Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering features Youth Poetry Contest

ALPINE — The board of the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering has announced its second annual youth poetry contest this year. Youth-aged kindergarten to grade 12 are invited to enter. Entries must be postmarked or emailed by Jan. 23, 2021.

The youth contest provides a way for young people to not only express their appreciation for the cowboy way of life but also carry on the tradition, thereby keeping the spirit of the West alive.

“Developing the art of writing, whether poetry or prose, affords an individual with a powerful tool,” said Elizabeth Baize, a native of Fort Davis, who is working alongside Kay Nowell and Karen McGuire, both of Alpine, to organize the contest.

“It can teach a lesson, relay a personal value, make a lasting impression, or just bring the gift of laughter into someone’s life,” she said. “I am thrilled we are promoting this opportunity for youth.”

Baize participated in the poetry contest herself during her high school years and still has a poem she wrote entitled “Rattler Tale.”

The virtual Youth Poetry Contest is divided into five divisions with the first for those in kindergarten through grade 2. Next is grades 3 and 4, then grades 5 and 6, grades 7 and 8, and then grades 9 through 12.

Each poet will receive a personalized certificate of participation through email. The top three places in each division will receive a special plaque award and the opportunity to share their poems via a filmed online reading.

Guidelines for the contest:

  • Topics must be related to ranch life such as cowboys, cowgirls, livestock, rodeo, ranch pets, environment and the like.
  • Poems must be a minimum of eight lines (four at Level 1) and a maximum of two pages. Poems may be handwritten or typed (double-spaced if typed) and must be the original work of the student.
  • Only one entry is allowed from each student for placement in the contest.
  • Poems written in a language other than English must have a translation attached.
  • No illustrations or decorations should adorn the paper.
  • Poems are judged on creativity, originality, figurative language, appropriateness of content and structure (traditional form-that is: rhyme, rhythm, voice, stanza pattern and other elements which comprise poetry).
  • The poem must be postmarked or e-mailed by January 23, 2021, and each poem must have the following information printed legibly on the back of each page:

Student’s name, contact phone number and email address;

school or homeschool; grade level and contest level;

city, state or province and country.

Mail submissions to:

Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering

P. O. Box 1076

Alpine, TX 79831

Or email submissions to youthcontest@lonestarcowboypoetry.com.

For more information, see lonestarcowboypoetry.com/youth_contest.


The February 2021 gathering in Alpine has been postponed to Feb. 18-19, 2022, and will be held thereafter on the third Friday/Saturday in February. For information on the virtual events the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering is producing in 2021, see lonestarcowboypoetry.com.