Competition Calendar


Thank you for visiting our 2019 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day Competitions Calendar. You'll see on offer the wonderfully wide range of competitions regional, nationwide and online, for children and adult. With such an eclectic mix, there were opportunities galore to put pen to paper and release a poem out into the world! The 2020 calendar will be updated progressively, so keep checking in to see what's new, as we head towards Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2020. Good luck!


‘A Poem for Kaikoura’ Poetry Competition
Kaikoura has long inspired poets, writers and artists, now it’s your turn. Let our environment, people, history or thoughts on our future be your motivation to create a Poem for Kaikoura. Prizes and prestige up for grabs. Entries will be judged by Kaikoura poets Te Awhina Arahanga and Amy Leigh Wicks. Winning entries will have an opportunity to share their work as part of our Poetry at the Museum event on Friday 23 August. Shortlisted entries will be displayed around participating venues across Kaikoura for the month of September. All entries will be collected and kept as a treasured archive at Kaikoura Museum and held in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy.
Entry details: Free. Register by Monday 5 August. Anyone can enter as long as they keep to the theme: ‘A poem for Kaikoura’. Register by phone 03 319 7440, or email or by popping into the Museum with your name, age category and contact details. Categories: Children: 6 – 13. Young adults: 13 – 18. Adults 19+.
Submission dates: Open from 5 – 19 of August. Everyone who is registered can access the Museum for free during this period to help rouse your creativity. Submit entries by email to or in person at the Museum. Entries will be provided to the judges anonymously.
Contact: Stephanie Lange, 03 319 7440 | info: Facebook/Kaikoura Museum

CONDENSED MILK Poetry Competition

1. Boil a novel down into a poem of no more than 20 lines.
2. Put it in a can (optional).
3. Send to VOLUME, PO Box 364, Nelson 7040 or or bring your entry into the shop by 12 August. The winner will be announced on Friday 23 August, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019.
Entry details:
Winner announced on the day, Friday 23 August 2019.
15 Church Street, Nelson
Thomas or Stella,

Further info: Facebook event/CONDENSED MILK Poetry Competition

Radio NZ Needs You!

On Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day on RNZ at 1.10pm Jesse Mulligan will let listeners know 6 random words, which they must incorporate into a poem that is no more than 6 lines long. The entries are judged and the winner is announced after 2pm on air. This year’s judge will be Erik Kennedy, author of Twenty-Six Factitions and There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime, which was shortlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry in the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Entry details:
Friday 23 August, 1pm
Caitlin Cherry,

Further info:

Upper Hutt Poetry Writing Competition

Upper Hutt City Libraries’ annual Poetry Competition returns! Celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 by creating a poem based on the theme “INSPIRE”.
Entry details:
Free. Categories are children (up to 12), Youth (13 – 18) and Adults. Collect an entry form from your library or enter online at (terms and conditions apply).
Submission date:
Open now. Closes Wednesday 7 August 2019.
Danny Tiata,

Further info:

Poetry NZ Yearbook Student Poetry Competition
Calling all young poets! Entries are now open for the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook Student Poetry Competition.

Entry details: Entry free. Send us your previously unpublished original poem and be in to win a copy of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2019. Winning poems will be published in the 2020 edition of the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, and each poet and their school will also receive a copy of the book. Poems can be of any length, any style and about any subject. Entries will be judged by Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2020 editor, Johanna Emeney. The 12 winners will be announced on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day Friday, 23 August 2019.
Submission dates: Entries closed 30 June 2019.
Contact details: Please send your entry to

Further info: | Facebook

The 24-Hour Poem Competition

There will be prizes. There will be chaos. There will be a Winner, a Runner-up, a Contestants’ Pick and an Organiser’s Husband’s Choice. The challenge is to write a poem of no more than thirty lines, containing ten supplied words.
The catch: you will only have the 24 hours of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 itself to write and submit your poem. Thanks to the generosity of Victoria University Press, the winners will take home shortlisted poetry titles from the 2019 NZ Book Awards. The judge is Joanna Preston.
Entry details:
Free to enter, but participants must pre-register for the competition by 16 August. Limit of one entry per participant, restricted to New Zealand citizens and residents. To register, visit
By 16 August 2019
midnight 22 August – midnight 23 August 2019
Further info:
See contact details and full entry conditions at

The Geometry | Open Book Poetry Competition

Celebrate National Poetry Day with Geometry and The Open Book. $500 First Prize, plus a year's subscription to Geometry journal and the My Book Bag book delivery service. Judge's selection published at and the winner published in Geometry. Join submitting poets and the judges for a reading of the winning poem and highly commended work at The Open Book, 201 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, on Sunday 25 August, 3pm. Judged by Anna Livesey and Sophie van Waardenberg.
Entry details: One poem per poet. Poets must be resident in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Submit your poem to and include your name and postal address in the email.
Submission dates: Opens 11 July. Entries close 31 July. Winner and judge’s selection will be notified by 20 August 2019.
Contact: |
Further info: For competition see | Facebook event | To view Geometry journal (not competition)

