Congratulations to Grace Bailey for earning recognition as a national finalist in the 2013 River of Words competition for her painting "Canyon Moonlight." Grace is a 5th grader from Greeley.

August 2014:  Teachers and students, please note that the mailing address for River of Words entries has changed.  The correct address is P O Box 5060, Moraga, CA  94566.  If you have forms showing a mailing address in Berkeley, California, please discard them and download new forms below.  Thank you!


Students (and their teachers) in grades K-12.


A poetry and art competition for students on the theme of watersheds and the environment designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express what they discover in poetry and visual art. Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book, in affiliation with The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, implements River of Words statewide judging and coordinates the Student Literary Awards in the spring.


Winners of River of Words are published in the annual Student Literary Awards Anthology and receive prizes from local businesses. River of Words winners are also published in the Colorado Foundation for Water Education publication, Headwaters.


Students throughout Colorado are encouraged to enter.

How Much

Free entry for students and free curriculum for teachers.


Deadline for the competition is December 1 each year. The winners of River of Words will be celebrated at the annual Student Literary Awards to be held at the Denver Public Library in Spring.


Start Here

Please click here for Contest information and entry forms.
River of Words Video

Teaching the Poetry of Rivers Curriculum (for teachers)

Purchase the Student Literary Awards Anthology


For more information contact Marnie Lansdown, 303.894.7951 x18, Fax 303.864.9361,