NEHS Poetry Challenge

To encourage and promote more writing, NEHS will begin a “poetry challenge” creative writing project. All members of NEHS, students and Advisors, are encouraged to submit poems from October through April of the current school year. Each month, members of the NEHS Advisory Council and Central Office personnel will read and select the best of the entries; the best submissions will be published through our social media outlets and collected in an online poetry journal. In May, two “poets of the year,” one from student members and one from NEHS Advisors, will be selected from the monthly winners; those two poets will each receive a $150 award and a certificate of achievement as accomplished "NEHS Poets." Additional awards may be given for second and third place winners, dependent on number of entries and availability of funds.

This award is competitive in nature; applications will be evaluated by members of the Advisory Council of NEHS.


  1. A student applicant must be an NEHS member in good standing of an active chapter.
  2. A Chapter Advisor must be from an active chapter.


  1. NEHS will announce monthly (October through April) themes/topics around which the submissions for any given month should revolve. Each theme should be evident as part of the poetry submitted.
  2. Any form of poetry is acceptable—free verse, blank verse, rhymed, metered—but must make a point, express an emotion, or relate an experience connected to the monthly theme.
  3. No more than a maximum of four (4) poems, totally no more than 1,000 words, may be submitted in any given month, either in a single poem or in a portfolio. All entries must be submitted as outlined in the submission section below using 12-point font. If multiple poems are submitted, each poem must be separated by a page break in one file doc or docx.
  4. Submissions are due according to the schedule below.
  5. NEHS Advisors must approve and submit all submissions by student members.
  6. All poetry must be the original work of the writer and may not have been pre-published in another publication with one exception—submissions may have been published in the school’s literary magazine or school newspaper. If so, please indicate such pre-publication with proper citation.

Required Attachments

  1. All entries must be submitted as outlined in the submission section below using 12-point font. If multiple poems are submitted, each poem must be on a separate page but in only one file.
  2. Submit all poems in one file. Title the collection (50 characters or fewer). The file must be named the same as the poetry title/portfolio title.
  3. All entries require a short third-person biography (100-120 words) of the poet and a headshot image (jpg or png) of the poet. Include school/chapter name, grade level or teaching experience, and something personal about poetry—the writing inspiration, favorite poets, the writing process, etc.

Submission Due Dates and Topics

  • October 15 - Beginnings and Endings
  • November 15 - Courage and Heroism
  • December 16 - Friendship
  • January 15 - Opportunities
  • February 15 - Dreamer
  • March 15 - Coming of Age
  • April 15 - A Place to Belong

Application Process

Only Chapter Advisors may submit their own work or the work of a student member by completing this form.