How to enter

Entries for the 2020 National Schools Poetry Award are now open. Entry deadline 6 July.

The 2020 Award is now open for entries in either English or te reo Māori. 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.

Please read the following rules carefully before submitting your poem. 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 It must be the original, unpublished work of the entrant and must not have been submitted for other publications or competitions.
  • The poem should be no longer than 30 lines.
  • 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 6 July 2020.
  • 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 2020 winner and shortlisted poets will be announced on National Poetry Day, 22 August.

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