Friday update

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Just advising you of new information and links that have been added to the site pages this week.




Please remember to check the  Competitions page for ‘fast approaching’ deadlines.

New competitions have been added:

  • Children’s Poetry Anthology on Food and Agriculture – submission deadline:  14 June  2014
  • Peace Train Poetry Festival – submission deadline 30 June 2014

To view all the competitions just click on the ‘Competitions’ title to view listings on the one page. Competitions are listed in order of their deadline date.



If you are interested in an interview with the well-known ‘peace poet’, Professor Ada Aharoni, click on the interview link here:



New links have been added here:


Poets A-Z:

Two poet bios have been added to our growing list of talented Australian poets.

All listed poets can be viewed here or via the drop down menu (Poets A-Z).


That’s it for this week’s updates.


Poem of the Day


Build a Road

How do you build, do you build a road? Build a road to last?

Step by step, you build a road, build a road so fast.


How long does it take to build a road? Six months for men like us.

Mr Cox to lead and a good square feed, it’s enough for men like us.


How many men to build a road? Thirty men like us.

We’re fit and strong, it won’t take long, we’ll work without a fuss.


Out in the bush in good clean air it’s grand to work at last.

I break the stones, I may crack my bones, but the road is moving fast.


And we’re the men who fell the trees, fence off the drop with rails

For William Cox, I blast the rocks, I beat the iron nails.


And we’re the ones who stir the pots, who fill the bellies up,

You work real well if you know the bell means good grub coming up.


You don’t look up, you don’t look down, you work and you never stop

And then one day you look round and say, ‘Hey men, we’re at the top’.


So why do we work to build the road? To build this road so fast?

Cos when we’ve done, we’ll tell our sons we built this road to last.

Yes, when we’re done, we’ll tell our sons we built this road to last.

© Wendy Blaxland

This poem is part of CROSSING, a play I wrote for the bicentenary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains by the Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson expedition (Gregory Blaxland is one of my forebears). It played to over 7,000 schoolchildren to great acclaim in 2013, and is returning this year in Term 3.

Find out more about booking in your school to see our talented actors bring history alive at If you book by Thursday 27th March, the school will receive a signed copy of my poetic book The Princess and the Unicorn as well, in honour of International Poetry Day.


Australian Children’s Poetry & the World Wide Web


©Kate O’Neil

The launch of the Australian Children’s Poetry website is an important event. It will be a rich resource for students, teachers and poets and a meeting place for everyone with an interest in any aspect of children’s poetry – readers, writers, teachers, parents, performers, academics, illustrators. In recent years children’s poetry has received renewed attention in many quarters – schools, media, academia, publishing – with a growing recognition of just how valuable it can be in a child’s development.

This new website will enable Australian children and their guiding influences to learn about contemporary Australian writers as well as the Australian tradition from which they have grown.

That tradition has, of course, a world-wide heritage as well, and a number of websites in both the UK and US are testimony to an exciting spirit of revival in this important literature.

Many of them include articles or features which have value for readers or writers everywhere and browsers who have enjoyed some time on the home pasture might be interested to explore further.

Children’s poetry sites UK.

This is run by Roger Stevens who has been publishing children’s poems online since 1998. The site also has interviews with a number of well-known children’s poets.

Website of The Poetry Book Society founded by T S Eliot and Friends in 1953. Use search facility for material related to children’s poetry. eg Poetry Books for …Tiny Terrors”

Type ‘children’s poetry’ into the search bar for some great articles on children’s poetry.’s-poetry

In 2011 Morag Styles became the first “Professor of Children’s Poetry (Cambridge). This is the wonderful essay she wrote to mark the occasion of her appointment.

National Centre for Primary Schools @ CLPE

This is a free poetry website for primary schools. It features well-known poets, children’s poems, Themes, Poetic devices, Resources, Courses and events.The resources include many well-known poets speaking about their craft.

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education – type ‘poetry’ into the search facility.

Included here is a list of winners of the CLPE Poetry Award since 2003

Blog of Poetry Advocates for Children & Young Adults ( PACYA )

This is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting poetry for every age group founded by poet Steven Withrow in 2011.

Children’s Poetry Sites US

Run by Sylvia Vardell, a professor of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

The National Council of Teachers of English gives awards to American books of children’s poetry based on criteria listed on the site. There is also a list of winners since 1977 and links to their individual websites and to related articles.



Opportunities for poets

  • If you are a children’s poet who is keen to visit schools to present writing workshops or to perform, here are three speakers’ agencies you might like to check out:

Booked Out – 
Creative Net –  Paul Collins
Speakers Ink –  Helen Bain

Poem of the Day

1 Comment


there is no school today

the teachers are away

all we’ll do is play

much to mum’s dismay


the teachers are away

it has to do with pay

much to mum’s dismay

at home she has to stay


it has to do with pay

it will last another day

at home she has to stay

there is no other way


it will last another day

unless they win their pay

there is no other way

my mum is sad to say


unless they win their pay

all we’ll do is play

my mum is sad to say

there is no school today


© Peter Lingard

Thirty Years of Poetry

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“We who with songs beguile your pilgrimage
And swear that Beauty lives though lilies die,
We Poets of the proud old lineage
Who sing to find your hearts, we know not why, –


What shall we tell you?…”

The 2014 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, Australia’s largest and oldest poetry writing competition for students, will open for entries on March 1.

Primary and secondary students across Australia are invited to explore the wonderful world of creative writing and have a go at telling their own stories using poetic tools.

This year awards celebrate their 30th anniversary. With this in mind the optional theme, ‘What Shall We Tell You’, has been chosen from the verse poem The Golden Journey To Samarkand by James Elroy Flecker, to encourage the idea of links between past and present, important milestones, memorable times and events.

Last year 10,000 poems were written by students from 700 schools nationally, with winners sharing over $7000 worth of prizes including cash, trophies, books and a trip to Gunnedah in north-west NSW – home of the awards and where Dorothea Mackellar’s family owned several properties.

The awards are divided into nine categories and are open to all school students from kindergarten to year 12. Individual students can win up to $500 and while prizes for primary and secondary school whose entries demonstrate a high overall standard are worth $1000 each. There are categories for students on learning assistance and special education programs and the Community Relations Commission (NSW) is supporting a category for the best poem highlighting the value of cultural diversity within the Australian community.

Judging the entries this year are authors Corinne Fenton (primary sections) and Nette Hilton (secondary sections) – highly accomplished children’s authors with numerous award winning work, both passionate poetry lovers.

Competition closing date is 30 June 2014. Winners will be announced on the 29th August during the National Presentation ceremony, their work will be published in online and print format and promoted nationally.

Entries are accepted online via, primary students have an option of postal submission – forms and all relevant information about the competition are available on our website.

Media contact

Mila Stone, Project Officer

0267 421 200