OAKLAND -- Applications are being accepted for the second annual Youth Poet Laureate competition.

The Oakland Public Library and its community partner, Youth Speaks, are looking for the next Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, the top literary honor a person can receive, said Amy Sonnie, teen outreach librarian at Oakland Public Library.

"While we're honoring the excellence of one individual, the program is a vehicle to inspire young writers to share their story," she said.

Applicants must be between 13 and 18 years old and either be an Oakland resident or attend a school in Oakland. They are judged based on authenticity of voice, creativity, form and grasp of poetry.

The winner receives a $5,000 scholarship to any school or arts program of their choice and will act as a representative for literacy and the love of poetry for a yearlong term. He or she is also responsible for heading a community project and make public appearances.

The application deadline is April 19. Finalists will be announced in June and the winner in August. To apply go to http://youthspeaks.org/poetlaureate/



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