About the Contest

The Democracy & Me Poetry Contest is now closed. Thank you for your participation!

About the Contest

Eligibility

The contest is open to all students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 who live in British Columbia.

Grade Categories

Participants may submit one entry during the contest period. The entry will be judged in one of the following grade categories:

    • Kindergarten to Grade 4
    • Grades 5 to 8
    • Grades 9 to 12

Contest Questions

Each grade category is provided with a unique contest question to help guide all submissions.

Accepted Entry Formats

Entries must be in written format for poetry or via a video or audio submission for spoken word. One entry will be accepted per participant. Collaborative entries (made by more than one person) cannot be accepted.

    • Participants may only submit one poem/spoken word entry;
    • The entry must be an original poem/spoken word work created by the participant;
    • No offensive, harmful, or demeaning language, imagery, or content will be accepted;
    • Poetry can be written in any poetic style;
    • Entries must not be previously published or simultaneously submitted to other contests or publishers;
    • Entries submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied with a translation (The entry must be submitted in a written (typed, printed or saved as a PDF or Word Doc), video or MP3/M4A format);
    • The entry must be submitted in a written (typed, printed or saved as a PDF or Word Doc), video or MP3/M4A format;
    • No handwritten entries will be accepted. All entries must be typed. Typed entries eliminate the risk of a judge misinterpreting a poet’s handwriting.
    • Written entries can be no longer than 350 words;
    • Spoken word entries must not exceed 3 minutes in length;
    • No illustrations may accompany the entry; and
    • To ensure proper lineation, please use the “Enter” key to start a new line, indicating all intentional line breaks.

Content Standards

    • The entry must be an original work and not previously or simultaneously submitted.
    • The entry must not be plagiarized.
    • The entry must not include copyrighted material or trademarks.
    • The entry must not contain offensive or demeaning language or imagery.

Contest Period

The contest period runs from 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on October 27, 2021, to 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on February 28, 2022. Mailed entries must be received or postmarked by February 28, 2022. Online entries must be uploaded and submitted online by 11:59 pm February 28, 2022. Entries not received or postmarked by the end of the contest period will not be judged.

Judging

All eligible contest entries will be evaluated by an impartial panel. One winning entry will be selected in each of the three grade categories. Entries will be evaluated using four guiding criteria:

    • Addresses contest themes
    • Creativity and originality
    • Effectiveness
    • Clarity of message

The contest winner in each grade category will be informed by email and/or phone. The first names, grades, and school names (if applicable) of the contest winners will be publicly announced on the websites and social media of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Prize

The three contest winners will each receive the following prize awarded by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, including:

    • A trip to Victoria in May 2022 for an unveiling at the Parliament Buildings of the three winning entries. The cost of travel to and from Victoria and hotel accommodation for up to two nights for each contest winner and one parent or guardian will be provided.
    • Opportunity to meet with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
    • A behind-the-scenes tour of the Parliament Buildings.
    • Additional prizes will include selected age-appropriate items from the Parliamentary Gift Shop.

Review the Rules!