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Mrs. Paredes


Meet Mrs. Paredes

My name is Betsy Paredes.  I’m excited to share that this is my third-year teaching Middle School English.  It is also my first year introducing the Avid Elective Class.  I was born and raised in New York City.  I graduated with a Bachelor in Business Management from the University System Ana G. Méndez in Orlando Florida in 2011.

I began my teaching career as a home schooling mom.  I started home schooling with the idea that it would be “school at home.”  Gradually, I learned that “school” is not confined to a room or time.  It is a vital growing aspect of family life.  True education is learning how to learn; learning about yourself, your family, the world around you, and most importantly getting to know God and His awesome plans for you in His world.

I began homeschooling with the thought that I would teach our kids the things I had been taught at their age.  God continues to teach me that true education is not merely facts, formula, dates, and field trips (although those are necessary building blocks).  True education is seeing that these things are parts of God’s world; created to help us know Him.  It is a lifelong journey available to anyone willing to learn.

Currently, I live in Sumter county.  I have been married for nineteen years with my husband Miguel and our six children (Ashley, Cienna, John-Michael, Michael-Caleb, Michael-Isaiah, Nathan-Michael) all of which attend Adventure Christian Academy.  I enjoy writing, watching movies, and spending time with my family.

Student Poetry Contest

Over $4000 in Prizes
$500 First Place In Each
Grade Division: 3-5  6-8  9-12
Cash prizes for entering $25 – $150
School with highest participation level wins a new computer!
Teachers can win a $500.00 Bonus!


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How do I enter the Student Poetry Contest?

 A.  There are two ways to enter.  You can submit a poem on paper through the mail, or you can enter electronically online through our website.  Either method requires a fully completed entry form which is available on the submissions page of this site.  Please note: we are unable to accept submissions through email. If you experience any difficulty using our online entry forms, please let us know by using the Contact Us form below.


Our Mailing Address is:
Appelley Publishing
PO Box 582
Tarpon Springs, FL


Q.  How many students enter your contest, and am I competing against students in higher grades?

 A.  The total number of entries varies by contest, but we routinely receive submissions from across the United States.  We offer three divisions, (Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12) so your poem will only be judged against other students within your age group.


Q.  What about prizes?

A.  Glad you asked. We are giving away more than $4000.00 in cash prizes, including $500.00 first place prizes in each of three divisions!  We’re also drawing the names of 25 lucky students at random for cash prizes ranging from $25.00 to $150.00!

Participating teachers who submit their students' work are eligible for one of three “Teacher’s Bonus” awards worth $500.00 apiece!  Ballots are earned by the number of submissions made, so the chances of winning keep going up!

The school with the most submissions will win a Brand New Computer!

So sharpen up those pencils… or dust off those keyboards and good luck!


Q.  How will I know if I won a prize?

A.  There are a couple of ways to find out if you’ve won.  The first is to check our website.  The winning entries will be posted there on the “Winners’ Page” as of April 5th, 2019.  We will also be contacting all of our winners by email to share the exciting news with them and their families.


Q. What are the entry deadlines?

A.If you’re submitting a poem on paper, it must be in the mail (postmarked) on or before November 7th, 2018

If you’re submitting a poem online, the deadline is one week later, by November 14th, 2018


Contest Rules

Who Can Enter?

You Can!  If you are a student in grades 3 -12, at any public or private school, or if you are home-schooled or privately tutored, we want to read your poetry.

How Many Times Can I Enter?

Just once per contest, please.  We know you love to write. That’s what we love about you, but we can only accept one poem per contest, so make it a good one!

Remember, the poem must be your own original work.  It can be about anything you like, but it must be a minimum of two lines up to a maximum of 20 lines in length. Unfortunately, we cannot accept concrete or blackout poems.  Offensively graphic poems or those containing profanity will not be accepted.  Also, no collaborative works (a single poem with more than one author).

All submissions become the property of Appelley Publishing and may be considered for publication.  You retain all copyrights to your individual work, of course. 

A Note For The Teacher

Please remember that all entries from the same class may be mailed together in one package to save on postage.  Whew! That’s a relief, but each poem still needs to have a completed Entry Form attached.

All entries submitted through our website must include a completed Online Entry Form . 

All entry forms must be filled out completely to be eligible for the contest, so yeah, entry forms… kind of a big deal, and yes, that will be on the exam. (just kidding)

“Teacher’s Bonus” Awards (It’s about time!)

No, we haven’t forgotten the unsung heroes, so here’s a big THANK-YOU!

If you are a participating teacher, you will automatically be entered to win one of three “Teacher’s Bonus” awards of 500 Dollars!  Can you say, “Ice Cream Party!?”           

Okay, maybe not.  We trust your judgment.

The nice thing is, as a teacher, you will receive one ballot for the very first student entry you send.  Then, you can increase your odds of winning with additional ballots in increments of 10, as follows.

1 student = 1 ballot, 10 students = 2 ballots, 20 students = 3 ballots and so on.            

We really like to see full class participation from our students.  After all, it’s free and it’s fun!

All you need to do is simply count the total number of participating students. Then, print that number on the “Teacher’s Bonus” entry form and send it in.  We’ll handle calculating the number of ballots for the drawing.  (We just bought new batteries for our calculator, so we’re good.)


2019 Contest Dates

If you are mailing your entry, it must be in the mail (postmarked) on or before November 7, 2018.
If you are submitting your entry online, your deadline is a week later, November 14, 2018.  (see how that works?)

And guess what?  If you are chosen as one of our Division Winners, your fantastic, award-winning poem will be featured on our very own website on April 5, 2019.  Exciting!


How Are The Winners Chosen?

Well, first things first.  All winning entries must meet the line requirements and must be in good taste.  We appreciate good grammar and correct spelling, but even more important are what we call the 3 Bs.

1.    Be an original.  We are checking for originality.  If a previously published poem has simply been copied and submitted, it’s pretty easy to spot.  We want to read what YOU write, so make the poem your own.

2.    Be creative.  You are only limited by your imagination, so let it run wild!

3.    Be authentic.  Be yourself.  Write about what you know, or what you care about, or what you dream about, and remember, the best judge of your poetry is you.  If what you wrote makes you happy, you’re already a winner.  


Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!  

1st place winners are selected in each of three divisions (Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12) and each winner will receive a cool 500 Dollars!  “Sweet!”

But wait!  How about some cash just for entering?  The people in our creative department are calling it…  are you ready for this?  “Just For Entering Cash!”  25 lucky students will be drawn at random for cash prizes ranging from $25 to $150 Bucks!  Cha-Ching!  


All decisions by our judges are final.


This is a free contest.  There are no entry fees.  There is no purchase necessary. There is no financial obligation to enter or win the contest.


When you submit a poem to us, you retain all the rights to your work.  Winning poems will appear on this website with the copyright notice intact and may be published in a future anthology.


The names of our contest winners and their award-winning poems will magically appear on this website on April 5, 2019, so mark it on your calendar!  We will notify all prize winners by email, and make award arrangements at that time.

Privacy Policy and Legalese  (Read our COPPA Policy Here)

Personal information is collected for the purpose of notifying contest winners and contact info will not be made public, leased, sold or distributed by Appelley Publishing.  No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.  Minors must have parental consent to enter.  Sponsored by Appelley Publishing.  All rights reserved.  All information provided herein pertains to the contest closing in November 2018 and may be updated without notice.