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Poetry contest seeks submissions


The 16th annual Sarah Mook Poetry Contest is accepting submissions.

Cash awards are $100, first prize; $50, second prize; $25, third prize, in each of four categories: kindergarten through second, third through fifth, sixth through eighth, and ninth through twelfth.

Additionally, Sarah’s kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Olwen Jarvis, is sponsoring a prize especially for kindergartners. Three kindergarten poets will receive cash awards to purchase books for their school libraries: first ($100), second ($50), third ($25). Kindergartners who are not yet able to write will often compose orally. A scribe (older student, teacher, parent) can write down the young poet’s exact words to capture these earliest spoken poems.

An optional donation of $5 is appreciated. Donations will be given in Sarah’s name to Save the Children.

The deadline to enter is March 31.

The purpose of the Sarah Mook Memorial Poetry Contest is to encourage and acknowledge the efforts of student poets. Sarah was a student in the third grade at Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, when she died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm on Dec. 14, 1995. Sarah started writing poems in kindergarten, and it is the goal of this outreach that Sarah’s gift continue to inspire young poets.

New this year, “Bees With Fish Wings,” a illustrated version of Sarah’s poem, “I Play a Game with My Dad,” written while Sarah was in first grade, has been published. This children’s book includes all of Sarah’s poems and accompanying worksheets to help even the youngest poets write their very own first poems.

“Bees with Fish Wings,” illustrated by Marna Grove, is available through Northshire Bookstore ($12), and at local independent bookstores. Quantity discounts are available to all educators.

Email David Mook at (“Bees with Fish Wings” in the subject line) for details on discounts.

For contest rules, visit