Entries for the 2017 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards will open on 1 March at the Society’s website with prizes to be won in eight categories from Lower Primary to the Schools Award. Prizes start with $300 for the winning Lower Primary entry and $1000 for the Primary and Secondary Schools’ Award winners.

The 2017 theme is ‘All over the world’ to encourage budding poets let their imagination loose. Three judges have been announced for 2017.

James Roy is the author of over 30 books for young people, including winners of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the NSW Premier’s History Prize, the WA Premier’s Book Award and a nomination for the German Youth Literature Prize.

Catherine Bateson is best known as an award-winning author for children and young adults. She began her writing career writing poetry and has had three collections for adults and three verse novels for young adults published. Her latest novel, Lisette’s Paris Notebook, Allen and Unwin, was written after gaining a three-month Paris residency from the Australia Council.

Leonie Tyle has been dedicated to children’s literature for many years as a librarian, reviewer, speaker, editor and publisher. She was Children’s & Young Adult Publisher at University of Queensland Press and established Woolshed Press, a children’s literary imprint for Random House Australia. Both lists have won many awards including the inaugural Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Literature.

The winners will receive their prizes at an Awards Presentation in Gunnedah NSW.