2019 Poetry Awards Closed

Results announced early September.


2019 Optional Theme: "Is There Anybody There?"

"Our poets are encouraged to take inspiration from wherever they may find it, however if they are looking for some direction, competition participants are invited to use this year's optional theme to inspire their entries."

In 2019, the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society has chosen a line from the poem, "The Listeners," by Walter De La Mare (1873-1956.) Walter was a famous British poet, novelist and short story writer. He wrote whimsical, fantastical worlds for children and adults alike, and described children as "visionaries." Given this opinion, it is very fitting that his work be selected for this particular competition and we encourage you to use your imagination like he did! For a copy of the poem, please click here.

And for a copy of the wonderful theme poster, please click here.

How to Enter

*PLEASE NOTE: If you're registering as an individual student, put your HOME address in your personal details and not your SCHOOL'S address! The address you list is where your participation certificate will be posted!*

Online Submission 

(primary school and secondary school, anytime during the competition period)

  1. Teacher/parent - registration completed online (invoice will be emailed within 2 weeks of registration)
  2. Log in to your page
  3. Enter student details and submit poem(s) (cut and paste or type in poem content direct to the webpage)
  4. Repeat step 3 for every student/individual poem


Submission via mail ($10 administration fee applies- see Conditions of Entry for details)

(primary only)

Please consider online entry to help us save time and reduce humanity's environmental footprint.

  1. Teacher/parent - registration completed online (invoice will be emailed within 2 weeks of registration)
  2. Print out and complete entry form for/by each student. Entry form available here.
  3. Print out poems (text must be in a easily distinguishable font – Arial, Times New Roman, hand-written poems not accepted)
  4. Glue completed entry form to the back of each entry
  5. Teacher to collate all entries, enclose entry fee or a confirmation of payment and mail to the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, PO Box 113, Gunnedah, NSW, 2380
  6. Mailed entries are individually scanned and submitted online by the Awards’ organisers. Please consider online entry to help us save valuable time during this hectic period and reduce our environmental footprint. We can all make a difference. 

Useful tips

  • Have a read of the judges' reports from the previous year. They contain some very helpful advice for teachers and parents alike!
  • It is recommended for schools to appoint a coordinator for the competition.
  • Only a teacher/parent can complete the registration form on behalf of the student/child.
  • Log-in details: username is the email address and a password of your choice.
  • Log-in details can be given to other teachers/students for poem submission in class/at home.
  • Log-in as many times as necessary during the competition period.
  • Teachers can view progress by monitoring the number and content of entries.
  • Individual entries are accepted if the school is not participating or a child is home schooled. Parent needs to complete the registration form with their contact details. Please indicate 'individual entry' under school name and home postal address under school address.
  • Invoice for the entry fee will be sent to the registered email address within 2 weeks.
  • ‘Participation certificate only’ option available for schools where pre-selection of entries has been carried out. Poems under this option will not be sent to judges, students will still receive participation certificate for their efforts.

Please read the Conditions of Entry before entering. Entries accepted: March 1 to June 30, results announced during early September.

Need some inspiration?

Check out our learning resources or browse the previous years’ themes and winning entries.


For more information contact our Project Officer on 02 6742 1200 or email dorotheamackellar[at]bigpond[dot]com[dot]