2017 Lake Effect High School Poetry Contest

2017 Lake Effect High School Poetry Contest

Lake Effect poetry contest graphic

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, one of the premier programs of its kind in the country, invites high school students across the nation to submit poems to the 2017 Lake Effect National High School Poetry Competition.

Lake Effect, an international journal of the literary arts, is edited by faculty and students at Behrend, many of whom are working toward the B.F.A. in Creative Writing. The B.F.A. program is designed to immerse students in an experience-based curriculum in which professors work closely with students in small classes. Coursework is devoted to the study of literature and craft, and the program's Smith Creative Writing Readers Series gives students the opportunity to engage renowned visiting writers in person. Workshop classes where student work is read and discussed are central to the program. For the B.F.A. senior thesis project, students work one-on-one with a faculty member in completing book-length manuscripts.

Lake Effect Poetry Contest Submission Guidelines

Students in grades 9–12 may enter up to two typed poems of 30 lines or fewer, on any topic and in any form. The poems must be the original work of the student.

$300 First Prize
$200 Second Prize
$100 Third Prize

Authors of the top twenty poems will receive a complimentary copy of Lake Effect.

All submissions should be made via email attachment (Word or PDF file).

  •  Submit one attachment per student writer. 
  •  The student writer’s full name and the name of his or her school must be included at the top of the attachment.
  •  The attachment's file name should include the student writer's name.
  •  The subject line of the email should include the student writer's full name and the title of his or her poem(s).
  •  In the body of the submission email, include the following information: 
    • Student writer's full name
    • Grade in school 
    • Home address and phone number 
    • Email address
    • School name, address, and phone number
    • English/writing teacher's name and email address

Submissions should be sent to poetrycontest@psu.edu. The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 15.

Winners will be notified by email or phone before February 28, 2018. Contest results will be posted on this page in March 2018.

The Lake Effect High School Poetry Contest is made possible by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend and by Barnes & Noble University Bookstores.