IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana State Library

Library > Indiana Center for the Book > River of Words River of Words

Indiana River of Words ContestEach year, River of Words draws out the best poetry and art talent in the nation. Sharpen your colored pencils, take pen in hand, and squirt some more paint on your palette! 

The contest focuses on watersheds as a central theme. This opportunity is designed to help youth express themselves through the arts, while exploring their environment and developing a sense of place and appreciation for discovery. River of Words is an excellent opportunity for art and literature classrooms to strengthen their skills and make connections between the watershed theme and their artistic talents.

River of Words is sponsored by the Indiana Center for the Book and the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

How to Enter

Students can register for this year's contest between now and December 1, 2014.

The contest is open to students ages 5-19 years old as of the annual December 1st entry deadline. Students may enter on their own, or as part of a group (classroom, scout troop, library, 4-H, etc.). The contest is broken into eight categories (four each in both art and poetry) based upon the following grade levels:

  • Category I — Kindergarten-Grade 2
  • Category II — Grades 3-6
  • Category III — Grades 7-9
  • Category IV — Grades 10-12 (entrants must still be enrolled in high school)

River of Words Selection/Awards Information

All submissions are first reviewed by panel of national judges then a state panel comprised of teachers, librarians, artists, poets, and other creative & fine arts professionals. Finalists will be chosen on both the national and state level. The annual deadline for entries will be December 1st. Winners will be announced in April of each year, honored at the annual Indiana Student Literary Awards at the State Library in Indianapolis, and may receive additional prizes from local vendors & recognition through annual calendars or anthologies.

2014 Youth Literary Day & Awards Ceremony

All River of Words semifinalists and finalists will be invited to the Indiana Youth Literary Day & Awards Ceremony sponsored by the James & Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation on April 25. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in creative writing workshops presented by Hoosier writers, and will be honored at ceremony following the day’s activities. Semifinalists and finalists in attendance will receive a free book and are invited to an exclusive book-signing reception following the ceremony.

More Information

What is a watershed?

For more information about the contest visit riverofwords.org. You may also contact the Indiana Center for the Book at icb@library.in.gov or 317-234-5649.

PDO SW 10-31-2014