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Gaithersburg Book Festival Launches High School Poetry Contest

Winning Author to Receive $250 Prize


Gaithersburg, Md. (October 5, 2018) – The Gaithersburg Book Festival announced today that it is launching a poetry contest for high school students. First- and second-place winners will receive $250 and $100, respectively while third-place and fan favorite winners will receive $50 and $25, respectively. The winners will be announced at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 18, 2019. Prizes are provided courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County.


“2019 marks a milestone year for the Book Festival – we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary! We decided to shake things up a bit, replacing our short story contest and giving our young, aspiring poets a chance to shine,” said Jud Ashman, Festival chair and Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. “We can’t wait to showcase the work of the talented high school students in our region.”


To participate in the poetry contest, students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or be in a homeschool program, for the 2018-19 school year. Additionally, entrants must reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.


There is no restriction on form or topic. Poems should be typed in 12 pt. Times New Roman and should not exceed one page in length. Each student may submit one poem. The poem should be the original work of the student and must not have been previously published online or in print. By submitting work to the contest, students grant the Gaithersburg Book Festival a non-exclusive license to publish, distribute, transmit, and exhibit the poem, and any portions thereof, via any medium, without financial compensation.


Poems must be submitted electronically via web form by midnight ET on Thursday, February 21, 2019.


Up to 12 poems will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Book Festival, where the public will be able to vote for their favorite.

Complete rules and regulations can be found on the Poetry Contest page of the Festival website at


About the Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is an annual all-day celebration of books, writers and literary excellence. One of the premier literary events in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the 2019 Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall, in Olde Towne Gaithersburg, Md. Activities will include author appearances, discussions and book signings; writing workshops; a Children’s Village; onsite sales of new and used books; literary exhibitors and food, drink, ice cream and more. FREE admission and accessible shuttle will be available from Shady Grove Metro and Lakeforest Mall. The Gaithersburg Book Festival also hosts author events in Montgomery County throughout the year as a way to encourage continued appreciation for all things literary. For more information please or follow on Twitter @GburgBookFest.