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

One thought on “Thirty Years of Poetry

  1. Many thanks Di You are just marvellous. I do U3A DIY POETRY at Providence Aged Care – have sent your newsletter to our local U3A for the Grandchildren. Suggested they forward info onto U3A H.Q. so ALL the Grandparents can be in on the act! All thanks to Australian Children’s Poetry. You are just fantastic Still working on Children’s Poetry with residents of Grant Lodge & Providence Cheers Robyn Youl

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