Beginning as a competition for local schools in Gunnedah NSW the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry awards have grown to be Australia's largest and oldest poetry competition for children.
Entrants are given freedom to express themselves on any topic but this year's optional theme is 'In My Opinion', with students encouraged to write passionately and persuasively about the topics that interest them.
The nine categories of the competition cover kids at every level of schooling, from kindergarten students with the Lower Primary, right the way through to Year 12 with Senior Secondary. Also on offer are the Assisted Learning categories, the David Maher Award for Small Schools, the Kurrumbede Award, and the Schools' Award.
Cash prizes, trophies, book vouchers, and anthology publication are up for grabs. Additionally, every student that enters receives a participation certificate as part of the competition program.
The poems submitted in 2021 amazed primary schools' judge, Michelle Taylor, who said in her report that "poetic elements were on display and deftly employed." Taylor is the author of seven books of poetry and writes for children and youth, she is the winner of multiple awards.
Michelle is returning to the judging panel in 2022, along with new primary schools' co-judge Ross Clark, himself the author of eight books of poetry and secondary schools' judge, Sherryl Clark an editor and poet who won the 2005 NSW Premier’s Award for children’s books.
With close to 8,000 entries in 2021 and 2020, the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society always looks forward to seeing what literary talent the competition unearths.
Entries close June 30 with a plethora of learning resources, previous presentation booklets, and historical information available to teachers and parents.
More at https://dorothea.com.au/