Competition Calendar


Thank you for visiting our 2020 Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day Competitions Calendar. Here you'll see the details of the wonderfully wide range of competitions that happened in 2020 regional, nationwide and online, for children and adults. With such an eclectic mix, there were opportunities galore to put pen to paper and release a poem out into the world!


Given Words 2020

Given Words returns for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2020. On 1 August we will publish in Given Words five words selected from a poem by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. You then have until National Poetry Day 21 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 (selected by poets Charles Olsen, Mikaela Nyman and Jordan Jace) will receive prizes courtesy of Landing Press and The Cuba 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
Submission Dates:
1 August to midnight on 21 August
Contact Details:
Charles Olsen –
Further Info: | Facebook event | |

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook Student Poetry Competition

Calling all young poets! Entries are now open for the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook student poetry competition. Send us your previously unpublished original poem and be in to win a copy of Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2020. Winning poems will be published in the 2021 edition of the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, and each poet and their school will also receive a copy of the book. Entries will be judged by Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2021 editor Tracey Slaughter. The 12 winners will be announced on National Poetry Day, 21 August 2020.

Entry Details: Free. Open to all Year 11, 12 and 13 students.

Date/Times: Open now. Entries close 24 July.

Location: Nationwide

Contact: Massey University Press,

Further Info:

Poetry and Psychoanalysis at times of Lockdown

NZIPP is celebrating National Poetry Day with a competition focused on self-reflection and exploration of the internal world at times of lockdown. The competition is free, open to anyone interested, with no restrictions other than the topic.

Competition opens from 21st August to 21st September 2020. Have your poem published online for the chance to be one of the 3 winners. Winners will be announced on 21 March 2021 in occasion of the World Poetry Day.

NZIPP will organise a public event inviting all the participants and the winners will be able to present their poems.

Topic: Internal exploration and self-reflections on the experience of Lockdown

Submission details: Send up to 4 poems and your contact details to:

Entry details: Free to enter. Open to all, with no restrictions.

Submission Dates: 21 August - 21 September 2020

Contact for further information: See submission guidelines online at

2020 takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize

2020 takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize is now open! This year our poetry competition will be judged by Siobhan Harvey. First Prize: $300. Second Prize: $150. Results, the short-list and the winning poem will be published in the December takahē 100 special bumper print issue.

Entry details: $5 per poem entry fee. Open to all.

Submission Dates: Entries to be received, no later than Monday 31st August 2020

Further Info:


The Kauri Museum Poetry and Song Lyric Competition

The Kauri Museum celebrates Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day with two events. An open event, and an event for students, organised through local schools, which begins after the national day.

The Kauri Museum’s home is a small rural town on the edge of the mighty Kaipara Harbour. Referencing our location, the theme is - The Ebb and Flow of the Kaipara. Judges are local; an English teacher and a musician. Winners and prizes are announced at the Open Mic Night. Winning poems are published online; all entries are displayed in the museum.

Entry Details: Entry is free. Maximum of three entries. For entry forms and more details (including the student event) visit

Submission Dates: 18 July – 8 August



Districtwide Poetry Competition

Tararua District Library is celebrating Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day with a Districtwide Poetry Competition. Have your poem published on our blog and be in to win a prize and the glory! Limit of 2 poems per entrant. Age categories: 8-12 years 13-17 years Adult 18+

Entry details:Limit of 2 poems per entrant. Submit your poems and contact details to any
Tararua District Library branch, or by email:

Submission Dates: 21 August – 18 September 2020


Further Info:For submission guidelines, go to:


Upper Hutt Libraries Poetry Competition 2020

Upper Hutt Libraries’ annual Poetry Competition is back! Celebrate the upcoming National Poetry Day on 21 August by getting creative and writing a poem on this year’s theme: Freedom.

The competition is open from 1 July to 9 August, with three submission categories: children (5-12), teens (13-17), and adults.

Competition entries will be judged by local writers. Winners will be announced at the Poetry Awards Night on 21 August: 4pm for the children and teens categories, 6pm for adults.

Entry details: Free to enter. Poems must not have been submitted to any other competition. In the case of being shortlisted, participants must be able to attend the Poetry Awards Night at the Upper Hutt Central Library on 21 August. More information is available by emailing Submissions can be made online via the Library’s website or in paper form at Upper Hutt Central and Pinehaven Libraries.

Submission Dates: 1 July to 9 August (4pm)


Further Info:


Elma Turner’s Poetry Fridge

Where better to affix your lyrical works than the fridge?! Add your short poem to our very own fridge door and be in the draw to win!

Entry Details: FREE. Event open to all ages.

Submission Dates: Fri-Sun 21-23 Aug, Elma Turner Library

Location: Elma Turner Library, 27 Halifax Street, Nelson Central.

Contact: Dan |

Further Info: Poetry Month at Nelson Public Libraries|

Poetry Competition

We are celebrating poetry this month at Marlborough District Libraries.

Throughout August we are running a poetry competition with lots of fantastic prizes up for grabs.

A huge thank you to the local businesses who have generously donated prizes for this competition.

To enter simply write your poem, submit it via the form below and be in the draw to win. A winner will be selected from each category.

Entry Details: Enter as many times as you like. Categories for your submission include: Year 1-3, Year 4-5, Intermediate (Year 7-8), College, Blackout, Book spine, rural men and women, Marlborough, open (eg lockdown, corporate). It is free to enter.

Collect your entry form from your local library or enter online via our website

Submission Dates: Open 3 August – Close 31 August

Contact: Jodine,

Further Info:


2020 Vision: All Ages Poetry Competition

Dunedin Public Libraries in partnership with the Otago-Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors invite you to celebrate National Poetry Day by creating poetry in 500 words or less.

You can write about anything, or opt for one of our suggested themes under the following categories:

1. Open category – choose your own subject 2. The Invisible 3. If…
4. A poem using all of these words in any order: matchstick, luck, slack, trick

The winning entries in each age group (1st, 2nd, 3rd, highly-commended) will be published in Dunedin Public Libraries’ e-magazine NB and on the Dunedin Public Libraries' website. The competition will be judged by poets Fiona Farrell, Emma Neale and Kirstie McKinnon.

Entry details:The competition is open to all residents of Otago-Southland and entries will be allocated to one of three categories:

1. Primary school aged children
2. Intermediate/high-school aged young people
3. Adults over the age of 18

  • The prizegiving for the children's category will be held from 5pm on Friday 21st August.
  • The prizegiving for teens and adults will be held during the Ten Perspectives poetry event from 6.30pm on Friday 21st August.

Both events will take place in the Dunningham Suite at Dunedin City Library, and winners will be invited to read their poems to the respective audiences.

Submission Dates:CLOSING DATE: Monday 10 August 2020

Contact: Kay Mercer, 03 474 3690,

Further Info:For full t&c's and to enter online at