Teen Summer Writing Camp Registration Open

The Vachel Lindsay Association is proud to make History Come Alive with a 2-week poetry and fiction writing camp for students, ages 13 to 18. The camp will run Mondays through Thursdays from July 11 to July 21, 2016 and will be held at the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site. Each day’s session will begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon. Participants will spend time creating new writing in both poetry and fiction, as well as revising that work to be included in a small literary publication and read at a community performance. Learn more!


2016 Illustration Contest Winners

The Vachel Lindsay Association is pleased to announce winners for the 2016 Vachel Lindsay Illustration Contest, held in celebration of the life and works of Springfield’s troubadour poet. This year’s contest drew over fifty entries from New Berlin, Sherman and Vachel Lindsay elementary schools. For the contest, students in three age categories were asked to illustrate different Lindsay poems. The winners and honorable mentions in each category are as follows:

“The Little Turtle” – K-1 grades

First Place: Sannuti Gomatham (New Berlin)

Second Place: Brody Bilbruck (New Berlin)

Third Place: Conner Stinson (New Berlin)

Honorable Mention: Caden Comerford (Lindsay) and Lakin Lear (Lindsay)


“The Haughty Snail-King” – 2-4 grades

First Place: Sean Razo (Sherman)

Second Place: Tyler Geyston (Sherman)

Third Place: Calen Lyttaker (Sherman)

Honorable Mention: Ashlynn Bradley (Sherman) and Lily Hess (Sherman)


“The Flower of Mending” – no entries received in the fifth and sixth grade category


Each first-, second- and third-place student artist will receive a copy of a collection of Lindsay’s children’s poetry along with a Barnes and Noble gift card. Judges for this year’s contest were Immanuel Ahiable (emerging artist with the Springfield Art Association Collective) and Scott Faingold (staff writer for Illinois Times and co-host of The Scene at NPR Illinois).


Said Faingold, “It was exciting to see so much color and creativity – Mr. Lindsay would have loved all of these entries.” Ahiable agreed, noting, “It’s really great to see the student interpretations of Vachel Lindsay poems. We definitely have some promising creatives for the future.”


All members of the community are invited to visit the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site over the weekend of May 6-8 (1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.) to view a special “Artists in Residence” exhibition featuring artwork from the winners of this year’s Illustration Contest. Artwork will be on display throughout the Lindsay Home over the weekend, and a brief reception honoring the winners will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, 2016.

Teen Writers: VOLTA call for poems

The Vachel Lindsay Association is seeking 5-10 amazing poems by Springfield area teens, to be showcased in an innovative performance event, VOLTA, to be held on Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Legacy Theater.

This event, now in its second year, will feature student-created poetry, dance and music that will be presented live to the public during two shows on the evening of the April 22. Students whose work is chosen for this event may be asked to read their poems as a part of this event, or their poems may be selected by area dancers or composers to serve as inspiration for new performance pieces.

The theme for this year’s performance centers on an awareness of and appreciation for the earth; however, poems do not have to have an overt environmental message. Respect for all forms of life on the planet can be written about in many ways, and students are encouraged to go beyond what would normally be considered nature poems. View a list of of writing prompts – for teachers and students – here: VoltaPrompts.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Students (ages 13 to 18) may submit up to 3 poems related to the Earth Day theme, but may not exceed 5 pages of work.
  • All entries must include the student’s name, address, phone number and email address in the header of each page, along with their current grade and the name of the school they are attending.
  • Send entries to: Vachel Lindsay Association, Attn: Teen Poetry, P.O. Box 9356, Springfield, IL 62791-9356.
  • Entries must be postmarked by January 15, 2016 to be eligible for consideration.

The Vachel Lindsay Association will offer a free poetry writing and revising workshop to area teens interested in submitting poems on Saturday, January 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.; pre-registration is required. Teens should email vachellindsay@gmail.com to secure a spot.

Poems will be selected for this performance by members of the Vachel Lindsay Association Board of Directors. Students whose poems are selected by the Board of Directors to be included in this event will be notified no later than February 2016. Questions and inquires may be directed to Lisa Higgs, VLA President, at vachellindsay@gmail.com.



Registration Opens for Fall Writing Workshops

WriteShortWork2The following writing workshops will be offered this fall. Be sure to register early. More information and complete registration information is available on our Workshop page. We hope you will join us!

Writing for Children: Memory, Mentors, and Meditations

Saturday, October 17              2 to 4 p.m.

Beginnings and Endings: Tips for Writing the Trickiest Part of Narrative

Sunday, November 8               1 to 3 p.m.

Fiction Flash Lines

Sunday, December 13              1 to 3 p.m.

The Workshop Registration Form is available here!