Home School Legal Defence Association Of Canada

Poetry Contest is now closed. Watch for our Photo Contest coming this Fall.

Poetry Contest

Boy writing poetry



Guidelines            How to Enter            Prizes           Judging          Poetry Contest Winners


Homeschoolers are a creative crew, so at HSLDA, we want to show off your student’s work. We have created a Poetry Contest just for you!

Why would your students want to enter a Poetry Contest?

  • It allows them the opportunity to have their poetry enjoyed by a broader audience beyond family and friends.
  • Our experienced panel of Judges will offer positive feedback on each student’s entry as a way to encourage your students to keep creating.
  • It allows your student the opportunity to add a unique contribution to their growing portfolio as they prepare for post secondary life.
  • And did we mention there are cash prizes for the top entries?


Poetry Contest Guidelines

Submission Dates: October 1 – December 15, 2018

Entries must be postmarked on or before December 15, 2018


Girl writing poetry

Poem Format

Welcome to our first annual Life in Verse contest. This year’s theme is HOME. Each age category has been assigned a poetry style as defined here. Remember that you must follow the ‘rules’ of that type of poetry. Write many, write often and then send us your favourite!

Category 1: Ages 7-10:  Rhyming Couplets (maximum 20 lines)

Category 2: Ages 11-14:  Sonnet (English or Italian) (14 lines)

Category 3: Ages 15-19:  Free Verse (maximum 32 lines)

For our contest, please keep poem to no more than the indicated number of lines.

  • Type your poem single-spaced in at least 10-point font. Double-space between stanzas. Visit our FAQs if you have questions about typing for younger students.
  • You may submit up to 3 different poems per contest.
  • All submissions must be suitable for all audiences. HSLDA reserves the right to reject entries that are gratuitously violent, sexually suggestive, vulgar, or otherwise explicitly offensive.


hand - writing in notebook


How to Enter

The easiest way to enter is to fill out the online Entry Form.

  • You are welcome to send up to 3 poems per student.
  • Please add your Age Category number on the top left corner of your poem.
  • DO NOT include your name so we can judge them blindly.
  • Be sure to give your poem a Title so we can confirm the right poem goes with the right entrant’s information.


Regular Entry Fee $15.00 (HST included) per poem
HSLDA Member Discounted Entry Fee $10.00 (HST included) per poem


If you would prefer to pay by cheque and mail in your entries, print and complete this form and print two copies of your poem. Please note:

  • If your poem takes two pages, please do not print double-sided.
  • Please do not staple.
  • Do include your category but do not include your name on the entry as it will be assigned a number when we receive it. We want the entries to remain anonymous.

Mail your entries, forms and entry fee cheque, (payable to HSLDA with a note of “Poetry Contest” in the memo line. Foreign cheques not accepted) to the address below. Remember to include an entry fee for each poem – they may be combined into one cheque. Mail to:

Attn: Poetry Contest
Unit 25 Upper – 980 Adelaide St. S, London, ON N6E 1R3

Contact the Contest Coordinator if you have any questions regarding payment: contests@hslda.ca.


Poetry contest prizes. Contest winners will receive a cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster! Category 1, first place $75, runner up $50. Category 2, first place $100, runner up $50. Category 3, first place $150, runner up $75.


Where the Contest Profits Go

All contest profits go to our charitable arm, the Canadian Centre for Home Education, which uses them to inform, influence and inspire homeschoolers across Canada and beyond.

To learn about the mission and funds of the Canadian Centre for Home Education, visit their website at www.cche.ca.


smiling girl


Judging and Other Information

  • Poems will be evaluated, blindly, by a panel of judges appointed by HSLDA Canada.
  • Poems will be judged on originality of thought, writing style, artistic use of poetic techniques, and adherence to the theme and form requirements. Poetry judging is relatively subjective, but it is our goal through a wide panel of judges to select winning poems that demonstrate excellence in all these areas. For more information, check out Hear It From the Judges.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • All contest participants will be notified of the results by email early in 2019 before they are published on the website.
  • By submitting a poem you:
    • Grant The Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Home Education the right to publish all or part of your submission; and
    • Agree to all rules and the decisions of the judges and sponsors.
  • HSLDA Canada is not responsible for any lost, damaged, misdirected, delayed, mutilated, incomplete, illegible, or postage-due entries or mail.

Note: Are you wondering if you can enter our contest in French? Unfortunately, not this time but we do hope to add a French team of judges in the future, if this initial contest is successful. And watch for an announcement in January as we hope to roll out another contest, open for all!  

More questions? Read the most Frequently Asked Questions.

Still more questions? Contact the Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.ca

As a home educator you know the benefits of having access to solid resources to maximize your time and achieve your goals. For 30 years HSLDA has been working diligently to support homeschool families like yours by providing everything needed to succeed. Expert legal support, insurance coverage, and advice from our experienced staff are just some of the many benefits of joining HSLDA.

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