Illustrated Poem Contest

How to Enter

All illustrated poems must first be judged at the local level in order to be considered for the national contest. Local coordinators should carry out contests and judge the entries within their local sections. These local first-place winners can then advance to the national contest. Please contact your local section NCW Coordinator for local contest deadlines and submission information. A sample flyer and entry form is provided for local promotion.

  • NCW 2017 Illustrated Poem Contest Entry Form
  • NCW 2017 Illustrated Poem Contest Flyer

As part of National Chemistry Week (NCW) each year, ACS sponsors an illustrated poem contest for K-12 students. Participating ACS local sections invite area students to compete.


Local winners advance to the national contest for a chance to win cash prizes. ACS will award $300 to first-place and $150 to second-place national contest winners in each of the four grade categories!


Deadlines for local section contests vary, so contact your nearest NCW Coordinator for local contest deadlines. If no coordinator exists in your zip code, please contact Important note: all poem entries must be submitted to your nearest local section poem contest.


  • All poems must be no more than 40 words, and in one of the following styles to be considered: Haiku, Limerick, Ode, ABC poem, Free verse, End rhyme, Blank verse.
  • Entries are judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of the NCW theme, word choice and imagery, colorful artwork, adherence to poem style, originality and creativity, and overall presentation.
  • All entries must be original works without aid from others. Each poem must be illustrated on an unlined sheet of paper (of any type) not larger than 11” x 14”. The illustration must be created by hand using crayons, watercolors, other types of paint, colored pencils, or markers. The text of the poem should be easy to read and may be printed with a computer, before the hand-drawn illustration is added, or the poem may be written on lined paper which is cut out and pasted onto the unlined paper with the illustration.
  • Only one entry per student will be accepted; all entries must include an entry form.
  • All illustrated poems and/or digital representations of the poems become the property of the American Chemical Society.
  • Acceptance of prizes constitutes consent to use winners’ names, likenesses, and entries for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes.
NCW logo

Congratulations to the 2017 poem contest winners!


image of student's winning poem
Anika Khedekar, first-place winner Village School, Princeton Local Section