Lighting the Way: Spoken Word Contest

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Lighting the Way, in partnership with the Bristol Community College Women’s Center and the YWCA, is excited to bring you the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s first ever spoken word contest. Lighting the Way: Historic Women of SouthCoast explores the historical impact of women from the region.


How it works

Using the profiles of one of the women highlighted on the Lighting the Way website for inspiration,, writers will create and submit an original piece of writing. Because spoken word is a piece of creative writing that is best delivered through performance, your piece can be poetry, song, or some combination.

Pieces should touch on the themes, accomplishments or stories of the profile selected and should be no longer than two (2) minutes in length when read out loud.

Pieces will be submitted to Christina Turner, Director of Education, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum at and reviewed by members of the Lighting the Way committee for final selection. Pieces selected to be performed will be chosen based on relevance, creativity, length, and originality.

All selected pieces will be performed at the Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast – Spoken Word Contest on Thursday, March 14th.


Who is Eligible?    

Young adults ages 12-25    



One performer in each age category (12 -14, 15 -18, 19-25) will be notified of their award after their performance. Award winners will receive $50 and their piece may be featured on the Lighting the Way website or other Lighting the Way materials.


Key Dates  

  • February 8th: Contest Opens
  • February 26th: Submission deadline for all entries
  • March 1st: Submissions selected for performance/performers notified
  • Date TBD: Optional practice for event performers
  • March 14th: Performances
  • By March 22: Winners notified


Registration Process

Submission deadline for all entries: Tuesday, February 26

» Click here for the Online Registration Form (preferred method)

» Click here for the downloadable PDF Registration Form. Please make sure your PDF registration form is filled out completely and submit it along with your writing piece to Christina Turner at


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