How the Competition Works
After working with their students to select and practice poems, teachers hold a classroom-level recitation competition. The top classroom students move on to a school-wide competition.
The champions from each school advance to the regional level. Regional finals are held in six regions across the state, supported and coordinated by our regional partners. At regionals, students recite with other school champions from their area. The top students from these regional competitions compete in the Washington State Final. During all phases of the competition, the same evaluation criteria are used by all the judges.
All regional finals and the state final are free and open to the public.
Regional Finals Schedule
Regional finals will take place in late January and early February. The schedule will be posted here once all the dates for 2020 are set.
Washington State Final
The 2020 State Final will take place in Tacoma in early March.
The state champion receives a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Finals. The state champions’ school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books.
The runner-up in the state competition receives a $100 cash prize. Their school library receives a $200 cash prize.
National Finals champions receive a $25,000 scholarship and school stipends for poetry books. A total of $50,000 in prizes are awarded to the top students.
2018-19 State Final Videos
For more information about this program, please send our Poetry Out Loud coordinator an email.