2018 is the 37th year of the

Newcastle Poetry Prize

Australia’s most prestigious poetry prize

$22 000 prize pool:

1st Prize $15 000 / 2nd Prize $5 000 / 3rd Prize $1000

Highly Commended $200 / Local Award $200 / HWC Members’ Award $200

provided by the University of Newcastle

and the Harri Jones Memorial Prize – $500 Awarded to a poet under 36 years of age. Learn more.

All poets whose poems are selected for publication in the 2018 anthology will be paid $75.00

Closes 11th June, 2018

Purchase a past anthology here

Entries have now closed
What poets say about the Newcastle Poetry Prize

Having my poem selected for publication in the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology gave me a feeling of reassurance that I am being seen and heard by my peers. Poetry can sometimes be an undervalued and misunderstood genre - the more people who care about promoting it, the more it blossoms. Hunter Writers Centre and the University of Newcastle are doing an amazing job at giving poetry in Australia the spotlight it deserves.

Lucy Williams2017 Newcastle Poetry Prize Winner

It has been my pleasure and privilege to be involved with the Newcastle Poetry Prize over the years in different ways, as a judge, as a sometimes prize winner and as a poet within the pages of various anthologies. The first time I was published as a result of the competition was in 1995. I will never forget the joy and awe I felt finding my little poem surrounded by the poems of Australia’s finest poets. That feeling of wonder and gratitude has not left me, and I am thrilled at winning a prize in this important competition in 2016 and being represented in the current anthology.

Judy Johnson

Significant prizes such as the NPP, with its long history, are of critical value, less for the money they offer than for the way they bring poetry to public attention, and as a filter of quality. The fact that this competition can attract judges of the stature of those for this year´s prize indicates that the Newcastle is one of the nation´s most important, and that the University of Newcastle is a leader in maintaining its support for it.

Rod Usher

The Newcastle Poetry Prize represents a wonderful opportunity for Australian poets interested in writing longer poetic works and poetic sequences to have these works recognised and anthologised in the company of their most accomplished peers. The award honours and nurtures some of the bravest poems being written anywhere in the world and, in doing so, it accords poetry the place it deserves in our contemporary culture.

Paul Hetherington

It is my impression that the Newcastle Poetry Prize is still widely regarded as the most important poetry prize in Australia. I certainly think of it in this way.

Brook Emery1999 Newcastle Poetry Prize Winner

The crucial thing about the Newcastle is the encouragement it gives to the writing of long poems. To my knowledge it is the only poetry prize in Australia that allows for the submission of unpublished poems longer than 100 lines. The 200 line limit allows a poet to stretch out, to explore at length the possibilities of a narrative or meditative sequence, a dramatic monologue (or dialogue for that matter) or any other exploratory poetic mode. The publication of the prize anthology offers a rare opportunity for high quality longer form poems to be published, and the recognition of the winning poems by the granting of significant monetary prizes does a lot to reinforce the professional status of poetry as an art form capable of producing sustained original work.

Ross Gillett
Nathan Curnow Sarah Day

2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize Judges

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We are thrilled to have poet Nathan Curnow as one of our judges of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize judges. Nathan is based in Ballarat, Victoria, and is a past editor of Going Down Swinging. He was published in the 2011 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology and his published books include The…
Lucy Williams

Newcastle Poetry Prize Winners 2017

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First prize: $15 000 Lucy Williams the crows in town Second prize: $5,000 Shari Kocher Forty Desert Days and Nights and White Third prize: $1,000 Judith Beveridge Suddhodana Commended Awards: Debi Hamilton Sleeping Beauty Lessons Local Award: Kit Kelen a field guide to Australian clouds (prolegomenon) Harri Jones Memorial Prize (for…
Hunter Writers Centre co-ordinates the Newcastle Poetry Prize and is proudly supported by