Nationwide Poetry Competition 2019

Tararua District Library is celebrating Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 with a Nationwide Poetry Competition. Have your poem published on our blog and be in to win a prize and the glory. Winner announced on Friday 23 August, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day and published on the Tararua District Library Blog. Judged by Chris Cape, Bush Poet.
Entry details:
Free to enter. Open to all NZ residents aged 18 and over. Submit your poems and contact details by email to Limit of 2 poems per entrant. All poems to be the original creation of the person submitting, and must be previously unpublished.
Submission dates:
Opens 8 July. Closes 16 August 2019.

Further info: Facebook event/Nationwide Poetry Comp 2019 |

The Great Book of Poetry

UBS Canterbury is celebrating Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 by making The Great Book of Poetry, a collection of poetry created by New Zealanders. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced writer of poetry, we want to show your work! All poems will be featured in the book and all participants will go in the draw to win a poetry prize pack! The book will be released on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, 23 August 2019, and we invite participants, poets, and anyone else to come and see the finished book and take a look at our store poetry shelves.
Entry details: Free to enter. Open to all NZ residents. Limit of two poems per participant. Poems must be formatted to fit on an A4 portrait page and work must be original. Feel free to add colour and art to make your poem pop! Email your submissions and contact details to
Submission dates: 12 July – 16 August 2019
Book released: Friday 23 August 2019 at the University Bookshop
Contact: Magda,

Further info:

takahē magazine Hunt Ducker Poetry Competition

takahē magazine wants your words about native NZ birds! Give them a tweet, a chirrup, or a flap about your favourite fowl. Celebrate the natural beauty (or the natural comedy) of anything from a pīwakawaka to a kākāpō, an albatross to a fairy tern. They especially encourage entries from new and emerging poets. First prize is a year's membership to Forest & Bird and a year's subscription to takahē magazine, with your poem shared on social media and considered for publication by both organisations. Two runners-up receive takahē subscriptions, their poem shared on social media, and consideration for publication in takahē.
Entry details: Free. Open to any NZ resident aged 18+. Enter via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, including #HuntDucker #takahēmagazine and #NZPoetryDay. All 3 hashtags must be included. 100 words maximum (title and hashtags excluded). Poems must be previously unpublished. Those not on social media can send entries to Winners announced on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019, so keep a beady eye on takahē social media channels on 23 August to see if you're a winner!
Submission dates: 13 July – Midnight 22 August 2019
Contact: Zoë Meager,

Further info: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Given Words

Given Words returns this year in collaboration with Landing Press, Wellington, for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019. On 1 August we will publish in Given Words five words chosen by poets of the collection 'More of Us'. You then have until National Poetry Day Friday 23 August, to send us your poem, which must include the five words. The words can be in any order and verbs can change tense. The Best Poem and Best Poem by Under-16s will receive prizes courtesy of Landing Press and will be translated into Spanish for the Palabras Prestadas poetry blog. We have also prepared a Class plan for teachers to use with their students.
Entry details:
Free entry. Open to all NZ citizens and residents. Maximum length 200 words. One poem per person. Submit your poem by email including your full name and town of residence to nzgivenwords@gmail.comSubmission dates: 1 August – midnight, Friday 23 August 2019
Contact details: Charles Olsen,

Further info: | Facebook event

Changing Minds: Memories Lost and Found – a poetry competition for adults
Many people have been affected by dementia, brain injury or degenerative conditions which affect the memory and thought process, either directly or by supporting a family member or friend. These conditions change us, but they also give us access to memories in a different way, that can often inspire us to record our thoughts. Much research has been done in the neurological field evidencing the positive impact of writing and reading poetry on the brain. Inspired by this, and the poems of Des O’Brien, featured in his collection How Art we invite you to write a poem about memory or the mind, in response to your experience of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Entry details: Entry open to adults aged 18+. For full details, terms and conditions, and prize information, visit or pick up an entry form from any Dunedin Public Library.
Submission date: Open now. Closes 23 August 2019.
Contact: Kay Mercer, 03 474 3690
Further info: | Facebook event/Changing Minds Lost and Found

The 2019 National Schools Poetry Award
The National Schools Poetry Award is held annually by the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), subject to funding. It is free to enter and open to Year 12 and 13 students across New Zealand. Prizes include cash, subscriptions to literary journals and a one-day masterclass at the International Institute of Modern Letters on Saturday 24 August, with paid flights and accommodation. Winner and 9 finalists will be announced on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, Friday 23 August 2019.
Entry details: Posters and entry forms are sent to all eligible schools by March in each year that the Award is held. Students can also enter online, via our dedicated Schools Poetry Award website.
Submission dates: Closed.
Contact details: | 04 463 6854
Further info: Go to the IIML website


