The NZPS International Poetry Competition – 2020

Entries for our 2020 competition have now closed. Thank you to all those who entered! You can find the full results for the 2020 competition here.

The New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition is open once again for 2020! Our competition has been running since 1987 and is open to all members and non-members, worldwide, with members receiving an entry fee discount.

There are cash prizes to be won in each category, and all entries are eligible to be published in our anthology. Our annual anthology includes all placed and commended poems, as well as a selection of other favourite poems from the competition. 

Poets can enter these four sections:

  • Open verse for adults (18 years and over)
  • Open verse for juniors (17 years or younger)
  • Haiku for adults (18 years and over)
  • Haiku for 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. We also have a teacher’s guide for writing haiku.

Keen to enter? Please see our submission guidelines and entry forms for each category below. Entries must be received by 31 May 2020.

Due to COVID-19, our competition is running solely online this year. If you have previously entered by post and would like guidance in entering online, we are happy to help. For this and any other queries, please email the Competition Coordinator, Emma Shi, at

Submission guidelines

Entry forms

You can download an entry form as a PDF or Word document. Then open it on your computer, type in your details, and save.

2020 Judges



Johanna Emeney is a senior tutor at Massey University. She was guest editor of Poetry New Zealand 2020. Her latest work is a chapter on Disability and Poetry in The Routledge Companion to Literature and Disability (2020). Her new collection Felt will be published by Massey University Press. She and her husband David spend a lot of time enjoying their very beautiful goats and cats.

Open  Junior


essa may ranapiri (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Takatāpui, Clan Gunn) is a poet from Kirikiriroa, Aotearoa. They are a graduate of the IIML’s 2017 Masters in Creative Writing course. Their first collection of poems titled ransack was longlisted for the Ockham in 2020. They are the featured poet in Poetry Yearbook 2020 (Massey University Press). They write for their tīpuna to speak and for their mokopuna to read.

Image courtesy of Loren Thomas


Owen, Tramstop

Owen Bullock has published five collections of haiku, Summer Haiku (2019), River’s Edge (2016), Urban Haiku (2015), Breakfast with epiphanies (2012), Wild camomile (2009); three books of poetry, Work & Play (2017), Semi (2017), Sometimes the sky isn’t big enough (2010), and the novella, A Cornish Story (2010)He is a former editor of Kokako; was one of the editors who produced Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Vol IV (2012), and has edited a number of other publications, including Poetry NZ. Owen currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra. He has a website for his research, at

Haiku  Junior

barbara in garden (2)

Barbara Strang has been writing haiku and related forms for more than twenty years. Her haiku have been widely published in magazines and books, for instance: Number Eight Wire (2019), the taste of nashi (2008) and various overseas anthologies. She has won competitions, here and overseas, for instance, the Haiku Section of the New Zealand Poetry Society Competition twice, she has edited poetry books, and judged competitions. She leads the Small White Teapot Haiku Group, Christchurch, has produced two poetry books, Duck Weather and The Corrosion Zone, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University.