In last year’s poetry contest, we narrowed more than 600 entries down to 10. Will yours be among this year’s winners? (Illustration by Nate Williams)

Robert Frost once said, “To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.” The words from that famous American poet mean that anyone — even you — can write poetry. So start writing! Kids­Post is kicking off its annual poetry contest, and we’ll publish the winners in April, which is National Poetry Month.

Send us your poetry (limerick, haiku or whatever form you choose), but first read the contest rules:

●The contest is open to ages 5 to 14. Kids must submit an original poem (that means you must have written it yourself) of any length on any subject. Each child can submit only one poem. Poems can be illustrated, but that is not required.

●You need to have an adult (a parent, guardian or teacher) send us your entry. On each entry, the adult should include your name, age and home town as well as the name, e-mail and phone number of the adult submitting the entry. A note from the adult giving permission for you to enter the contest is also required. A teacher can give permission for an entire class if parental permission has been obtained.

●The adult should fill out our online form, which can be found at Entries can also be sent to Kids­Post Poetry Contest, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on March 24.

●Poems will be judged by the Kids-Post staff and children’s poets Kwame Alexander and Jon Muth.

Winning poems will be published in the April 27 edition of KidsPost and on If your poem is published, you will receive a prize package that includes a KidsPost T-shirt and a poetry book.

Winners will be invited to share their poems at a poetry reading May 16 at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington.

If you have questions, e-mail them to

(Check the 2013 KidsPost Poetry Contest winners.)