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Entries Accepted Year-Round!

Annual Competition Deadline of February 15th
Entries received after February 15th are entered into the next year's contest

2009 International Call for Entries

Contest Entry Form

Guidelines and Rules


Winning Iowa Entries for 2008

Winning Iowa Entries for 2007

Winning Iowa Entries for 2006

Winning Iowa Entries for 2005

Winning Iowa Entries for 2004

River of Words Web Site  


River of Words® (ROW) conducts an environmental poetry and art contest for youth aged 5 to 19 in grades K-12 every year. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of their own watershed, and to express what they discover through poetry and art. Each year, eight U.S. winners, one international winner, and a “ROW Teacher of the Year” are selected to be honored during National Poetry Month (April) at an Award Ceremony at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. (ROW is affiliated with The Library of Congress Center for the Book.)

River of Words also publishes an annual poetry book of winning submissions, selected by Robert Hass, and exhibits the children’s paintings at museums, libraries, conferences, and other venues around the world. The contest is free, and every child is acknowledged with a personalized “Watershed Explorer” certificate. Children may enter on their own or through schools, nature centers, libraries, youth clubs, and other organizations.

River of Words is coordinated in Iowa by IOWATER. Entries not chosen as finalists or grand prize winners in the international contest are returned to IOWATER, where they are judged in an Iowa statewide River of Words contest.

For specific information (artwork and poetry requirements, due dates, contact information, etc.) visit the ROW web site at

Here’s how it works…

· Entries must be postmarked and submitted directly to River of Words by February 15th each year.

· ROW returns Iowa's entries to IOWATER in April for Iowa's statewide competition.

· State winners are chosen in May.

Send entries by Feb. 15th to:

River of Words
PO Box 4000 J
Berkeley, CA  94704 USA
Phone: 510-548-POEM (7636)
Fax: 510-548-2095