The New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition is open for TWO categories – Open Verse Adults (18+ years) and Haiku Adults (18+ years).

We are having a SEPARATE JUNIOR COMPETITION in 2023, which will open on April 20. There will be TWO categories for youth: Open Verse Junior (17 years or younger) and Haiku Junior (17 years or younger). The Open Verse Junior category will have a THEME and this theme will be announced on our website by mid-April.

Both the adult and junior competitions will close on May 31, 2023. There are cash prizes and all entries are eligible to be published in our anthology (which automatically includes all placed and commended poems from ALL categories and a selection of favourite poems from the competition).

Our competition has been running since 1987 and is open to members and non-members worldwide, with members receiving an entry fee discount. 

All entry forms are below.

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.


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

Entry forms for each category are also below and all entries must be received by midnight May 31st, 2023 (New Zealand time – go here for a time zone converter for both the Adult and the separate Junior competitions.

You can enter as many poems as you like in the Adult and Junior competitions.


For OPEN ADULT and OPEN JUNIOR, no poem is to exceed 32 lines (not including the poem’s title or line breaks). Any poem that exceeds this length will be immediately disqualified. You will not be given the opportunity to resubmit, and your entry fee will not be refunded.

For HAIKU ADULT and HAIKU JUNIOR, NO TITLES ARE TO BE GIVEN TO HAIKU (incl. senryu). Giving a title will result in immediate disqualification; you will not be allowed 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 immediately 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 or the judges themselves be accepted. 


Artificial intelligence (AI) software is now being used to write novels and poems. We will be using AI detection software, and if a poem is found to have been written by AI, it will result in immediate disqualification and the entry fee will not be refunded.


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




Nina Mingya Powles is a writer and zinemaker from Aotearoa New Zealand. She holds an MA in Creative Writing (Distinction) from Victoria University of Wellington.

In 2018, Nina was one of three winners of the Women Poets’ Prize, and in 2019 won the inaugural Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing and the Landfall Essay Competition.

Nina is the founding editor of Bitter Melon苦瓜, a very small press that publishes limited-edition pamphlets by Asian poets. 

​She lives in London. 

Open Junior

Robert Sullivan (Ngāpuhi and Kāi Tahu) has won awards for his poetry, editing, and writing for children, including the 2022 Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for a distinguished contribution to New Zealand poetry. Tunui Comet is his eighth collection of poetry. His book Star Waka has been reprinted many times. Robert’s an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Massey University. He is a great fan of all kinds of decolonisation.


Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Dr., lives in Dublin, Ireland. His most recent poetry collections are The Two-Headed Man and the Paper Life (MadHat Press, USA, 2019; it was further translated into Romanian and published by Editura Revers) and Scultura involontaria (Multimedia Edizione, Italy, 2020; a bilingual English/Italian edition of his selected poems). He has also published three collections of his haiku, Morning at Mount Ring (Doghouse Books, 2008), Capering Moons (Doghouse Books, 2011), and Horizon (Red Moon Press, 2016). His latest novel, The Flying Dutchman, has been published by Glagoslav Publications, UK, in 2018. He won multiple haiku awards in Japan and Europe and is the Chairman of the Irish Haiku Society. He also edits SurVision poetry magazine.

Haiku Junior

Oshadha Perera is a short story writer and poet from Southland and loves exploring the region’s natural wonders. Oshadha is the winner of the 2022 NZPS Poetry Competition (Haiku Junior and Open Junior), 2022 C J Dennis Poetry Competition, 2022 Lancaster Writing Awards (Poetry), 2020 Dan Davin Writing Awards (Junior), and the 2020 HSA Nicholas A. Virgilio Haiku Competition. Oshadha also won the 2022 ANZCCART Essay Competition and the 2020 NASA Scientist for a Day Competition.

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