Registration and Participation Timeline


Registration for 2016-2017 Poetry Out Loud is now open until Friday, October 21, 2016. Schools, after-school programs, and homeschool groups can register, here:  Once registration is received an email will be sent confirming participation.

Registration Closes

Friday, October 21, 2016

School Competition Deadline

Friday, December 16, 2016

School Final Report Deadline
Identifying School Champion

Friday, December 16,2016

Regional Competitions:


- Signature Theatre, Arlington - Region 4A

Friday, January 27, 2017
- Center for the Arts, Manassas - Region 4B

Thursday, February 9, 2017

- Richmond Center Stage, Richmond - Region 5

Monday, February 6, 2017 (New Date!)

- Chrysler Museum, Norfolk - Region 6

Friday, February 17, 2017

- Wayne Theatre, Waynesboro - Region 3

Friday, February 24, 2017

Poetry Out Loud Virginia Finals:
WCVE The Community Idea Station, Richmond

Friday, March 10, 2017

Poetry Out Loud National Finals:
Washington, DC

April 24-26, 2017


  • All public, private, charter and homeschool students are eligible to participate in the regional and state competitions.
  • School or homeschool group must register by Friday, October 21, 2016.
  • All registered schools must have a school coordinator to organize and run the school competition.
  • To participate in official regional and state competitions, schools must hold a school wide competition with a minimum of 2 students competing.  
  • Any school at any grade level may use the online Poetry Out Loud resources to run an unofficial competition. 
  • Students competing in unofficial contests will not be eligible for state or national awards. This is an excellent way to prepare younger grades for the official competition.


  • Students must be in grades 9 -12, with an exception made for 8th-grade students who are in a participating 9th-grade class.
  • Competitors at the state and national finals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • Students must participate in a school or organizational competition before progressing to the Poetry Out Loud regional or state finals.
  • Home-schooled students may participate.
  • School-level competitions must include two or more students.


For any questions related to participation in the official Poetry Out Loud Program contact:

Casey Polczynski
Arts in Education Coordinator
Virginia Commission for the Arts

More Information