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The Skylark Prize

The Skylark Prize

Part of PSSC’s mission is to encourage South Carolinians to write poetry, and so we hold a special annual contest for teens, the Skylark Prize, for which guidelines are sent to every high school in the state. In addition to the $500 award, the student is invited to read the poem at a PSSC meeting to honor both student and teacher.

The prize is named after Master Skylark, written in 1922 by Charlestonian John Bennett, a founding member of PSSC. About a young singer in the time of Shakespeare, the book was a top seller for many years.

Competition for the Skylark Prize is open to any student enrolled in any high school English program in South Carolina, for courses English I to English 4 or for English electives. Not to exceed 36 lines, counting stanza breaks. Publication in a school magazine does not render a poem ineligible. The Skylark Prize accepts submissions by mail ONLY.

Resources for the Skylark Prize

Below PSSC presents poems by a few past winners of the Skylark Prize, and 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

Inspiring Teachers
Master teachers share their unique teaching strategies and techniques. Weekly tips and a word of the day

Scaffolds and lessons to help teachers "create a passion for poetry writing in your students

World of Poets
Ten terrific tips on how to teach poetry

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

Poets.org 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