Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many poems should my student champion recite for the Online Semifinals?

A student competing in the English prize stream must recite three poems in English.

A student competing in the French prize stream must recite three poems in French.

A student competing in the Bilingual prize stream must recite two poems, one in English and one in French.


2. What are the criteria when selecting poems?

For students competing in the English and French prize streams, one of their three poems must have 25 lines or fewer.

Please note that this rule does not apply to students in the Bilingual prize stream.


3. What if my student’s poems don’t meet the criteria?

Our system will not accept submissions that do not respect our criteria.


4. Can my student compete in two prize streams?

No. A student may compete in only one prize stream. We recommend that students work to their strengths.


5. Can my school present students in each prize stream?

Yes. Your school may present up to three competitors, one in each prize stream.


6. Can my student recite all of his or her poems in one long video?

No. Each poem must be filmed separately.


7. What if my student makes a mistake when reciting during the filming?

If the student makes a mistake, start over again. At this level of the competition, the accuracy score may be what separates winners from runners-up.


8. Can I film the same recitation more than once?

Yes. Feel free to film a recitation as many times as you like. But only one (unedited) version can be submitted to the competition.


9. Can my student use cue cards?

No. The student must recite each poem by heart.


10. My student would like to change poems. Is that acceptable?

Yes. Your student is free to change poems as long as they respect our eligibility criteria.

Please note that no changes may be made after the video submissions deadline.


11. How do I change my student’s poem choices?

If you have already created a profile for that student, you will need to delete that profile and begin again.

Remember to respect the video submissions deadline.


12. How do I register my school for the competition?

Sign up here. If you have already taken part in the competition, please type in your email address and our system will guide you. Please remember to use the same email address as last year.


13. Briefly, could you describe what teachers have to do in the Online Semifinals process?

Teachers have three steps to complete to take part in the Online Semifinals:

Step 1: Film each recitation.

Step 2: Log in to your teacher account

Step 3: Create a profile for each student competitor and upload videos and signed permission form(s).


14. I’ve created my account, but can’t log in. Why?

Once you’ve created your account, you will receive an email confirmation providing you with a link to log in. This may take a few minutes or a few hours. Thereafter, you will be able to log in whenever suits you.


15. How do I upload a signed permission form?

Download a permission form from our website. The form can be filled out directly from your computer. Scan or photograph the required signature, then cut and paste it into the form. The form can also be printed and filled out, then scanned or photographed. In both cases, save the file, then upload it when prompted by the Online Semifinals registration process.


16. May I submit the permission form by mail?

Yes. If you prefer to mail us the permission form, please send it to:

Poetry In Voice
Permission Form
98 Fieldfare Avenue 
Beaconsfield, Quebec H9W 4W6

Please note that we must have the form in hand before the video submissions deadline.


17. Do I need to do anything special to prepare my videos for upload?

To ensure your video will be properly processed, please follow YouTube’s recommended guidelines. Video upload times will depend on the speed of your internet connection and the size of your video files. You may consider compressing your videos prior to upload.


18. What video format should I use?

Poetry In Voice uses YouTube for uploading Online Semifinals videos, which accepts most common video formats.

YouTube supplies a list of recommended file types. If your video format is not accepted by YouTube, you can follow YouTube’s guidelines for converting your videos into acceptable file types.


19. The video is not uploading properly. What do I do?

If you are unable to submit your videos online, you can send them to us on CD or DVD. Please contact our webmaster if you are sending your videos by mail, and remember that we must receive your student entries before the video submissions deadline.


20. Once they are uploaded to the site, will the videos be available to the public?

No. The videos will be watched by the Online Semifinals judges and the Poetry In Voice team exclusively.


21. Can I upload the videos directly to YouTube?

For copyright reasons, teachers must upload videos through our website. The videos should not be made available for viewing on YouTube.


22. Can I change the order of a student’s poems?

Yes. The order the poems are recited may be changed at any time up to the video submissions deadline.


23. How are recitations judged?

Recitations are judged according to the same criteria used at all other levels of the competition: accuracy, physical presence, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, interpretation, and overall performance.


24. What is the deadline for submissions?

Find this year’s deadline on the Online Semifinals homepage.


25. When are the results of the Online Semifinals available?

The results of the Online Semifinals will be posted a few weeks after the submission deadline.

We contact Online Semifinalists and their lead teachers by email before posting the results on our site. 

You can contact Poetry In Voice for general feedback about students’ recitations. Because the spring is a busy time for our organization, please allow several weeks for a response.