The Skylark Prize

In memory of author John Bennett (1865 - 1956), a founder of the Poetry Society

The Poetry Society of South Carolina offers a cash prize of $500 for a poem written by a student enrolled in a high school English class in South Carolina (English 1 to English 4 or an English elective). The winning poem will be published in The Society’s Yearbook, and the winner will be invited to read the poem at the May meeting in Charleston.

The poem may not exceed thirty-two lines. To keep the judging anonymous, each entry consists of two pages, stapled together, and the following: (1) the text of the poem, with the title at the top of the page; and (2) a separate title page with the poem's title, author's name, author's postal and email addresses, and the name of the school. Each entry must be accompanied by a statement of enrollment signed by the principal.

Publication in a school magazine does not render a poem ineligible. The head of each school's English Department is to select no more than ten poems and mail them as a group for the competition.

The deadline is March 15, 2020.

Please mail entries to:

Skylark Prize Contest Chairperson

The Poetry Society of South Carolina

P.O. Box 1090

Charleston, SC 29402

If you have questions, contact Ed Gold at, and please include "Skylark Contest" in the subject line.

Resources for the Skylark Prize

Below PSSC presents some links to help teachers and students craft prize-winning poems. These guides are so useful, we recommend them at any point in one’s writing life.

Download the Skylark Prize guidelines (pdf)

Download PSSC’s Ten Tips for Writers (pdf)

Useful links for students and teachers

Sit Down and Write: Poetry Resources
—Thanks to Samantha for sharing this terrific website with us!

Guide to poetry writing and analysis

Teen Ink
An on-line magazine for students with poems and books written by teens, including discussions of poems, reviews, and comments

How to write a poem, step-by-step. No kidding.

Kelli Russell Langdon
Thirty terrific prompts for National Poetry Month.

Poetry 180
A poem a day for American high school students for educators
Lesson plans, poems to teach, poetry read-a thon.
Glossary, poetry tour, articles for teachers and students, and more.

The Academy of American Poets
Poems for Teens


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