How to enter

The 2020 National Schools Poetry Award winner and finalists have been announced. Entry details for the 2021 Award will be available in the new year.

The entry period is usually February to July each year. You can enter online during that time. The Award is free to enter. Information is sent to all eligible schools by March in each year the Award is held. If your school has not received an Awards information pack from us by March and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the IIML.

During the entry period each year, the following rules apply. Entries that do not comply with the rules will not be considered:

  • Entrants must be Year 12 or 13 students currently enrolled in a New Zealand secondary school, or verified home-schooling equivalent.
  • Only one poem per student may be submitted.
  • The poem may be on any subject. It must be the original, unpublished work of the entrant and must not have been submitted for other publications or competitions.
  • Click on the 'Enter online here' button above, or go to, fill in the online entry form and upload your poem.
  • The writer’s name should only appear on the entry form – not on the poem itself.
  • Entries must be received by midnight on the deadline date.
  • Copyright remains with the individual writers. The International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) reserves the right to publish the prize-winning entries without further payment.
  • The winner and shortlisted poets will be announced in late August or September.

For more information, email or telephone: +64-4-463 6854.