FINDING HOME Poetry Contest

Inspired by the soon-to-be-released novel in verse, WHEN YOU NEVER SAID GOODBYE, by Meg Kearney about an adopted teen’s search for her birth mother, YARN has created an invitational poetry event called “Finding Home.” YARN invites poets from all over the world inspired by this theme to submit an original poem that captures what finding home means to them personally.

“Home” © Bhargav Vadher (

“Home” © Bhargav Vadher (

With the frightening news of families of refugees fleeing for safety, legal immigrants detained at our own borders, and the rise of homelessness among college students, we want to hear diverse voices, perspectives, and feelings—whether you’re growing up in the suburbs in the middle of the United States or half a world away.

Some details about the contest:

  • Meg is the Founding Director of the Solstice Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, and will be serving as our poetry contest judge this year. She will select the winning entry/entries, and is generously donating a signed book to the winner.
  • You are welcome to experiment with diverse forms of poetry, dropping your lines into a format that best fits your work.
  • Feel free to enter more than one poem in the contest.
  • Share the contest with the world using the #YARNHome hashtag.
  • YARN staffers will provide examples below.
  • The submissions window opens on 3/21/2017 (World Poetry Day), so start sharpening those pencils and letting those minds wander.
  • To be considered, please submit your poem and a short bio pasted in the body of an email by 4/8/2017 to: poetry[at] with “2017 YARN CONTEST” in the subject line. No attachments, please! Winners will be announced on 4/26/2017.

Examples by YARN staffers:

You Can’t Buy A Home

By Lourdes Keochgerien

Yesterday, I had a
Cappuccino Blast
—a ridiculous beverage—
and I felt 19 again.

I bought a
three weeks ago
and I feel 16 again.

I rub the itchy necklace
with her name
and I feel lost
all over again.

“Home is Where the Heart is.”

My heart is in Dorset
next to Hardy’s
because that sounds
more interesting
than where it actually is:





By Kip Wilson Rechea

It’s the last day of the semester, and I’m
the last one left, but I
linger by the door, biting my lip,
watching the last cars pull away.

Going home, they call it, crammed inside
tiny vehicles, their smiles
wide, end-of-semester
crap spilling over their laps.

They sit beside others
from the same neighborhood, sharing
the same stories, experiences, lives
I’ll never know.

The only reason I have an idea at all
is because last month I
traveled four hours with my
roommate to see the room

she grew up in, filled with her pile
of stuffed animals, stack of yearbooks,
bulletin board slathered with photos,
recognized this, this is home.

Me, I shoulder my knapsack, heavy
with dread that this untethered
feeling will follow me
to every single place I rest my head.

The Play

By Lauren Paquette

Let’s rehearse, shall we?
Little Suzy smiles.
She laughs.
She tucks her pink shiny blouse into her pink shiny skirt.
She taps her heels and crosses her knees.
She doesn’t talk too soft, and of course she doesn’t talk too loud.
She doesn’t wear dark green.
She doesn’t play with dolls.
She doesn’t hear when her mother calls.
She doesn’t care when her father doesn’t.
Her eyes don’t smile.
Her eyes don’t laugh.
Beneath her sparkles she is dim.
There is perfection in her little world,
And in her little home, but
I have never much enjoyed plays.

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What Is YARN?

It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.

YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

We also believe in feedback, which is why we encourage readers to post comments on pieces that inspire thought, emotion, laughter...or whatever.

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