, “poetry is a gift from Sarah, a blessing.”
David sponsors a poetry contest each year honoring Sarah’s memory. Students from all over the world enter the contest; in 2013 there were over 1,000 total entries. (The poems have to be written in English.) Home School students are eligible to enter. Categories are divided into grades K-2, 3-5. 6-8, and 9-12. There are no restrictions as to topic or form. The poem must be the sole work of the student. First Place winners in each category will receive a cash prize of $100, Second Place winners receive $50, and Third Place winners receive $25.
I have the honor of being the final judge for the contest. David sends me the top ten in each age group, and from those ten, I choose the top three in each age group. I have been the final judge since 2009. The poems reveal that the talent for writing poetry is alive and well in young writers. I am always amazed at the insight and maturity of the poets who enter. This year, the winners were from Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Maine, and New Jersey.
The contest deadline to enter is usually at the end of March. Students enter ONE poem. See the Poetry WITS (Writers in the Schools) website for details. The entry form will be on the site in 2014.
To read this year’s winners (2013) and my comments on each entry see http://www.a2pwebdesign.com/poetrywits/poetrycontest/sarahmook2012.htm.
This is a super contest for young writers; inform a young writer you know about it.
There is also information regarding Poetry WITS itself here on my web page.