Cotter Cup

2021 Cotter Cup Storytelling Contest

It has been said that one of renowned educator and poet Joseph Cotter’s “greatest and most memorable gifts to the city of Louisville” was the founding of an annual storytelling contest at the Western Library in 1913. Joseph Cotter with the Cotter Cup and contestants The Storytelling Contest was a way to encourage young children to read and learn through the art of storytelling. And the winners had their names engraved onto the ‘Cotter Cup.’ Well Western Library is bringing the Cotter Cup back!

The 2021 Cotter Cup Storytelling Contest is open to Louisville students, grades K-12, and this year will focus on storytelling through poetry. To participate, students are required to attend one virtual session with a tutor from the University of Louisville Writing Center. As a result, participation is limited to the first 15 students that register in each group: elementary, middle, and high school.

Writing Center staff will work with students to structure their writing and develop new skills to help complete their poem. Participants will enter their finished piece for judging by April 30, 2021. Final poems should not exceed 1,000 words.

All participants will receive a free creative writing book and the first place winners in each category will receive a trophy.

Registrations for the Cotter Cup are now closed. If you have already registered, someone will be contacting you shortly.


Because space is limited, students must commit to attend the virtual tutoring session and submit a final poem to the contest. Failure to attend the virtual tutoring session will result in disqualification.


In Partnership with:

University of Louisville Writing Lab

Last Updated: 3/8/21