Poetry In Voice / Les voix de la poésie is recommending recitation contests at all levels be held online this year.  Please read our new Run an Online Contest page before consulting other pages in this section. We will also be holding all Team Regionals online this year. The Junior Online Contest and Senior Online Qualifers will remain online of course. We hope to hold Senior Nationals live in Montreal in April but are prepared to switch to an online Finals, like 2020. Please check out the exciting new prizes for your students on our Senior Nationals page.


Run an Online Classroom or School Contest

Printer-friendly version

We know not all schools will be able to hold live contests this coming year so we've created this handy guide explaining how to organize an online version of the classroom contests.



Students may prepare for the contest as they always have, finding a poem from our anthology that speaks to them, committing it to memory, practicing reciting it with family, friends and peers, and then reciting it -- but this time in front of a camera rather than a classroom! You may tailor your students’ preparations of their poem according to their circumstances and your school’s pandemic plan. For instance, if your students are bubbling in groups of six, perhaps those six students can practice reciting their poem to each other. On the other hand, if your students are meeting virtually, they can form breakout rooms and practice their poems together. 


We recommend all online contests be held asynchronously. As much as we like the idea of a *live* online contest, the chances of data interruptions or batteries dying on devices is too high. Instead, ask all your students to record their poem recitations, just as they would for our online contests. We have assembled some filming tips for your students to record their own recitation videos.


Ask your students to upload their recitation video(s) to YouTube. There are three privacy settings: “Public”, “Unlisted”, and “Private”. They must choose “Unlisted”. That setting will allow anyone with the link to watch the video. Your students then send you the URL (web link) for the video along with the poem name and URL link to it on our website (remember, only poems that are in our anthology are eligible for our contests).


For judging, we are using our new Excel Performance and Accuracy Judge Online Scoring Sheets to assist judging online classroom and school contests. Here are the steps to judging online:

  1. Choose your performances judge(s) (anywhere from one to three judges ) and an accuracy judge.
  2. Once your students have sent you URL links to their Youtube videos, fill out our Excel Performance and Accuracy Judge Online Scoring Sheets. Each row represents one student recitation. Fill in the Student Name, Poem Name, Poem URL and Recitation URL in each row. If your students are reciting two poems (usually the case for a School Contest) randomly order the students’ recitations by two rounds, so that the judge will watch and score all the students once before watching and scoring them all a second time. Performance judges should read the poem before judging the recitation, which is why you include the Poem URL in the appropriate column. Accuracy judges use the Poem URL to read the poem as they are watching the video.
  3. Once you have created the Performance Judge Online Scoring Sheet make copies of it for each of your performance judges, including their name in the file name, and email it to them along with a deadline to complete the judging process.
  4. Send the filled in Accuracy Judge Online Score Sheet to your accuracy judge along with a deadline.
  5. When you have received all the performance and accuracy score sheets back from your judges you are ready to tabulate the results! We recommend that you copy and paste the results into our Score Calculator.


Let your classroom or your whole school know the results of your contest! Your classroom’s top students go on to compete in the school contest. Your school’s English, French and/or Bilingual champion go on to compete in our Online Contests at Junior or Senior level. And your top three English or French reciters form a team to compete in a local Team Regional Competition!