High School Poetry Contest Guidelines

Finalists will be published in the annual MPC High School Anthology and invited to read at our Gala Award Ceremony on May 25 at 7pm. Stay tuned for updates on how to attend.

Read our official announcement here.

First Prize $200
Second Prize $100
Third Prize $75



Submissions Closed for the 2021 MPC High School Anthology

The contest is open to any high school student (grades 9-12) residing in the San Francisco Bay Area (not limited to Marin County). We are working hard to reach underrepresented students whose writing has not been included in past contests or anthologies.

Submissions are limited to 3 poems per student.

Poems should be no longer than a single page using a 12-point plain font.

For each poem submitted, create a separate 2-page document.

Page 1 is the poem. Student’s name should not appear with their poem.

Page 2 should include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address including city and zip code
  • Home phone (if available)
  • Cell phone
  • Email
  • Grade level
  • Name of school
  • Name of teacher

Students use Google Docs to submit poems to their teacher.

Each English teacher collects the students’ poems in a folder. The folder name should include the teacher’s name and the name of the school.

At the end of the submission period, teachers will send their class folders to: highschool@marinpoetrycenter.org

Please address any questions to: highschool@marinpoetrycenter.org

Submissions will be judged on:

  • Courage of expression
  • Originality of language
  • Skill in poetic technique

How teachers can help:

  • If your poetry unit coincides with contest submission period, submit your students’ best work.
  • Talk to students about the contest to stimulate interest.
  • Encourage students to refine and submit poems they may be working on.
  • Submit poems created for slam or other poetry clubs.
  • Post the flyer and contest guidelines on Google Classroom or your web page.
  • Please help us spread the word and let other interested teachers know about the contest!


Meet this year’s judge, Georgina Marie, Poet Laureate of Lake County

Georgina Marie is a poet from Lakeport, Northern California. She is the current Lake County Poet Laureate for 2020-2022, the first Mexican-American and youngest to serve in this role for Lake County, and is the new Volunteer Literary Coordinator for the Lake County Arts Council. She has served as co-editor for the Middletown Art Center’s RESILIENCE and RESTORE collections of written word and visual arts, and is an assistant poetry editor for Rivet Journal, an online literary journal from Red Bridge Press. As part of the Broken Nose Collective, an annual chapbook exchange, she created her first poetry chapbook Finding the Roots of Water (2018) and her second chapbook Tree Speak (2019). In 2020 she was an Anne G. Locasio scholar for the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference Poetry Workshop and became the new Poet in Residence for Karma Compass. She is currently working on her full-length poetry manuscript and a series of personal essays.


Read the poems of past winners      Listen to the poems of past winners

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