Ready. Set. Write!

The Curiosity Shop is excited to recognize and celebrate our local poets every year!
No matter your experience as a poet, we want to see your submission in our 2024 Poetry Contest!

02/01/24 – 02/22/24

Poems can be submitted during February 2024 no later than 5:00 pm (CST) on February 22nd.

Note: only one submission per person

3rd Grade – Adults

Poems should be written within the themes for the appropriate age range. See themes below.



Category Theme Prizes
Elementary (3rd-5th grade) Thoughts of a Cat

1st place: $75

2nd place: $50

3rd place: $25

Middle School (6th-8th grade) Imaginary City

1st place: $100

2nd place: $75

3rd place: $50

High School (9th-12th grade) Time Travel

1st place: $125

2nd place: $100

3rd place: $75

Adults (Ages 19+) Driving with the Radio On

1st place: $150

2nd place: $125

3rd place: $100

First place winners in each category will also receive a printed copy of their poem. All poems will be featured online in our Poetry section.


  • You must be an Iowa resident to enter.
  • Please submit only one poem per person.
  • Poems can be written in any poetic style but must be kept between 3 and 46 lines long. Note: The title does not count as a line but lines in between stanzas do.
  • All poems must be written in English and not contain any language that would be considered vulgar, offensive, or wholly inappropriate.
  • Poems in their entirety must be an original work by the person entering the contest. Note: Plagiarism is a serious offense. Any poem that is found to be plagiarized or written with the use of AI will be disqualified and may affect any future poetry contest eligibility. 

By submitting your poem to our contest, you accept that your poem may appear online and in print. We reserve the right to not publish a poem for any reason. 

First place winners will be asked to participate in individual and group photos for publication in the local newspapers, social media, and online. By submitting your poem to our contest, you acknowledge that these photos and poems may be shared publicly.