Created by Red Room Poetry, in partnership with Wollongong City Council, POEM FOREST deepens our connection with nature by inviting students and communities to create and publish poems inspired by the natural environment. For every poem received a native tree will be planted on Dharawal Country in the Wollongong LGA to increase critical canopy cover, heal habitats and create a POEM FOREST for future generations.
- POEM FOREST prize opens Tuesday 21 March 2023.
- Submissions close 5pm AEST Friday 22 September 2023.
- Shortlist and poems published in October 2023.
- Winners announced November 2023.
- POEM FOREST trees planted on Dharawal Country in the Wollongong LGA throughout 2023.
- You must be an Australian student or young person (aged 18 and under), an accredited teacher or a parent/guardian entering on behalf of a student to enter the competition.
- Poems must be no more than 20 lines and identifiably linked to the theme of nature.
- Poems submitted must be original works written by an individual author.
Additional criteria for special prizes:
- The Threatened Species Prize (F-12) will be awarded to the best poem written in response to Australia’s threatened species. See the list of threatened flora, fauna and ecological communities.
- The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan Local Prize (F-12)* will be awarded to the best poem by a student living or studying on Dharawal Country within the Camden and Campbelltown LGAs.
- The Wollongong Community Greening Local Prize (F-12)* will be awarded to the best poem by a student (individual prize) and the best collaborative poem (school prize) living or studying on Dharawal Country within the Wollongong LGA. The school prize includes a free excursion/incursion for one (1) class - up to thirty (30) students with Wollongong Botanic Garden.
*Eligibility for these special prizes will be determined by the postcode entered on the poem entry form. You are eligible for the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan Local Prize if you live or study in a postcode within the Camden or Campbelltown LGA and you are eligible for the Wollongong Community Greening Prize if you live or study in a postcode within the Wollongong LGA.
Terms and Conditions
- POEM FOREST awards prizes to young people (aged 18 and under) and accredited teachers across Australia. All types of mainstream schooling systems are eligible, as well as home schools, GAT programs, special needs groups, alternative education and individual young writers.
- Poem submissions can be made by students and teachers via the online form (to be launched with the competition on Monday 21 March). Entries must include either a teacher’s or guardian’s name/email address. Entries sent by email will not be accepted (unless entering the Wollongong Community Greening Prize school prize).
- Poems must be the writer’s original work. Poems submitted must not infringe upon anyone’s copyright. Poems deemed to be works of plagiarism will be disqualified.
- Copyright of the poem remains with the poet.
- All POEM FOREST submissions will be read by our team after the closing date. By submitting, you give Red Room Poetry and its partners permission to publish your poem and quote excerpts on digital platforms and in our external communications. (Surnames of people under 18 will not be published). If you check the box in our entry form you also give Red Room Poetry and its partners permission to publish your reflection and quote excerpts on digital platforms and in our external communications. (Surnames of people under 18 will not be published).
- Entries are judged anonymously. Judging decisions are final. Due to the volume of submissions, individual feedback cannot be provided.
- Prize details and judging information can be found here.
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