The Kauri Museum Poetry and Song Lyric Competition

Tell the story. Tell it true – charm it crazy.– Sam Hunt
As guardians of the Kauri story, past, present and future / Ngā kaitiaki ō ngā kauri kōrero ō nehera, ō wātu me te wāheke; Northland’s Kauri Museum, acknowledges the importance of stories to take us on voyages through time, to places, into thoughts and emotions. To celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019, the museum is running a poetry and song lyric competition with the theme of ‘Voyaging’ – past, present, future. Judges: Jed Town, Ruth Smellie, Piet Nieuwland.
Entry details: Free to enter. Open to residents of Kaipara and Northland. Three categories: Open (18 and over), Senior student (12 – 17 yrs), Junior student (5 – 7 yrs) and (8 – 11 yrs).
Submission dates: Opens 20 July. Closes 10 August 2019. All finalists will be notified by 16 August. Awards and open mic night, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, Friday 23 August.
Contact: | 09 431 7417
More info: | Facebook/KauriMuseum


Kaipātiki Colleges Poetry Competition 2019 (closed event)

Celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day by entering your writing in the 2019 Kaipātiki Colleges Poetry Competition. This year's theme is ‘Pride/Whakahi’. Winners will be announced on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day at the lunchtime Poetry Slam in the BC Library, Friday 23 August 2019.
Entry details: Entry free. Poets are welcome to freely interpret the theme. The competition is open to secondary students in the Kaipātiki area only. Please submit your entry via sharing on google docs with
Submission dates: Opens 9am, Monday 22 July. Entries close 3.15pm, Friday 16 August 2019. Your entry must include your full name and school name.
Contact: Mrs Elliott,

Further info: Facebook/Birkenhead College

2019 Emerging Poets Competition

In association with The Divine Muses Poetry Reading & Unity Books Auckland, emerging poets with a connection to Auckland's tertiary institutions are invited to enter the Emerging Poets Competition in the lead up to Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019. This year's judge is poet, Elizabeth Welsh. Submit up to two unpublished poems, each one named separately on the entry form found on the website below. Winners announced on National Poetry Day at The Divine Muses Poetry Evening. Entries must be the original work of the person submitting it. Maximum length for each poem submitted is 50 lines. The entrant’s name or nom de plume must not appear on any of the submitted.
Entry details: Free. The competition is open only to writers considered ‘emerging, i.e. have not published one or more books (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) with a New Zealand or overseas publisher, and is a current or former student at The University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology, Massey University (Albany Campus, Auckland) and Blue Haven workshops only. Entrants are asked to email their submission and completed application form in a single document – Word or .rtf format to Jane Sanders at
Submission dates: Open now. Entries close 2 August 2019.
Contact details: Siobhan Harvey, info:


KIRIKIRIROA Poetry Competition

Hamilton City Libraries, Poets Alive, and Poppies-Hamilton are celebrating Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 with a poetry competition, open to residents of the Waikato region. There are prizes to be won in each category. Have your poem published online and be in to win a prize and the glory. Winners will be announced 20 August, and will be invited to share their winning entries at the Kirikiriroa Slam. Judges: Vaughan Rapatahana, Elaine Riddell and Mere Taito.
The competition has three classes: Junior: 5 – 12 years. Young Adult:13 – 17 years. Adult/Open: 18+.
Entry details: Free. Open to all Waikato residents. Submit up to 2 poems. There are no set topics, but please limit your poems to no more than 30 lines. Include your name, email address and contact phone number, and DOB if you are entering the junior or young adult categories. Submit your poems and contact details to The competition excludes those who have published books of their own poems. The winning poems will be published on the Hamilton City Libraries website and social media.
Submission dates: Opens 12 July 2019. Closes 12 August 2019.
Contact details: Tracy Robinson, tracy.robinson@hcc.govt.nzFurther info: Hamilton Libraries/whats-on/national-poetry-day


Unleash your inner poet by writing a poem inspired by a piece of artwork created by a Taranaki artist! That's exactly what an ekphrastic poem is - a poem written in response to art. Take your pick from a selection of awesome images. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose the category appropriate to your / your child’s age group
  • Take a look at ANY of the individual artworks and be inspired
  • Write a poem about that image.
  • Send your poem to with your contact details and name of the artist who inspired your poem

It’s as easy as that!! Winners will be selected by a panel of esteemed Taranaki writers and winning poems published and displayed in Phantom Billsticker Frames around New Plymouth.
Entry details: FREE to enter. Primary, Intermediate, High School student categories plus an open category for anyone else who wants to have a go.
Time: Open now. Closes 9 August 2019.

