Annual contest is all set: Library seeks poets and laureate

If you’re a poet and you know it, join a contest and show it. You may even have what it takes to become the poet laureate of Lake County libraries.

April is National Poetry Month, and East Lake County Library is holding its 16th annual Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Lake County Library System.

Entries will be accepted until May 1. There is no limit on the number of entries by one person. The contest is for all ages, separated into three groups: children up to 12; teens 13-18; and adults 19 and older. Gift certificates ($50, $25, and $15) to Books-A-Million will be awarded to the top three winners in each age group.

The entry rules: any topic; any style of writing; poem should be on one page of 8½ X 11-inch paper and preferably typed; hard copies should have the person’s name and age group on the back of the poem.

Poets may mail entries to East Lake County Library, 31340 County Road 437 S., Sorrento, FL 32776, drop them off at any Lake County Library System location (15 total) with an official entry form, or submit them online at Entry forms can be found at any library or online at

At the conclusion of the poetry contest in May, the library system will select someone to fill the new volunteer position of poet laureate of Lake County libraries. The program’s goal is to enhance the literary arts presence in Lake County, and raise awareness of the power of poetry and spoken word for all ages and cultures.

Eligible applicants must be 18 years old, a published poet through any media outlet, a resident of Lake County, and must have a valid Lake County library card. Once selected, the poet laureate must pass a background check as a volunteer, serve a one-year term, commit to volunteer at four library programs at any Lake County library, and write a poem for the Lake County Poet Laureate Journal.

Nominations and self-nominations will be accepted until April 30. For forms, detailed terms and conditions, and online submission, visit

For more information on both topics, contact Scott Amey, library assistant II, at 353.383.9980 or