2021 Poetry Contest

Read and rate some of the poems submitted to the contest!

The deadline for entering the contest has passed. We received more than 1,500 poems by email and on Twitter!
Our judges will be reading through them soon and we'll contact the winners (and announce them on this site) by Sunday, April 25.

Important: If you sent us a poem on behalf of someone under 18 years old and did not already tell us their age in the message, we ask that you please send us the age of the child in an email to contest2021@rhymezone.com. (Please send us this message from the same email address that you used to submit the poem). Given the larger than expected number of poems we received from school-aged poets, we'd like to be able to give prizes to students in multiple age ranges.

If you haven't received a confirmation from us by email yet, stay tuned! We're still working our way through the emails to prepare them for the judges.

Write a short poem about the theme:

COVID‑19 Vaccination

...and post it before the end of the day on April 11, 2021. Your poem can touch on topics such as how you feel about getting the vaccine; what our post-COVID future looks like; how the vaccines work; or more. Be creative!

Submit by writing your entry on Twitter or emailing it to us.
(Emailed entries may be reposted anonymously on our website or Twitter account.)

In mid-April (National Poetry Month in the U.S.) we'll choose the ones we like best and award three winners $500 USD each and five honorable mentions $100 USD each.

Continuing our tradition, we'll also donate $100 USD to a registered public health or social justice non-profit organization of the writer's choice, for each winner and honorable mention.

We'll favor poems that show creativity, craftsmanship, and adherence to the theme. In the most recent contests we've required that the entry be in rhymed couplet form, and that's still an option, but for this special 2021 contest we'll accept any form.

Why have we chosen "COVID-19 vaccination" as a theme?
We've revived the contest after 3 years of dormancy so that we can encourage people to share their feelings and perspectives in this anxious time. We would like to help researchers find innovative new ways to communicate how important vaccines are to public health, and give a forum for people to understand each other's hopes, concerns and hesitations about this topic.

Whether or not you enter the contest, we encourage you to read up on the COVID-19 vaccines from official sources (such as the CDC in the U.S.) if you haven't already.

Submit by writing your entry on Twitter or emailing it to us.
(Emailed entries may be reposted anonymously on our website or Twitter account.)

New: Read some of the poems submitted so far!

Past couplet contest themes and winners:
Jun 2018TODDLERS@JanieGouge
Jan 2018SNOW@ckimani371
Nov 2017SUPERHEROES@peterjcasey
Oct 2017BOOKS@kerryrawli and @vkatariya
Sep 2017PLANETS@futzle
Aug 2017TURTLES@224bees

Non-profits supported:   Mermaids UK, All Hands Volunteers, ShelterBox Canada, Sci Hub,
ASRC Australia, Canyon Theatre Guild, Direct Relief, Homestead High School Music Boosters, Make-A-Wish America, Bethel Bible Village, Cradles to Crayons

(Also see the 2014 / 2015 and 2016 contest pages.)

OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES for the RhymeZone Couplet Contest


This couplet contest (the “Contest”) is sponsored by Datamuse Corp, Bluffton SC, 29910 USA (the “Sponsor”).



The Contest ends at 11:59:59 pm U.S. Eastern Time on the deadline day listed above. Entries submitted after this time are not eligible. Incomplete submissions or submissions posted outside the contest entry period will not be considered.


Participation in the Contest constitutes applicant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. By entering the Contest, applicant warrants that the submission is an original work, has not been previously published or won any award, and that applicant is aware of no conflicting rights in the submission including but not limited to copyright or other intellectual property right as further identified below in the section entitled “No Infringement.” Applicants agree that Sponsor, its affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, agents or contractors and their employees, officers and directors shall not be liable for injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from participating in this Contest.


All submissions must be the original work of the applicant. All applicants represent, state, and agree that their Contest submission will not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, including by way of example and not by limitation, any copyright, trademark or patent rights belonging to any third party. Plagiarism in any form will result in disqualification.


All submissions, including the winning submissions, remain the property of the applicant before and after the Contest. Sponsor claims no ownership of the applicant's work. We will announce the winners on the RhymeZone Twitter account and by linking to the winning tweet from this page.



The Winner will be selected on the basis of its originality, humor, rhyme, meter, and adherence to the Couplet Contest theme. The Winners and Honorable Mentions will be selected at the sole discretion of judges employed by the Sponsor, and their decisions are final.

Note: This is not a popularity contest! While the Contest judges will consider the Twitter activity associated with each entry (such as the number of hearts, retweets, and replies), the Judges will ultimately use their collective judgment to decide on the winners of the Contest.


The Winners will be notified by Twitter direct message or email, and announced on RhymeZone.com, within two weeks of the contest deadline.


Winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements of these Official Rules and Sponsor's decisions as to the administration of the Contest and prize awards are final. Sponsor will notify the potential Winner within two weeks of the contest deadline. In the event that an applicant’s Twitter handle changes during this time, it is the applicant's responsibility to notify Sponsor of such change. In the event that any prize notification is undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact a potential winner, or response to a prize notification is not received within seven (7) days of its issuance, the prize may be forfeited. Where a prize is forfeited, the applicant with the next best submission in accordance with the Judging Criteria will be chosen as an alternate Winner.

Because this is a Contest of skill, the odds of winning depend upon the quality and eligibility of the submissions received, as well as the number of entrants. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend the Contest should fraud, technical failures, or any other factors beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor impair the integrity of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. By entering the contest, entrant agrees to release and hold harmless sponsor, its parent, subsidiaries and affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees and agents from and against any and all claims, causes of action and/or liability for any injuries, illness or death, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with participation in and/or entry into the Contest or receipt or possession, use or misuse of any prize or element thereof. Sponsor, its respective affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, agents and employees are not responsible for late, lost, illegible, incomplete, stolen, misdirected, illegitimate, or impermissible submissions or mail; postage due mail; or any other error whether human, mechanical or electronic.




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