Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000)

2021 prize is now open

Judges: Keri Glastonbury, Toby Fitch and Grace Yee.


About the prize

Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks outstanding poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (i.e. writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world.

In 2021, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland’s Autumn 2022 issue.


The competition closes 11.59 pm December 20 December 2021. Please read the entry guidelines below to confirm eligibility.

Entry fee: $12 for subscribers and $20 for non-subscribers.

**Another option is to take out one of our special prize subscriptions: for $56, you get discounted entry to the competition and a one-year discounted subscription to Overland (includes four print issues and the daily online magazine, invitations to subscriber events, and other opportunities and giveaways).

You may also be interested to read last year’s judges’ report and winning poems.



Keri Glastonbury is an Associate Professor in English and Writing at The University of Newcastle and the author of Newcastle Sonnets (Giramondo, 2018) which was shortlisted in the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Toby Fitch is Overland’s poetry editor and the poet behind RawshockBloomin’ NotionsWhere Only the Sky had Hung Before and Sydney Spleen. He has new essays and poems out in Meanjin, Minarets, Red Room, Cordite and The Australian. He lives on unceded Gadigal land.

Grace Yee is a Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria (2019-21) where she is working on a collection of poems inspired by the stories of early settler Chinese and their descendants in Victoria. Her poems have most recently appeared in OverlandRabbitWesterly, and A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa NZ (Auckland University Press). In 2020, Grace received the Peter Steele Poetry Award, and the Patricia Hackett Prize.


All three finalists will be published in Overland‘s 2022 autumn print edition.

  1. The award is open to poets who have had no more than one solo collection of their work commercially published: that is, by a publishing house with commercial distribution.
  2. The prize is open to Australian and international writers.
  3. Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers, including Overland.
  4. Poems that have won or are under consideration in other competitions are not eligible.
  5. The winning poems will be published in Overland.
  6. All submitted poems may also be considered for publication in Overland.
  7. Entries must be submitted electronically via the Overland submittable system.
  8. The name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript (including the header or footer) since all poems will be considered anonymously.
  9. Poems must be no more than 80 lines.
  10. Multiple entries are permitted, though a separate fee applies to each poem.
  11. An entry fee of $12 for Overland subscribers and $20 for non-subscribers will be charged. It is possible to become a subscriber and simultaneously enter the competition at a special price of $56.
  12. Please ensure you are satisfied with your poem before submitting. Poems that are withdrawn and subsequently resubmitted will incur a second fee.
  13. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
  14. Overland staff and board members are prohibited from entering. All previous, current and ongoing contributors are eligible to enter.
  15. Winners will be announced in February 2022. Subscribe to the Overland email bulletin to receive announcements as to the results.

A final note on submission guidelines: 

In 2020 The Overland editorial team decided to include an additional question for entrants upon submission of their work to all major prizes.  While we uphold the integrity of the blind judging process, it often places limitations on judges to properly assess the nature of a submission. Entries which speak directly to the experiences of marginalised or vulnerable communities are often difficult to assess with no knowledge as to whether the author has the relevant experience or cultural authority. It can be an agonising process for a judge to decide whether a piece is appropriate for publication when experience or identities are assumed or guessed. We want to encourage imaginative and provocative submissions without creating an additional burden for our judges, or potentially restricting the selection of sensitive pieces. You can read more about the policy here.

Entrants will have the option to answer the following voluntary question: 

If your entry takes up the voice or experience of a marginalised or vulnerable identity, do you identify yourself as being a part of that community or experience? For instance, if your piece is written in the voice of an Aboriginal person, are you Aboriginal? etc. 

Your response to this question is not mandatory, and your response will only be visible to internal editors, unless our judges request to know your response after the consideration of a piece.

Enter the Judith Wright Poetry Prize as a:

new subscriber – $56

(Includes $12 entry fee and $44 subscription)
Poets can subscribe to Overland for one year (four issues) at a discounted rate, and enter the competition at the special subscriber rate. Take out a new subscription and enter the Judith Wright Poetry Prize.


current subscriber – $12

Current Overland subscribers enter the competition at the special subscriber rate of $12. Current subscribers enter the competition here.


non-subscriber – $20

Entry to the competition for non-subscribers is $20. Non-subscribers enter the competition here.


new MRF logo-2015The Judith Wright Poetry Prize is supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation