A Forest of Words. Publish your poem.

A Forest of Words is now closed for submissions. Thank you to all who submitted poems.

Save the Date! POETRY READING AND CELEBRATION: Friday, May 10, 6:30 – 8:00 PM,  FERNDALE LIBRARY


A Forest of Words 2024 will accept submissions January 1 – March 15, 2024

Rules and Information

The Rules Are Simple 

Open to all Whatcom County teens in grades 6-12 

Entries accepted between January 1 and March 15 

Each poem should be one page or less

Up to two entries per person 

Original work only:

  • The writing you submit should be composed entirely by you.
  • No AI or computer assisted writing.
  • Poetry may not contain song lyrics, other poetry, or quotes written by someone other than yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you decide what poems to include in the book?
A panel of library staff and area teens will select poems based on originality, creativity and craft.
How do I submit my poetry?
There are 3 ways to submit your poetry:

  1. Online at wcls.org
  2. Drop off your poetry and submission form at your public library.
  3. Mail your poetry to:

    Whatcom County Library System

    A Forest of Words

    5205 Northwest Dr

    Bellingham, WA 98225
I’ve submitted my poetry, now what?
You will hear from us by email whether your poetry has been accepted for inclusion in the book or not by April 30th. If you haven’t heard back from us by then, please call or stop in at any library to find out if your poetry will be published or not.
If my poetry is accepted, what’s next?
Along with bragging rights of being a published poet, you will receive a copy of the book to keep. The book will also be in our catalog and posted online for others to view or check out.
How do I get my copy of A Forest of Words?
We will let you know the specific details in an email by April 30th. Your first chance to get your copy will be at the Poetry Reading and Celebration event. After that, we will have copies for poets to pick up at any public library branch. If you didn’t get your copy or don’t know how, please call 360-305-3600 or stop by any public library.
Can I get a second copy of the book?
Once we make sure all poets, schools, and libraries have received a copy, we can fill requests for those poets who would like a second copy as supply allows. Please email your request to tamar.clarke@wcls.org. There is no charge for the additional book.
Where else can my friends and family view the book?
The book is available to check out and is also available as a flipbook in the “Get Published” section of our Teen page. We will also distribute copies to every middle and high school library in Whatcom County.
I still have questions!
Call or stop by any library branch and we will be happy to help you. You can also email tamar.clarke@wcls.org and I will return your email as soon as possible.

Need Some Inspiration?