The New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition is now open!! Our competition has been running since 1987 and is open to members and non-members worldwide, with members receiving an entry fee discount.

For each of the four categories listed below there are cash prizes, and all entries are eligible to be published in our anthology (which includes all placed and commended poems, as well as a selection of favourite poems from the competition).

What are the four categories?

  • Open Verse Adults (18 years and over)
  • Open Verse Juniors (17 years or younger)
  • Haiku Adults (18 years and over)
  • Haiku Juniors (17 years or younger)

Class teachers can enter multiple poems from their students, using the school group form. There is a discount for entering multiple entries as a school group. Check out this fantastic teacher’s guide for writing haiku.

How To Enter

Our competition is online again this year. Please read our submission guidelines below for each category. All the details you need to know are in the guidelines, so please read carefully.

Entry forms for each category are also below and all entries must be received by midnight May 31, 2021 (New Zealand time – go here for time zone converter) when the competition closes. Entries received after this date will not be accepted.

Submission Guidelines

For Open and Open Junior, no poem is to be longer than 42 lines in length. Longer poems will be disqualified.

More detailed guidelines are below:

Entry Forms

Here are the entry forms for each category, available in PDF and Word formats. Simply download, open the form on your computer, type in your details, and save. Details of where to send your entry are clearly marked on each form.

Meet our Judges

We have a fantastic lineup of judges this year, so read on!


Lynley Edmeades is poet, scholar, and essayist. She is the author of two poetry collections, As the Verb Tenses (Otago UP, 2016) and Listening In (Otago UP, 2019), both of which were longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Poetry Award. She holds a PhD in avant-garde poetics and currently lectures in the Department of English & Linguistics at the University of Otago. She is currently working on a book collaboration with the painter Saskia Leek, which is due out in November with Massey University Press.

Open Junior

Chris Tse is the author of two collections of poetry published by Auckland University Press: How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes and He’s So MASC. He and Emma Barnes are co-editors of an anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers which will be published later this year. Chris is The Spinoff’s Poetry Editor and is a regular book reviewer for Radio New Zealand and Landfall.


Simon Hanson lives a forested nook in northern Tasmania, Australia, within earshot of a running creek, relishing the landforms and stones, trees and plants and numerous kinds of birds and animals that dwell in this sacred place. He is Secretary to the Australian Haiku Society and co-editor of the online haiku journal Echidna Tracks

Haiku Junior

Marco Fraticelli is a poet, musician, editor, publisher, and educator. He has contributed as an executive member of Haiku Canada (1988-2014), and as an editor and publisher of the literary magazine The Alchemist (1974-1987) and the Hexagram Haiku Series (1991-2012). His poetry has won awards in Canada, the US, and Japan. Fraticelli has been invited to provide keynote addresses, read at community events and poetry conferences, facilitate workshops, and judge haiku contests. His most recent collections include haibun, a form that combines prose with haiku. He has recently completed a children’s book about haiku that would be relevant for teachers as well as young readers.

Any Questions?

Feel free to contact the Competition Coordinator, Kim Martins, at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s