5 June 2012

Newcastle Poetry Prize 2012

The Newcastle Poetry Prize is now open for entries! Coordinated by the Hunter Writers’ Centre, it is one of Australia’s oldest and most important literary competitions and boasts a distinguished list of past winners and judges.

Opening / closing dates

Entries opened 9am EST, Monday 9th April, 2012 and will close 5pm EST, Friday June 8th, 2012.

How to enter

Submit your entry by visiting the website.


One of the most lucrative poetry prizes in Australia, the Newcastle Poetry Prize offers $20,250 in total prize money with a first place award of $12,000, a second prize of $5,000 and third prize of $1,000. In addition, the $500 Local Award is given to a poet who resides in the Hunter Region. For young poets, The Harri Jones Memorial Prize awards $250 for the best poem by a poet under the age of 36.

• First prize: $12,000
• Second Prize: $5000
• Third Prize: $1000
• Local Award: $500
• Harri Jones Memorial Prize (Under 36): $250

New direction after big milestone

The Prize, which is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards, has exciting things in store.
Along with a much-loved annual hardcopy, the Prize anthology will also be published as an e-book, giving selected poets the chance to reach an international audience.

It is a new direction for the long-running award which last year celebrated its 30th anniversary. The milestone was marked with readings from distinguished previous winners including Les Murray, Anthony Lawrence, Mark Tredinnick, Diane Fahey, Philip Salom, Duncan Hose, Patricia Sykes, Peter Kirkpatrick and Brooke Emery. A special anniversary anthology, Completely Surrounded, was published by Puncher & Wattman.

It’s only fair.

A distinctive feature of the Newcastle Poetry Prize is that it is judged anonymously, giving both established and emerging poets equal opportunity for recognition and publication.

Newcastle, Australia; pure poetry

The association with Newcastle is no accident. The Hunter Region has a long history of fostering poetry and an active community of local poets who punch above their weight nationally in awards, publication and events. In the words of the late Novocastrian poet, Bill Iden, “Newcastle’s environment makes its poets”.

The Newcastle Poetry Prize is a significant cultural achievement and is a testament to the commitment of its sponsors to celebrating artistic excellence in Australia.