Okanogan High School student, Madeline Luther, 2019 Poetry Out Loud State Champion
As the Poetry Out Loud State Champion, Madeline Luther earned $200, a $500 stipend for purchase of poetry books for her school library, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud Finals. Photo by Pavel Verbovski.

Poetry Out Loud Regional and State Finals

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

Madeline Luther’s reciting On Quitting by Edgar Albert Guest
Meliza Redulla, reciting Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy
Kianna Miller, reciting Megan Married Herself bCaroline Bird
Anneka Siems, reciting I Have a Time Machine by Brenda Shaughnessy
Kezia Thompson, reciting Friendship After Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Watch recitations by previous State Finalists

Contact us

For more information about this program, please send our Poetry Out Loud coordinator an email.