Fox VAlley youth poet laureate

What is the Youth Poet Laureate Program? 

The National Youth Poet Laureate Competition is an initiative of Urban Word, in collaboration with local youth literary arts organizations across the country; and championed by the leading national literary and arts organizations, including the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities, the Library of Congress, Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, PEN Center USA, and Cave Canem. The program identifies powerful youth poets that have a history of artistic success, civic and community engagement, social justice, and youth leadership.

Teen Writers and Artists Project is one of over 52 organizations across the country that is helping to designate a regional Youth Poet Laureate. 

How Do I Apply? 

The application period for the Fox Valley Youth Poet Laureate opens on February 1st, 2021 and will run through April 17th, 2021. The application form will be available here on February 1st. If you have any questions prior to or during the application process, please feel free to send an email to  

In order for your application to be considered, you must submit the following three items: 

  1. a signed poet agreement sheet

  2. a portfolio of 5 poems (one of which must be written on this year's theme ,"Behind the Mask." 

  3. an artist resume 


All 3 of these items must be submitted to the form that opens when you click the button below. 


> Students

poet agreement 


resume template


Behind the Mask sample poems

Rough Example Resume

> Educators

Behind the Mask workshop example

YPL Brochure

> Community Members

If you're an organization or member of our community and want to get involved (whether it's make a donation, volunteer, sponsor a prize, or help us spread the word about the Youth Poet Laureate) please reach out to our YPL Director, Angela Miller. We would love to get you involved in the program! 


How Do I Qualify? 

At the time you submit your application, you must: 

  • Be between the ages of 13-18 

  • Live within the West Suburbs of Chicago 

What are the Guidelines?

We are searching the West Suburbs of Chicago for youth who are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement, and social justice.


Anyone between 13-18 who feels they fulfill this image must submit all 3 items listed under the "How to Apply" section. Your application may not be accepted if all 3 items are not submitted.


You application will be reviewed by a panel of 5 judges, who will determine finalists by mid-April. At this time, finalists will be notified and asked to complete an interview to determine the Fox Valley Youth Poet Laureate 2021.


Any eligible applicant must be able to accept and fulfill the prizes obligations.

What Do I Win? 

Last year's prizes included:

1. The title of Fox Valley YPL for 1 year.

2.  A bundle of poetry books published by Button Poetry

3. Publication of 3 poems in the National YPL annual anthology

4. A featured spot on the National YPL website for your picture and a chosen poem

5. A reading tour through the West Suburbs

6. A $100 grant toward a community poetry project.

Our 2020 Partners 

Highland Park Poetry Logo
Poetic License Inc Logo
Button Poetry Logo
National Youth Poet Laureate Logo
Poetry Foundation Logo
Academyof American Poets Logo