Further info: Facebook event/Fantastic Ekphrastic


Wardini Children’s Poetry Competition

An opportunity for local young poets to get creating! Entry forms will be available from participating schools and Wardini Books. The competition will be judged by local guest poets Ben Fagan and Sara Hirsch from Motif Poetry and published in the local media and Wardini Books’ social media.
Entry details:
Age categories:
5 – 7 years, 8 – 10 years, 11 – 13 years, 13 – 15 years, and 16 – 18 years.
Submission date:
Entry forms available from 12 July. Poems due 9 August 2019. Winners will be contacted Friday 23 August 2019.
Wardini Books Havelock North (16 Te Mata Rd, Havelock North) | Wardini Books Napier (46 Hastings St, Napier)
Louise Ward,

Further info: Facebook event/Children's Poetry Competition


If you’re a poet we want to know it! Poetry Competition Kāpiti Coast District Libraries annual poetry competition returns for the seventh year. Celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day by writing a poem on the theme “Together”. All entries will be published as a print book and eBook. Winners will be announced on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day at the Open Mic Night at Paraparaumu Library on Friday 23 August, 5.30 – 6.30pm.
Entry details: Enter free, open to all users of the Kāpiti Coast District Libraries. You may submit one poem per person of no more than 10 lines. There are three age groups: Child 6 – 12 years. Teen 13 – 18 years. Adults 19+ years.Please submit your entry using the appropriate form from one of these links. Entries may be in English or Te Reo Māori. Please read the guidelines and conditions of entry. By submitting your poem into this competition, you agree to these conditions.
Submission dates: Closed 30 June 2019.
Contact: Nisa Promchot, nisa.promchot@kapticoast.govt.nzFurther info:


Hagley Writers' Institute 2019 Poetry Competition
The Hagley Writers’ Poetry Competition is back! Judged by Helen Heath and Gail Ingram, the winning entry will be published as a poster by Phantom Billstickers. Winner and runner-up to be announced by Helen Heath (winner of the Peter and Mary Biggs Poetry Award at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2019) at the Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day Celebration, Scorpio Bookshop, Hereford St, Christchurch, Saturday 24 August, 5pm – 7pm.
Entry details: Free. Open to all Canterbury poets, 18+
Format: Single line, Times New Roman, 11 or 12 font
Word limit: 50 words
Entry limit: Two poems per poet.
Closing date: Open now. Entries close 31 July 2019.
Submissions to: Morrin Rout, Morrin Rout | | 021 046 4189 or 03 329 9789
Further info: | Facebook events/Hagley Writers' 2019 Poetry Competition


Gobbledegook Poetry Competition for Children (closed event)Inspired by the delightful nonsense poetry of Joy Cowley, we challenge you to celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019 by writing your own gobbledegook poem to make our judges laugh. Biggest laugh wins! Awesome prizes for you and your school, sponsored by Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day and Ignition Children’s Book Festival – a partnership between University Book Shop Otago and Dunedin Public Libraries. Prizes presented on Saturday 9November during the Ignition Children’s Book Festival

Entry details: Open to all South Island primary/intermediate school children (years 1 – 8).
Submission dates: Opens Friday 23 August. Closes MIDNIGHT MONDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2019.
Contact: Kay Mercer, 03 474 3690 |

Further info: Facebook events/Gobbledegook Poetry Competition

WriteNow Poetry Competition(closed event)
The 2019 WriteNow Poetry Competition for Dunedin Secondary School students is open for entries! This year’s competition will be judged by Fiona Farrell. Fiona loves the way poetry sharpens our senses and our wits. She is looking forward to reading the work of Dunedin's young poets and intrigued to discover what that work will look like. She says, "Let's see what a poem can do!" Find out about prizes and how to enter on the WriteNow website, where you can also read the winning poems and judges' reports from previous competitions: – there's no better moment!
Submission dates: Open now. Submissions close 5pm, Friday 26 July 2019. Winners announced 19 August 2019 and winning poems published on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, Friday 23 August 2019. All details on the WriteNow website:

Contact details:

Further info: |


Grey District Library Poetry Competition Join fellow poetry lovers in a competition to celebrate Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2019. The writer of the most engaging poem within each age category will win a Paper Plus voucher. Winners will be announced at a Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day warm-up event hosted by the Grey District Library at 5.30pm on Wednesday 21 August. Prize winning poems will be read aloud at two local rest homes on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, Friday 23 August.
Entry details:
Free. Open to Grey District residents only. Age categories: up to 8 years old; 9 to 13; 14 to 17; and 18 years and over.
Poems can be on any topic. One poem per person. Submit your poem, age range, address and contact details by email to
Submission dates:
Opens Monday 29 July. Closes 4pm, Friday 16 August 2019.
Contact details:
Liz Burke, | 03 768 5597
Further info: Facebook event/Grey District Library Poetry Competition | greydc/News-and-Events