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COLUMN: 4-H Poetry Contest is approaching

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By Misty Wilmoth

 The 4-H Poetry Contest is being held again this year. The contest is open to all LaRue County youth, ages 9 to 18. Each youth may enter one poem for the competition.

All poems must be submitted to the LaRue County Extension office by Feb. 18. Most students have probably already written poems for school. Why not turn your best poem in to be judged? 

Teachers, you may even wish to require your students to participate in the poetry contest or give extra credit for those students who participate.

Everyone who participates in the 4-H Poetry Contest will receive a ribbon.  Members will also earn points for submitting a poem, to be used for the overall 4-H Awards Point System. LaRue County is allowed to select the top 12 poems to advance to the district poetry contest. The poems written by each of the 12 winners will be published in a poetry book and the winners will receive a copy of the book.

· Poems must be the original work of the student.

· Poems must be titled.

· Poems can be on any subject and may use any form of poetry.

· The length of the poem should be determined by the age of the 4-Her. Junior 4-Hers are 9 to 13 years old as of Jan. 1. Their poems should be a minimum of three lines and a maximum of 25 lines. Senior 4-Hers are 14 to 18 years old as of Jan. 1. Their poems should be a minimum of three lines and a maximum of 28 lines.

· Poems must never have been published or submitted to another agency. All poems are judged using a score sheet with four categories: general, poetical devices, originality and expression, and mechanics.

The general category accounts for 10 percent of the scoring and looks at whether the work is suitable for the age of the 4-Her and if the poem meets the standard rules and line requirements. Poetical devices account for 30 percent of the scoring.

Originality and expression becomes the most important category since it is allotted 50 percent of the scoring. This category looks at choice of topic, vocabulary, fluency, and continuity. The mechanics category accounts for 10 percent of the points for scoring and looks at punctuation, spelling, capitalization and correct word choice.

If you have any questions about the 4-H Poetry Contest, contact the Extension office at 358-3401. 

Poems can be dropped off at the Extension Office or mailed to the LaRue County Extension office, 4-H Poetry Contest, P.O. Box 210, Hodgenville, KY 42748.  Poems may also be submitted by email to mwilmoth@uky.edu.