Entry information

The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards seek to capture the imaginations of school students across Australia, inspiring them to express their thoughts and feelings through the medium of poetry in their pursuit of literary excellence.


How to enter

  • If you already have an existing account, please sign via the LOG IN page.
  • If you are new to the competition, you can CLICK HERE to register for an account.
  • For detailed information on how to enter CLICK HERE.
  • For some useful tips and promotional material CLICK HERE.

 Pease ensure you read the Conditions of Entry below before entering poems.




Key dates

  • Entries opened on Friday 1 March 2024.
  • Submissions close 5pm AEST Sunday 30 June 2024.
  • Winners announced at 10am on Friday 6 September 2024.


Optional theme

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

The optional theme for 2024 is “Listen, I have an Idea. Students are encouraged to write about topics and experiences that spark their poetic genius (in whatever form they choose.)



  • Only students enrolled in an Australian education facility (Kindergarten to Year 12) are eligible to enter.
  • Poems must be no more than 80 lines with no illustrations, graphics or decorations included.
  • Poems on any subject are accepted, the annual theme is optional.
  • Poems that have been previously entered in the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards are NOT ELIGIBLE to be entered.
  • Poems entered in other competitions are eligible to be entered.


Conditions of entry

  • The Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards is for students enrolled in an Australian education facility (Kindergarten to Year 12).
  • All types of mainstream schooling systems are eligible, as well as home schools, Highly Potential and Gifted Education (formerly GAT) programs, special needs groups, alternative education and individual young writers.
  • Entries are limited to up to 3 poems per student.
  • Poems can be submitted by students, an accredited teacher or a parent/guardian on behalf of a student participating in the competition via the online form (to be launched on Friday 1 March 2024).
  • Entries sent by email or post will not be accepted.
  • Poems must be the student’s own work (any excerpts from or rewording of another poem must be appropriately referenced). Poems deemed to be works of plagiarism will be disqualified. Note that all poems are checked for plagiarism prior to judging.
  • Copyright of the poem remains with the poet.
  • By submitting, you give the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society Inc. the permission to publish your poem and quote excerpts on digital platforms and in our external communications.
  • Entries are judged anonymously. The Judges decisions are final. Due to the volume of submissions, individual feedback cannot be provided.
  • Prize details and judging information can be found here.
  • All personal details provided will be collected in alignment with our Privacy Policy.
  • Entrants may be asked to assist in media publicity in the form of comments and/or photographs.


Types of entries

  • Individual – if a school is not participating or a child is home schooled. Parents are required to complete the registration form with their contact details.
  • Participation only – this option is available to schools and individual entries where pre-selection of entries can be carried out. Poems entered under this option will not be judged. The entrants will receive a participation certificate for their effort.
  • Group poems – when entering a group poem please enter the surnames of each of the students e.g. Smith, Holmes, Peters. The add the matching first names in the First Name field e.g. John, Amy, Jake.
  • Class poems – when entering a class poem please enter the class name in the Surname e.g. Class 2B.


Entry fees

Please find following the fees for entering the 2024 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards:

Individual poems – up to 3 poems $20.00
Up to 30 poems $30.00
Over 30 poems $60.00
Over 100 poems $80.00

Entry fee payment is by credit card only. An invoice will be issued by email within 2 weeks of purchase. Refunds are not provided for unused entries.


Announcement of winners

  • Winners and runners-up will be contacted in early August.
  • Winners are announced at the Presentation Ceremony and online on first Friday of September each year. Runners-up, shortlisted, highly commended, and commended are also published online on this day.
  • Due to the sheer volume of entries, unsuccessful applicants will NOT be contacted.


Participation Certificates

  • Participation certificates will be mailed to all participants following the Presentation Certification in September.
  • As they are posted from a regional post office, please allow 1-3 weeks for them to arrive.


Annual anthology

  • The annual anthology includes all the winning, runners-up, shortlisted, highly commended and commended poems from all competition categories.
  • Anthologies are available to be ordered in hardcopy or digital format in October. Ordering details will be provided following the Presentation Ceremony.