You ask them, we'll answer them.

Your questions have been answered!

Question 1: What are the rules of the Words Unlocked contest, when and where do I submit, and what are the prizes?


Answer 1: Click the CONTEST tab. Everything you need to know is there. 

Question 2: How do you submit the poems electronically? I don't see a place on the website where you can do it.


Answer 2: All submissions will be uploaded onto the Words Unlocked website. Submission forms are now available and the submision portal is located on the CONTEST tab! The portal will go live during the submission period. 

Question 3: Some of my writers want to know if they can sign their poem with a "pen name," knowing that they have to submit using their legal first name. Is that okay?


Answer 3: Yes! Your writers can absolutely sign poems with pen names. We love that they are considering this option.

Question 4: All of our students have been involved with the juvenile justice system in some way; probation, detention center, long-term secure placement settings, etc. Would our students be eligible to participate in the contest if they are not currently in a placement setting? 


Answer 4: The Words Unlocked Contest Guidelines limit submissions to young people who are currently held in locked facilities. We do encourage teachers in other alternative settings to use the Words Unlocked resources and hold their own schoolwide contests. 

Question 5: Hi, I love the website! Do you have any ideas for adapting the curriculum for beginning English Language Learners? (Bilingual Spanish ideas would be great.) Thanks!


Answer 5: Thanks so much for reaching out. We currently do not have anything prepared for adapting Words Unlocked specifically for English Language Learners, but perhaps this will help.



Hope at least one of these resources speaks to you! We are happy to accept poems with non-English words or phrases. Please encourage your students to infuse their poems with their native language and cultural ideas! We only ask that non-English words or phrases are defined as footnotes. 

Question 6: Since we are a secure correctional facility, if we have student entries could a teacher submit entries on behalf of the students? The students are not allowed to use personal emails while incarcerated.


Answer 6: Yes! Teachers do all of the submitting, using the Words Unlocked 2015 Submission Form through this website using the Words Unlocked 2015 Submission Portal.