Calling young poets! Registration now open for annual Poetry Out Loud competition

Albeit in front of a virtual crowd, Orange County would be proud, to see local high school students compete in the annual Poetry Out Loud.

The Orange County Department of Education is partnering with Arts Orange County as they host Poetry Out Loud, which encourages high school students in the study and recitation of timeless poetry.

Poetry Out Loud

Helping students master public speaking skills and learn about literacy heritage, Poetry Out Loud is an nationwide arts program providing a free literary and performance art competition curriculum. The local competition is open to students in grades nine through 12 from school districts and community organizations across the county.

OCDE Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts Scott Fitzpatrick says that while the 2021 season is entirely virtual, the competition provides students with options for self-expression through multiple arts forms.

“Poetry Out Loud builds self confidence through spoken word,” Fitzpatrick said. “The competition is an important way to provide students with voice and choice.”

How does the competition work?

Schools and community organizations will host virtual competitions, and the winner from each school advances to compete at OCDE in an annual county-wide competition to select the Orange County winner. The Orange County winner will then move on to compete in the state finals. Winners at all levels of the competition – county and state – will be awarded with cash prizes.

Students interested in participating must register by Jan. 30 via this link.

Additional information about Poetry Out Loud can be found on the Arts Orange County website and by watching this video.

For questions, please contact Scott Fitzpatrick at or Elizabeth Miller at Arts Orange County