United Arts Council

High School Spoken Word Contest

The Spoken Word Competition for High School Students is back for Year 2!

In partnership with the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, the Spoken Word Competition for High School Students has returned for a second year. Students across Wake, Orange, and Durham Counties are invited to write an original poem and submit a video of their performance of their poem to be adjudicated by a panel of professional poets. Winners will be honored at a reception at the NC Museum of Art and the top three scoring poems will be awarded cash prizes.

First Place: $1000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $300

All top 12 Finalists will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Beginning August 1, 2024, students from public, private, and home schools in these three counties may submit a video of themselves performing their own original poetry. Videos must be under three minutes.

Deadline to submit is November 3, 2024. All submissions will be juried by a panel of professional poets and spoken word artists.

Important Dates:
Applications Open: August 1, 2024
Application Deadline: November 3, 2024
Professional Recording of Finalists’ Poems: January 7, 2025
Winners Reception: January 22, 2025

Congratulations to the winners of the Inaugural High School Spoken Word Contest!

1st place: Amy Le | “Beast”

2nd place: Gracie Hatch | “The Elephant’s Foot”

3rd place: Olivia Riddoch |  “Oh Being a Girl”

The inaugural Spoken Word Competition for high school students saw entries from students from 21 high schools across the Triangle entered this first-ever regional education program. All finalists’ poems will be featured in a traveling Poetry Trail which will travel to different venues throughout the Triangle in 2024. The top three winners were announced at a reception at the North Carolina Executive Mansion on December 12, 2023. The first-place winner received a $500 prize, second place received $300,and third place received $200.

United Arts Wake County and Raleigh Fine Arts Society announced the three winners in the High School Spoken Word Contest at the award ceremony which was held on December 12, 2023 at the North Carolina Executive Mansion.

This contest was created by Dasan Ahanu as part of his tenure as Piedmont Laureate, a program sponsored by United ArtsRaleigh ArtsDurham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and in partnership with the Raleigh Fine Arts Society.

Enjoy the original poetry performances by the 12 finalists below:

Jeannette Evans | Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy

Talia Favatella | North Wake College and Career Academy

Valeria López Gutiérrez | Athens

Gracie Hatch | Southeast Raleigh

Khalilah Inayah | Garner

Devin Jennings | Middle Creek

Amy Le | Green Hope

Nada Naji  | South Garner

Olivia Riddoch | Green Hope

Madelyn Scholle | Middle Creek

Rishil Shirumalla  | Green Hope

Devin Williamson | South Garner



Closed Captioning will be available

Videos with Closed Captioning




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A series of weekly Town Hall forums curated by The National Women's Theatre Festival about, for, and with theatremakers.

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