Student Contest

Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Student Poetry Contest

The 32nd Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place on the campus of Sul Ross State University on March 2-3, 2018. Join in the fun! Write and submit a cowboy poem. All entries are due by Friday, December 15th. Winners will be announced on February 16th on, in area papers and need not be present to win.

GRADE LEVELS: (1st – 2nd – 3rd place winners in each level)

Grades K-1-2 Level I

Grades 3-4 Level II

Grades 5-6 Level III

Grades 7-8 Level IV

Grades 9-12 Level V

  • Topics must be related to ranch life (cowboys, cowgirls, livestock, rodeo, ranch pets, environment, etc.)
  • Poems must be a minimum of eight lines (four at Level I) and a maximum of two pages.
  • Poems may be handwritten or typed (double-spaced if typed) and must be the original work of the student.
  • Only one entry is allowed from each student for placement in the contest.
  • Poems written in a language other than English must have a translation attached.
  • No illustrations or decorations should adorn the paper.
  • Poems are judged on creativity, originality, figurative language, appropriateness of content, and structure (traditional form–that is: rhyme, rhythm, voice, stanzaic pattern, and other elements which comprise poetry).

Each poem must have the following information printed legibly on the back of each page:

Student’s Name and Phone Number & (e-mail address)

School or Homeschool (if Homeschool address to send certificate or plaque to)

School Grade Level & Contest Level


Each poet will receive a certificate of participation, with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners receiving special plaque awards; and all are invited to read their poems in a special program on Thursday, March 1st at 1:30 pm at Marshall Auditorium on the campus of Sul Ross State University. All students who participate are invited to this session. We will have some special Poet’s there to give them a show and then the awards ceremony.

Please mail your entries to the following address or email them to

Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering

P. O. Box 395

Alpine, TX 79831

Questions contact Ida Hoelscher at 432-386-6404. Thanks for your participation.