Poetry and Essay Contest


Since 1986, The Woman’s Club of Upper Saddle River has sponsored an Essay and Poetry Contest in the Upper Saddle River Schools.

A topic is chosen and communicated to administrators, teachers and parents.

Approximately one month is given for writing, and Woman’s Club members judge the entries blind.

Winners are notified and they, their families, and school personnel are invited to attend our meeting to read their winning words.


 The 2022 Topic for our 36th Annual Essay and Poetry Contest was:


When Was The Last Time You Did Something That Scared Or Challenged You?

Be sure to tell us your story in vivid detail so we’ll feel like we are “right there with you” at the moment you have chosen to share. Did you learn something about yourself at that moment? Use your best writing strategies to make your entry as strong as it can be.

October is our writing month. Judging will be in November and awards will be given in early December.



Contest Rules
You may enter an essay, a poem—or both!
• Entry may be typed or hand-written, but it must be neat and legible.

Entries to be submitted as follows;

Rules Specific to Reynolds School Students in grades 1 and 2:

  • We welcome age appropriate entries that can include a drawing with a few sentences addressing the points above.
  • Your entry may be typed or hand-written, and done on any kind of paper including primary lined paper with space for an illustration above the writing. It must be neat and legible.

Rules specific to Bogert and Cavallini School Students:

  • If you are in grades 3 through 8, you may enter an essay, a poem—or both!
  • Your entry may be typed or hand-written, but it must be neat and legible.

For All Entries:

Your entry must have a separate title page. This title page must include:

  • your name, the title of your entry, your home address, your phone number, and a parent’s name and email
  • your school, your grade, and your teacher’s name. **Parent emails are important because winners will be notified by email**
  • This page is the only page that should contain your name, and it should be attached to the front of your entry.
  • Write your title again on the first page of the text of your entry, but do not put your name on any pages of the text of your entry. The title page and the text will be numbered and then separated to ensure impartial judging.  The judges will only see names after winners have been selected on the merits of their writing
  • There will be separate judging for poems and essays. If you do enter both contests, please be sure to put a separate title page on each entry.
  • Proofread your entry and submit it.

Entries will be judged in sections. Grades 1 and 2 will be judged together, as will grades 3 and 4, grades 5 and 6, and grades 7 and 8.

  •   Mail your entry to:

  • Woman’s Club of Upper Saddle River Poetry and Essay Contest

  • P.O. Box 645

  • Saddle River, NJ 07458

Entries must be postmarked by 

**Late Entries will not be considered**





 Winners of our 36th annual Essay and Poetry Contest were:

Parents, grandparents, teachers, and Dr. Siegel, our School Superintendent, joined our members in listening to the students read their winning entries at our meeting on December 6, 2022.

The First Place winners were:

Grades 1 and 2 Essay- Vidhan Bansal

Grades 3 and 4 Essay- Michelle Glincman 

Grades 5 and 6 Essay- Nikhil Jain

Grades 5 and 6 Poem- Maya Grinberg

Grades 7 and 8 Essay-Victoria Mueller

Grades 7 and 8 Poem- TIE! Evelyn Ha and Noah Batista


Honorable Mention was awarded to:

Grades 5 and 6 Essay-Gavin Shamash

Grades 7 and 8 Essay-Neave Cummings and Arjun Aurora


We congratulate all the students who did an amazing job reading their winning words, and we thank the USR Library for the use of their space. We look forward to next year!