The New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate program is an opportunity for youth across the state to develop writing and performance skills in a supportive environment. The program has two main components: year-round educational workshops and an annual competition.

The New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate is offered in partnership with National Youth Poet Laureate – Curated by Urban Word.

Literary Arts Workshops

Opportunities will be announced here on a rolling basis. Sessions will cover different topics and have different requirements, so be sure to read the event description before registering.

In the interest of accessibility, all workshops are offered FREE to the public. All workshops are currently online only.

Students do not need to be registered for the competition to participate. Participation will not affect student success in the competition.

If you have any questions or would like to propose an idea for a workshop, please contact Victoria Briones at

Browse Available Workshops


Submissions for the 2022 competition are open until December 31, 2021!

Writers ages 13-19 are eligible to compete for the New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate title. Submission requirements include: completed application form, portfolio of 5 original works, video sample (optional), and resume/CV. There is no application fee. Following the end of the submission period, all applications will be reviewed by a panel of judges.

Finalists will be notified by January 19, 2022.

On February 25, 2022, the commencement performance will take place live at Newark Symphony Hall*. All finalists will have the opportunity to perform. The event will culminate in the naming of the New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate.

*We are currently working on securing travel assistance for NJYPL finalists. Information will be released here and shared with finalists when available.

The New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate will receive:

  • Fully sponsored New Jersey reading tour (summer 2022)
  • Invitation to join the 2022-23 New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate steering committee
  • Publication in 2022 National Youth Poet Laureate anthology
  • Eligibility to compete for National Youth Poet Laureate title

Additional prizes and awards may be given at judges’ discretion.

Apply Now

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