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 31st, 2022 (New Zealand time – go here for a time zone converter (

Submission Guidelines:

For OPEN ADULT and OPEN JUNIOR poems, no poem is to be longer than 42 lines not including the title of the poem or the line breaks. Any poem that exceeds this length will be disqualified, due to the large number of entries, you will not be given the opportunity to resubmit in this competition or have your entry fee refunded.

For HAIKU ADULT and HAIKU JUNIOR, NO TITLES ARE TO BE GIVEN TO HAIKU (incl. senryu). Giving a title will result in disqualification, you will not be given the opportunity to resubmit in this competition or have your entry fee refunded.

No names or addresses are to appear on any poems – all entries are judged blind. The name of the poet submitting can only appear on the entry form. Any poem with identifying data will be disqualified. You will not be given the opportunity to resubmit or have your entry fee refunded.

No entries will be accepted from New Zealand Poetry Society Committee members or members of their families, nor will entries from anyone related to the judges be accepted. 

The competition will close at MIDNIGHT May 31st, 2022 (New Zealand time), and no entries will be accepted after this date. 

PLEASE make sure you also read the DETAILED guidelines below for the category you wish to enter:

Entry Forms:

Meet our Judges:


Nicola Easthope (Pākehā, Tangata Tiriti, she/her) is a high school English and psychology teacher who lives on the Kāpiti Coast. She has two collections of poetry, leaving my arms free to fly around you (Steele Roberts Aotearoa, 2011) and Working the Tang (The Cuba Press, 2018). Over the past ten years, Nicola has appeared as a guest poet in the Queensland and Tasmanian poetry festivals, LitCrawl in Wellington and the Manawatū Writers’ Festival. She was a guest judge at the amazing WORD – The Front Line Grand Slam in 2015. For more info, you can follow her at gannet-ink.

Open Junior

Ken Arkind is a poet and performer with over 15 years of experience as a spoken word arts educator and youth worker.

A United States National Poetry Slam Champion Ken has performed his work and facilitated workshops across the world. He is the author of two collections of poetry and has appeared on multiple TEDx Stages, HBO, The Huffington Post, TVNZ, and Time Out Magazine. He currently works as a poet and senior youth development worker with Action Education, home of Word-The Front Line, New Zealand’s first Inter-High School Poetry Slam Competition. He holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Creative Writing from the Manukau Institute of Technology.


In 2011, an’ya was voted one of the top 10 living haiku poets in the world. She’s the Founding and First Editor/Publisher of Ribbons Journal for the Tanka Society of America, Founder and First Editor of cattails online collected works for the United Haiku and Tanka Society, Founder and Editor of Moonset Literary Newspaper and journal, Founder and Past Editor of Tanka Origins, and past Editor of haigaonline.

an’ya has numerous books to her credit and has been published in many anthologies, journals, places online, magazines, newspapers, etc. Her art has been featured in various galleries, and her works published on wind chimes, read on the radio, displayed at libraries in the USA, Canada, and Australia. She writes the tanka genre as well and her tanka has been published on Vancouver buses for the “Poetry Moves” project. an’ya also has 11 tanka which is an opera called “Songs of the Winter Sea”. Besides winning literally hundreds of awards and contests, she’s a seven-time winner of the British Haiku and Tanka Society Competitions. Extended bio:

Haiku Junior

Sarah-Kate Simons is a poet and writer from rural Canterbury where she lives with her very needy Fox Terrier puppy. She is the previous winner of the Junior Haiku section and has been published several times in the NZPS anthology. She has also placed in several other competitions, including Given Words, Poetry NZ and recently won the HG Wells International Short Story Competition.

Still got Questions?

Feel free to contact the Competition Coordinator, Georgia Wearing, at

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