The Louine Schaufler Youth Poetry Contest

The Louine Schaufler Youth Poetry Contest will be established in the fall of 2021. The contest is to encourage poem-making from South Dakota students.

What to submit: Students will submit up to three of their best poems that somehow relate to the overarching theme "growing up in South Dakota." We don't mean for this to be too restrictive, so write about what you are thinking about and feeling, but we also want some relation to life here in particular. The poems need not be autobiographical though.

Who can submit: Middle school and high school students in South Dakota.

Judging: Judging will be conducted by members of the South Dakota State Poetry Society board.

Awards: Middle school and high school submissions will be divided to be judged. The prizes are as following: $100 for first, $75 for second, and $50 for third in both categories. There is also a possibility of one or two honorable mentions. Winning students will receive a check in the mail. The winning poems will be published to our blog page.

How to submit: Submission is free. Students can either make a submittable account and submit through that (see link below), or they can submit to our PO box (SDSPS / PO Box 8251 / Brookings, SD 57006), whichever way is easier. In either case, students must include an adult's (parent, teacher, caregiver) statement and signature that the work is the student's original work and that if selected, the work can be published to our website.

Other submission details: Include your name, school, and grade on each page of poetry you submit, whether online or via the mail. In the cover letter textbox on submittable, include a physical address.

Deadline to submit: Submissions will be open August 1, 2021 - November 15, 2021. (If mailing in your submission, the entry should be postmarked by the deadline.)

Please contact us with any questions via our contact page. And we very much look forward to reading your submissions.

About Louine Schaufler:

Born in 1923, in Lebanon, South Dakota, Louine Wheeler was the oldest of six children.  Her mother died when she was nine, and she and two of her siblings were raised by her mother’s sister and husband in Salem.  After graduating from St. Mary’s High School, she married “Butch” Schaufler and together they ran a successful farming operation for over fifty years.  To bring in extra money, but mostly I think because she enjoyed the people, she also worked at Humboldt Supply.

She was active in the community and her church and made the most wonderful pies.

Although she never had any of her own, my Aunt Louine had a soft spot for children. I suspect each one of her nieces and nephews thought he or she was her favorite.  I don’t know if she enjoyed poetry, but she praised my attempts as if they rivaled Frost or Dickinson.  She lived to be 96 years old and I still sent her my poems.  Every writer needs a cheerleader and it is my hope that this contest will pass on some of my Aunt Louine’s encouragement to others.

  • By Jane Wheeler, who established the contest in her aunt's honor.
Aunt Louine

Teacher Resources: Lesson plans with questions to answer before reading, the poem link, poetry analysis questions, and writing prompts based on the analysis *Note I include a link to read each poem, but we cannot republish them here.

Lesson plans and revision tips written by Jodi Andrews, MA.

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