Summer Sidewalk Poetry Competition

The Summer Sidewalk Poetry Competition celebrates the poets of Pottsboro, Texas. The competition recognizes five poets from our community and engages the senses and emotions of our residents with delight and inspiration.

Approximately five poems from local poets were curated, made into stencils and painted on sidewalks and pedestrian pathways throughout Pottsboro.

Advanced Planning

The competition was managed by the library's project manager and the steps included the following:

  • Begin planning for May 1st Launch
  • Draft and send sponsor/donation letters to local businesses, city and schools
  • Secure 3-5 judges to judge poems
  • Launch competition in the monthly newsletter, on Facebook and with local English teachers
  • Acknowledge via email and document contest submission
  • Follow up with prospective sponsors
  • Create Judging Rubric
  • Recap contest submissions for judges and send PDF files
  • Create, approve and order donation QR code
  • Receive contest results from judges and determine overall winners
  • Send Poetry Reveal Event invite via email/Facebook to the community. Include local officials, board and local TV
  • Determine winning poems
  • Create a map with the poems and assigned location
  • Notify winning authors via email. Invite to Poetry Reveal Event
  • Notify sponsors of the specific poem placement and invite them to Poetry Reveal Event
  • Hold Reveal Event recognizing authors and sponsors
  • Order the stencils
  • Post one winning poem daily on Facebook and Instagram
  • Complete stencil installations

While the project was managed by one person its success was due to the efforts of our entire staff.


We utilized Facebook, Instagram and our newsletters to promote at least two times per week. We had over 10k impressions and reaches on Facebook.


We did not have a set budget but would recommend doing so in the future. While we did receive donations, we will have a more robust campaign to fund the competition next year. The average cost of a stencil was $95. Our donations did not cover the full expense. The total cost of the program was $1,400.

Day-of-event Activity

A PowerPoint presentation was used to recognize each winning author and poem. Attending judges, sponsors and library board members were recognized and thanked for their participation. Unique trophies were handed out to winners. Two staff members and one volunteer were on hand for the event.

Program Execution

160 poems were submitted during the competition. 13 winners were chosen — one for each sponsor location.

We received positive feedback from all of the sponsors and from several patrons. We expect to hear more as the public visits each location throughout the summer. A spin-off program is in the early stages of planning and we will hold the competition again next year. We had no formal feedback tool.


Start planning at least a couple of months in advance. Have a plan to get sponsors and donors. Have an in-person visit with each desired sponsor one week after the email request. Ensure to capture all contact information of authors, phone number, email, etc.

Supporting Materials

Slideshow Images