Poetry Contest FAQs


Why do you run this contest?
When I was a teen and wanted to write back in the 1980s there weren’t many opportunities, so I put my writing dreams on hold until my late twenties, which was unfortunate because I lost a lot of time. I also know how much having a goal and knowing that someone will read your work seriously helps you finish a piece of writing. That’s what this and our other contests provide, opportunities and goals.

Participation certificates are now available in the LTC Store.

Participation certificates for our recent contests are available in the LTC Store.

I did not make the finals, but can I get a certificate of participation?
Yes. Certificates of participation are available in the LTC store for $1.99 Canadian. You will be able to download and print the certificate.

If I don’t make the finals does that mean my writing isn’t good enough?
No. It just means that there were stronger entries competing against your entry this time. Our contests attract very high level young writers from around the world so the competition is quite tough. You may have only missed making the finals by a few marks. One poem in one contest is certainly not enough to judge your talents on. What I can tell you, however, is that those writers who don’t make the finals this year but who keep working on their craft and try again have a better chance of making it in this profession than those who wallow indefinitely in disappointment. Get mad if you have to, have a meltdown for ten minutes, then get back to work.

Does it matter if I buy the feedback option? 
The feedback option is completely separate from the contest and judging. It has no bearing on whether or not you will make the finals or be a winner. Feedback is for those writers who wish to find out their score and get some feedback on their submission so that they can learn from it. Feedback is prepared and given after the winners are announced. The money we raise from the feedback option helps keep the contest free for everyone to enter. So thank you to everyone who purchased it. :-)

Do people who buy the feedback option get to find out how their entry is progressing during the judging process?
No. Absolutely not. I do not communicate results to any individuals privately until after the winners have been announced. After the winners are announced, the winners and finalists are contacted, and the writers who have paid for the feedback will get their emails with their scores, judging notes and information about how far their submission went during the judging round. But they don’t get that information while judging is underway.

When will the 2015 Junior Authors Poetry Contest Open?
Because the 2014 contest ran so late in the year, there will not be a poetry contest in 2015. The 3rd Annual Junior Authors Poetry Contest will run in 2016.

Who are your judges?
In the past we have had poets, literature professors and poetry editors, librarians, bookstore managers, and LTC Team members, particularly our junior editors. Laura is always lead judge and has the final say on who the winners are. You have to get through Laura to make it to the second round of judging.

How does judging work for this contest?
I have developed a strategy that consists of three judging rounds. To get to the first round, you have to simply follow the contest rules. To get to the second round your poem has to pass my critical eye. Does your poem keep me engaged from the first stanza to the last? Is the poem written clearly? Is it free of errors and does it read like a polished piece of writing? For the second round, I usually bring in volunteer judges. They score each poem according to a judging key which I provide. The best of the second-round poems move on to the finals or third round of judging. For the third round, I read and score the poems again to determine the prize winners.


Please email your questions to laura@laurathomascommunications.com or post them below.



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