Teen Spoken Word Video Contest, March 28-April 22

Spoken word video

Teens ages 13-17…It’s that time of the year to express your creativity with this year’s Spoken Word Video Contest. The topics for 2021 are: Spirit, Fun, and Joy.

You don’t have to take the topic literally, nor include the topic word(s) in your poem. After you are done creating your poem, make a video about it! Submit your poem here for your chance to win a Lafayette Library goodie bag, and to have your video featured on the Library’s YouTube channel.

Contest dates: 

  • We accept submissions from March 28-April 22.
  • Winners will be announced on April 29.

Please read through all of the sections below before submitting your video.

Eligibility and rules

Who is eligible to enter: You must 13-17 years to enter (sorry!).

Submission Rules:

  • Video submissions must be 2 – 4 minutes maximum
  • Videos must be in mp4 format with file size below 20MB
  • No profanity or foul language
  • No graphic images

Language: We welcome any poetry performance in any language, as long as non-English videos come with English subtitles.

Previous Publication: Videos that have been previously published elsewhere are eligible, with the understanding that any selected video may need to be taken down from other locations on the internet.

How is the contest judged?

What we are looking for: Your poems will be judged by these criteria:

  • the poem itself
  • performance
  • video creativity


  • ZBassSpeaks, a local spoken word artist
  • Issa, a local creative writer and current sitting member of the Lafayette Youth Advisory Commission
  • Diane, a longtime ESL teacher and poet

They will review all submissions to determine the winner, honorable mentions, and any other videos we may be interested in running.

Timeline: The duration of judging will depend on the quantity of entries we receive, so we will keep folks posted on our social media about the contest. Please expect it to take a few days, however, as we want to give your submissions the attention they deserve!

Contest Updates: We will make contest updates and announcements on social media.

Submission tips and suggestions

  • Contact email: The email address and name you use for your submission are what we will use to contact you. This is how we will let you know the status of your submission as the contest progresses.
  • Video quality: While video and audio quality will be one factor in the judging process, the quality of the poem and performance themselves will be weighted much more heavily. That said, if possible, please use high-quality audio and video.
  • Mobile filming tip: If you are filming this yourself on a smartphone or similar, then try to do it inside– somewhere well-lit and without background noise. Consider turning your phone horizontal while filming!
  • Live recording tip: If you are using a video of a live performance, like an open mic or slam, take care with the audio. Try to be closer to the performer so they can still be heard over the audience.

How do you know you won?

The Lafayette Public Library will send you an email one day before the day we publicly
announce winners. Your email will include instructions on how to pick up your prize.

Submit your entry

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