A Forest of Words. Publish your poem.

Entry Form | Rules & Information



Download our Entry form (PDF) here or fill out our online form below

A Forest of Words Entry Form

  • Calling all poets! Submit your original poems for consideration to be included in our annual teen poetry book,  A Forest of Words. Send in up to two of your original poems between January 1st to March 15th. A panel of library staff and area teens select poems based on originality, creativity, and craft. Accepted poets receive a copy of the book (and bragging rights!)

    You will hear from us in an email or a phone message by April 30, 2023. If you haven’t heard from us by that date, please call us at (360) 305-3600.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Please include title at the top of each poem.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 16 MB.
  • Entries will become property of Whatcom County Library System and will not be returned. Pieces of a winning entry may be used rather than the whole. By submitting an entry, all poets grant permission to the Whatcom County Library System to reproduce the poem(s) in print and digital publications including social media.

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 

Up to two entries per person 

Original work only – the writing you submit should be composed entirely by you and not use anyone else’s words 

Frequently Asked Questions

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 details in an email by April 30th. Once the book is printed, will likely have copies for poets to pick up at any library branch. If you didn’t get your copy or don’t know how, please call 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.

Previous issues of A Forest of Words