2013 Poetry Contest

As part of AFHE's 30th anniversary celebration, we hosted a Poetry Contest for Arizona homeschooled studentsat the beginning of the year. We received submissions from thirty-one Arizona homeschool students and we are very proud of them for their efforts!


AFHE Poetry Contest


- Sarah Davis (5-7 year olds)
- Michael Davis (8-11 year olds)
- Ashton Jensen (12-15 year olds)
- Nathan Tappendorf (16-18 year olds)


- Lucy Despain (5-7 year olds)
- Jack Hayes (8-11 year olds)
- Rachel Garrow (12-15 year olds)
- Sarah Powell (16-18 year olds)




Contest Details


The Blessing of Homeschooling / What Homeschooling Means to Me

Note: The theme/topic does not need to be the title of the poem, nor should it necessarily be the title of the poem, but the poem should reflect and address this theme/topic.


The AFHE Poetry Contest is open to all Arizona homeschooled students age 5-18. The contest is open to Arizona residents only and is limited to students are being taught at home by their parents in accordance with ARS §15-802. Students age 6-16 must have an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool on file with their County School Superintendent’s office. Students who are enrolled in a virtual charter school (public-school-at-home program) are not eligible to participate. AFHE membership is not required. Poems submitted must be the original work of the student. Limit: one entry per student.


The contest opens November 5, 2012 and closes January 18, 2013.


All entry forms and poems must be submitted online no later than January 18, 2013.


There are four age categories: 5-7 year olds, 8-11 year olds, 12-15 year olds, and 16-18 year olds.


Poems may be written in any poetry form including cinquain, diamante, free verse, haiku, metered, rhyming, blank verse, etc.
See reference websites listed at the end of this page.

NOTE: Fables are included in the Forms of Poetry list on the All Poetry website, but since Fables are prose and not poetry, they will not be accepted for the AFHE Poetry Contest.


The word homeschool is spelled as one word in our state law and in all AFHE publications. This includes its variations (homeschooled, homeschooling, homeschooler) as well. Poetry Contest submissions should use this one-word spelling of homeschool and its variations.


For each age category, first place winners will receive $50 and second place winners will receive $25.


By submitting a poem for the AFHE Poetry Contest, participants grant AFHE permission to publish the poem on the AFHE website, in the Arizona Home Education Journal, in the Homeschool Day at the Capitol program, or any other AFHE publication. Entrants retain the copyright for their poems.


Poems will be judged based on creativity, originality, artistic quality, spelling, and relevance to the theme. Poems will be judged anonymously separate from any identifying information. Judges will be looking for poems in each age category which best exemplify one or more of the following:
- The poet knows and cares about the topic of the poem.
- The poem evokes response in the reader, appealing to the emotions and/or intellect.
- The form and content of the poem complement one another.
- The poet uses language in a fresh way, avoiding clichés and forced rhymes.
- The poet uses language precisely and economically.
- The poet maintains a consistent voice.


All participants will receive a certificate of participation in the mail. First and second place winners in each age category will receive an award by mail. Notifications will be sent out by February 15, 2013. One or more of the winners will be invited to read their poem aloud at Homeschool Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 4, 2013.


One or more of the winners will be invited to read their poem aloud at Homeschool Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 4, 2013. Entrants have the option to decline to read their poem at Homeschool Day at the Capitol; it is not a requirement, but rather an opportunity for those students who are comfortable and willing to recite their poem at AFHE’s Capitol Day event.


We request that all poems be submitted electronically. Poems can be uploaded as part of the online entry form submission process. Word documents are preferred. If you are unable to submit your poem as a Word document, please contact us in advance for alternate instructions. If you have multiple children submitting a poem for the Poetry Contest, you will need to complete a separate entry form for each child.

File name format

Please use the following format when naming the student's poem Word document prior to submitting the poem. lastname_firstname_poetry

Poem format instructions

Poems should be typed in a clear, easy-to-read font, in at least a 12-point font size, without any graphics or clipart included. Leave at least a 1” margin on all four sides. The author’s name should NOT be included in the poem document; only include author's name in the file name of the poem document.


There is no fee to participate in the AFHE Poetry Contest.




References for Poetic Forms

We came across a few websites that include brief descriptions of a wide variety of poetic forms that may be a helpful resource for you. The AFHE Board of Directors and the Poetry Contest judges are not affiliated with any of these websites, nor have we reviewed them in depth. We simply offer these as potentially helpful resources for parents who are considering having their children participate in the AFHE Poetry Contest. Use discretion when visiting any website.