Gaithersburg Book Festival’s Annual High School Poetry Contest to Focus on Theme of Diversity or Inclusion

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is proud to announce its annual high school poetry contest is now open for submissions. The theme for 2023 is diversity or inclusion. First and second place winners will receive $250 and $100, respectively. Third place and fan favorite winners will receive $50 and $25, respectively.  Winners will be announced at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, which is taking place May 20, 2023, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877).
“Throughout the years we’ve hosted this contest, the talent exhibited by our young poets has been amazing. I expect that 2023 will be no different,” said Jud Ashman, Festival chair and Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. “I look forward to hearing the voices of our next generation, as they share their unique perspectives on diversity and inclusion.” To participate, students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or be in a homeschool program, for the 2022-2023 school year. Additionally, entrants must reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.  This year, students are asked to craft a poem on one theme: either diversity or inclusion. Poems should be:
  • Submitted as a Word document (.doc or .docx)
  • Typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman
  • One page in length
  • File name should be the title of the poem only (e.g., The_Red_Fern.doc)
  • Don’t include the name of the student or school in the file name
  • Must be the original work of the student and not previously published online or in print.
By submitting work to the contest, students grant the Gaithersburg Book Festival a non-exclusive license to publish, distribute, transmit and exhibit the poem, and any portions thereof, via any medium without financial compensation. Poems must be submitted electronically via web at by midnight ET on Thursday, February 23, 2023. Up to 12 poems will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Festival. Finalists will also be asked to record a video of themselves reading their poems, which will be posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website.  Complete rules and regulations can be found online at Questions can be emailed to [email protected].
About the Gaithersburg Book Festival: The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual all-day celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. One of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the 2023 Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave.) in Gaithersburg, Md. Activities will include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; literary exhibitors and food, drink, ice cream and more. FREE admission and accessible shuttle will be available from Shady Grove Metro and Lakeforest Mall. The Gaithersburg Book Festival also hosts author events in Montgomery County throughout the year as a way to encourage continued appreciation for all things literary. For more information please visit, follow us on Twitter @GburgBookFest or like us on Facebook.

Recent Stories

Southbound US-29 is closed at Blackburn Rd due to a collision that occurred around noon on Monday, December 4.

Per MCPD: “A 16-year-old from Gaithersburg has been arrested in possession of a stolen vehicle with a loaded firearm. 

The Fillmore Silver Spring has just announced that actor/comedian Pete Davidson will be performing at the venue in less than two weeks.

According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, “In the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD, the Honorable John Maloney has sentenced defendant, Scorpio Alexander Stanfield, 33, of unknown address,…


Subscribe to our mailing list