We get it: texting and social media has given writing the back seat. But when's the last time you wrote a letter? Like a real, pour-your-heart-out, leave-all-emotions-on-the-page kind of letter?

Been a while?

Maybe you've never even written one before. Letters are special because, unlike a typical conversation where people talk back and forth, when you write a letter you get to say everything you want before getting a reply. There are two rules to writing a letter: first, you should always address it to someone or something; and second, own it! Sign your letters; otherwise anyone could've written it.


Write a letter in the form of a poem to anyone (or anything) of your choice. Then videotape yourself reading it.

The subject must be related to dropout prevention and civic engagement.

The subject must be related to dropout prevention and civic engagement.

Your letter can be addressed to someone in your life or someone you've never met: maybe an at-risk student, a person you admire or a political figure. You can write letters to your feelings - fears, joys or even insecurities. The possibilities are endless!

Letters become so much more than communicating with the other person or object. In a way, it's about communicating with yourself. So get writing and share your video of your spoken word reading your letter poem with us for your chance to win.

Not sure what to write about? Just start with "Dear..." and let your heart worry about the rest. You can also check out our 5 Tips for Writing Letter Poetry for ideas.


ELIGIBILITY: You must be 18 years of age (or younger) and a current high school student.

Submit a video of your poetry slam by Thursday, September 20. Submissions will be reviewed by our committee.

The top three slams will be featured at the 2018 National Dropout Prevention Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

Other submissions may be on display throughout the conference.


First Place: $500 Scholarship

Second Place: $300 Scholarship

Third Place: $200 Scholarship

Scholarships provided by Kids Voting Central Ohio, a program of the ESC of Central Ohio. Scholarship money will be sent directly to your postsecondary school of choice.

Teachers and Educators: If you would like to share a hard copy of this information with students, you can download the handout here to print and distribute.


Created with images by Aaron Burden - "Writing with a fountain pen" • cromaconceptovisual - "address book notebook notes stationery draw book" • vloveland - "graduation scroll cap university student graduation graduation" • Dingzeyu Li - "untitled image"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.