Youth Story Contest

2020 Theme: We Are Ocean

The ocean is beautiful. Astonishing animals, wondrous underwater worlds, light, color, sound. And it’s right here on our doorstep: the misty, cold Salish Sea (Puget Sound).

But the ocean is also threatened. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.  Chemicals pollute and destroy. Climate change, fed by fossil fuels, heats and acidifies, killing kelp and coral. Orcas, salmon, sharks and other species are endangered.

Why should we care? Every other breath is made by the ocean. We need it for water, weather, food, life.  We are all part of the same ecosystem.

We are ocean.

Tell your ocean story in poetry, film or graph for Tacoma Ocean Fest 2020.

Submissions now open here!

Close: 11pm April 15, 2020.

girl with phone

Categories (apply in one, two or all):
– Poetry (500 words or less)
– Film (3 minutes or less)
– Graph (one or more graphs)

boy writing

Divisions (only apply in one):
– High school
– Middle school

Middle and high school students who live or learn in the Tacoma, WA school district or who attend Chief Leschi Schools are eligible to participate. (Includes private, public and homeschoolers.)


ALL VALID ENTRIES: Free personal pizza coupon from Round Table Pizza

ALL FINALISTS: Evening boat cruise with Sea Scouts/Youth Marine Center
PLUS: Reading/screening work live at Tacoma Ocean Fest on June 7, 2020
AND: Work published on

PRIZE WINNERS will be announced live at Ocean Fest.

GRAND PRIZE (all categories): High school $150; middle school $100
PLUS: VIP pass to Tacoma Film Festival and 1-year youth membership to The Grand Cinema

SECOND PLACE (all categories): High school $100; middle school $50.
PLUS: 1-year youth membership to The Grand Cinema

THIRD PLACE (all categories): High school $50, middle school $30
PLUS: Two free tickets to The Grand Cinema

Rules & FAQ: Read them here

Story Resources: Free workshops, classes, events, links and more.

Past finalists and winners: poems, films, graphs.

Lead sponsor:

Rotary Sunrise Club of Tacoma

With support from Rotary 8 – thank you!

Other sponsors and partners: