Youth Poet Laureate

2018-2019 Ventura County Youth Poet Laureate, Unique Shehee

Nomination & Selection Process

The Ventura County Arts Council is seeking applications for the position of 2019-2020 Ventura County Youth Poet Laureate. The person selected will strive to advance awareness of and appreciation for literary arts and humanities within Ventura County. As both a resident and emerging poet, the Youth Poet Laureate shall represent and celebrate the diversity and vision of the youth in Ventura County. As a representative of the county’s literary community, the Youth Poet Laureate shall endeavor to promote a wide range of literary arts within the county and shall actively participate in ceremonial, educational and cultural activities throughout the county at various times in his or her term of service.

Download Application

Download Judging Criteria


Term of Service

The Youth Poet Laureate of Ventura County is an honorary position. The individual appointed will serve a one-year term, commencing in Fall 2019. Nearing the end of the Youth Poet Laureate’s term, and prior to initiating the next nomination process, the Ventura County Arts Council may extend an invitation to the sitting Youth Poet Laureate to serve a second consecutive term. The Youth Poet Laureate will have thirty days to respond. If they elect not to accept the invitation, they must wait an intervening term (1 year) prior to being re-nominated.


The Youth Poet Laureate will receive an honorarium of $500.00 per term and a book deal with Spit Shine Publishing.

Term Expectations

As a condition of appointment, the Youth Poet Laureate will participate in a minimum of four public functions throughout the one-year term of service. Additionally, the Youth Poet Laureate shall aim to be actively involved with local colleges and high schools, and shall endeavor to create or facilitate workshops and readings that will bring the Youth Poet Laureate into contact with students of all ages, and the public in a variety of contexts. To the extent possible, the Youth Poet Laureate will establish programs to coincide with their term of service to promote community awareness of the literary arts, and to encourage community members to develop their own creative interests.

Who May Be Nominated

Eligible nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current resident of the county of Ventura
  • Be available to travel throughout Ventura county
  • Be a recognized poet who meets the preponderance of the selection criteria listed below

Selection Criteria

  • Must be between the ages of 13 and 19
  • An established presence and history of involvement in the Ventura county literary arts community, volunteer and community service, and clubs, sports, after school activities and extra academic activities
  • Recognition as demonstrated by press coverage, special honors, or awards

Who May Nominate or Apply

Ventura County Youth Poet Laureate nominations or applications may come from any organization or individual.

The Review and Selection Process

The Youth Poetry Laureate Committee shall review the nomination, application materials and candidate poets, and recommend one or more for consideration by the Ventura County Arts Council, who will make the final appointment of the Youth Poet Laureate. The Committee may seek additional information or clarification from nominees or applicants once respective poet’s materials have been submitted, and may conduct interviews of some or all candidates before making its recommendations to the Arts Council. Please send resume/CV with up to 3 poems (no more than 10 pages) attached and/or YouTube links to readings and performances of your original work.

The Youth Poet Laureate Committee

The Youth Poet Laureate Committee is established by the VCAC to broadly represent the Ventura County literary community. Former Youth Poet Laureates shall be invited to serve on the Youth Poet Laureate Committee whenever feasible. A member of the Board of the Ventura County Arts Council will serve as part of the committee. The Youth Poet Laureate Committee shall endeavor to serve as a support group to help facilitate projects the Youth Poet Laureate may want to pursue.

Application Deadline

Application materials may be found on the Ventura County Arts Council’s website and sources below. Completed applications should be sent to the Youth Poet Laureate Committee at the Ventura County Arts Council’s office, website, or email address. Mailed nominations must be postmarked on or before September 27, 2019. Materials submitted will not be returned.

Office location and mailing address:

Ventura County Arts Council
646 County Square Drive Ste., 154
Ventura, CA 93003

Please submit all materials by September 27, 2019. Submission materials may also be emailed to: