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River of Words Missouri Ozarks Heritage Regional Art and Poetry Contest

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?
Children who live in the following school districts who are 5-19 years of age and who are not yet in college. Home schooled students are welcome.

School districts: Alton, Ava, Bakersfield, Cabool, Dora, Gainesville, Glenwood, Howell Valley, Junction Hill, Liberty Birch Tree, Mansfield, Mountain Grove, Norwood, Oregon/Howell, Richards, Skyline, Thayer, West Plains, Willow Springs, Winona, Van Buren, Eminence, Summersville, Elsinore and Doniphan.

When is the deadline?
Entries must be received at the MDC offices in West Plains by January 23, 2009. Mailed entries should be postmarked by January 23, 2009. Send to:
Missouri Department of Conservation
551 Joe Jones Blvd
West Plains, MO 65775
Attn: Stephanie Rust

Is there an entry fee?
No, the contest is free to enter.

May I submit more than one piece?
Yes. You can submit as many poems and/or pieces of artwork as you wish (including poem/art combinations). However, each entry must have a separate entry form.

How do I enter?
You may enter the contest through your school, scout troop, 4-H club, or any other such group, or you may enter the contest on your own. Group entries should be sent together in one envelope or package, rather than individually.
Each entry must be sent to us with a completed entry form, and should be sent to:
Ozarks Heritage Regional River of Words Contest
MO Dept of Conservation
551 Joe Jones Blvd
West Plains, MO 65775

How should I prepare my entry?
Do NOT put your name on the front of your work!

Written poems should be no longer than 32 lines in length, and should be typed or neatly printed in dark ink (pencil does not photocopy!) on plain paper.

Artwork should be no larger than 11" x 17" and should not be framed, matted, laminated or folded.

Illustrated poems should follow both the Art and Poetry guidelines for length, size, and style.

Remember that each piece of art or poem that you submit requires its own entry form!

How should I attach my entry form to my work?
For written poetry entries, please staple the entry form to your poem so that each piece faces out. In other words, after they are stapled together, your poem should show on one side and when you flip it over, the front of the entry form should show on the other side.

For artwork, please affix your entry form to the back of your artwork with tape or glue. If using glue, be careful to choose a glue that will not seep through and damage your artwork. Please, do not staple or paperclip entry forms to the back of your artwork!

Where can I get entry forms?
Print the entry form. (PDF, requires Acrobat reader)
Or email us and request a print copy through the mail. Please type the following email(it's a non-clickable image to foil spam):lois email

Is work returned?
No, keep a copy of your work. All entries will be archived for potential use on the Watershed Atlas. Winning entries will be published on the website.

Who sponsors River of Words?
The Bryant Watershed Education Project is sponsoring the Ozarks Heritage Regional River of Words contest, with support from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Nationally, River of Words (ROW) is a non-profit educational organization, incorporated in the State of California. It is supported by grants from foundations and donations from individuals, businesses, and government agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. ROW is affiliated with The Library of Congress Center for the Book.

Who judges the work?
Local persons with experience as artists, poets, and educators.

What criteria will be used in judging?
Entries will be judged both for their quality, originality, and effectiveness in portraying or evoking an aspect of nature and the environment in our region.

What prizes will be awarded?
First, Second, and Third place winners in Art, Poetry and Illustrated Poetry will be recognized in the following categories:
Category I — Kindergarten-Grade 2
Category II — Grades 3-6
Category III — Grades 7-9
Category IV — Grades 10-12
Winners will be awarded certificates and recognized through publication on the Watershed Atlas.
We reserve the right to withhold prizes in a particular category if there are no worthy entries.

What curriculum resources are available for educators?
Poetry and art lesson plans, complete with Missouri standards correlation, are available in River of Words Resources.

Can I send my entry on to the national River of Words contest?
You are welcome to do so. Please let us know that you intend to do this, so we can get the originals back to you as soon as possible. The national contest entries must be postmarked by February 15th. Download the national entry form: http://www.riverofwords.org/contest/howtoenter.html