Gaithersburg Book Festival’s 6th Annual High School Poetry Contest Now Open For Submissions

Gaithersburg Book Festival’s Annual High School Poetry Contest Calls on Students to Envision a Better Future
Winning poet to be awarded $250 prize at 2024 Festival on May 18
The Gaithersburg Book Festival is proud to announce its annual high school poetry contest is now open for submissions. This year, students are asked to craft a poem on the topic of “Envisioning a Better Future.”
“We’re excited to feature the High School Poetry Contest as we celebrate 15 years of the Gaithersburg Book Festival,” said Jud Ashman, Festival chair and Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. “Students continually impress us with the phenomenal poems they have submitted during the past five years of the poetry contest. We’re looking forward to the futures they will imagine in their 2024 contest entries.” Winners will be unveiled at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 18, 2024, at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm (506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20877). First and second place winners will receive $250 and $100, respectively. Third place and fan favorite winners will receive $50 and $25, respectively.

To participate, students must reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia, and be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or be in a homeschool program, for the 2023-2024 school year. Submission Guidelines:

●      Topic: “Envision a Better Future”
●      Be submitted as a Word document (.doc or .docx)
●      Typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman
●      No more than one page in length
●      File name should be the title of the poem only (e.g., The_Red_Fern.doc). The file name should not include the student’s name or the school.
●      Poems 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 22, 2024. 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 Gaithersburg Book Festival website. A release will be required. 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, which is celebrating 15 years in 2024. One of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the 2024 Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 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 Commuter Lot. 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.

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