Regional and State Finals

2016 State Finals - Students answering questions from the audience.

Contest structure

Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure to advance students from the classroom competition, to school-wide competitions, to regionals, and finally to the state competition. One student from each state advances to the National Finals.  

ArtsWA partners with organizations in six regions to support school participation and regional finals across the state.

  • Eastern Washington: Spokane Arts
  • Southeast Washington: Educational Service District 123
  • Central Washington: Yakima Valley Community College
  • Puget Sound: Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA)
  • Northwest Washington: Skagit River Poetry Foundation
  • Southwest Washington: Educational Service District 112

Regional Finals 2018

Students from seventy high schools across Washington State are engaged this school year in exploring the amazing power and diversity of poetry, recited out loud. After working at the classroom level, a classroom-level competition is held to send students to a school-wide competition.

The champions from each of these school-wide competitions will advance to the next level of competition at the regional level, where they will recite with other school champions from their area of the state.

The top students from these regional competitions will compete in the Washington State Finals.


Thursday, February 1st at 7pm, Burlington Public Library, 820 E Washington Street, Burlington

Saturday, February 3rd, Tacoma Public Library, Main Branch – 1102 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma

  • Puget Sound Regional Final A: 10:00am – Pierce, King, and Kitsap Counties
  • Puget Sound Regional Final B: 2:30pm – Thurston, Lewis, and Grays Harbor Counties with additional schools from King County


Tuesday, January 30th at 5pm, ESD #112, 2500 NE 65th Ave, Vancouver

Sunday, February 4th at 1pm , Kendall Auditorium at Yakima Valley Community College, W Nob Hill Blvd & S 16th Ave, Yakima

Thursday, February 1st at 7pm, Spokane Pubic Library – Downtown, 906 W Main Ave, Spokane

Wednesday, January 31st at 6:30pm, at Educational Service District #123, 3924 W Court St, Pasco

State Final

Top students from each of the seven regional finals will move on to the state final on Saturday, March 10th at 1pm in Tacoma. The state final is produced by ArtsWA, presented at Broadway Center for the Performing Arts / Theatre on the Square, 915 Broadway, in Tacoma. 

The top student from the state final will receive a cash prize of $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., (with a chaperone) to represent Washington State in the National Finals.

All regional finals and the state final are free and open to the public.

See the invitational flyer to the Washington State Poetry Out Loud Final. 


The state winner receives $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national championship. The state winner's school receives $500 for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up in the state competition receives $100, with $200 for his or her school library. Additionally, $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends are awarded to the winners at the National Finals.

If you have additional questions, contact our Poetry Out Loud coordinator by email.

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