ELKO, Nev. (AP) - The group that stages the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko has launched a YouTube poetry contest for those between the ages of 18 and 35.
Officials at the Elko-based Western Folklife Center say the contest is designed to inspire the next generation living in the West to write and recite poetry about rural life.
Poems will be judged by the public as well as by a four-member committee of experts. Public judging will end Dec. 19 and the committee will select a winner by Dec. 21.
Poets from 17 states centered around the West, including Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas, are invited to submit videos no more than four minutes in length. Submissions must be original and have a rural focus. Poems also should be performed and not read.
Contestants must upload videos to their own YouTube page and tag it "2014 Cowboy Poetry Competition."
The winner of the public vote will receive two free three-day passes to the 30th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, to be held Jan. 27 to Feb. 1. The winner of the juried competition will earn a performance slot at the event along with free travel and lodging.