Entries are now open for the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize.

Named after one of Australia’s most influential poets, the prize recognises the country’s contemporary writers. Entrants can submit up to five poems at a small cost, to ensure the competition runs in perpetuity, with the winner to be announced at the annual awards ceremony, taking place on Friday 10 August.

The poetry Prize commenced in 1999 and last year more than 900 entries were considered for the top award.

USQ Emeritus Professor Bruce Dawe AO endowed the annual $2500 prize to celebrate Australian poetry. Widely recognised as Australia’s most popular poet, Emeritus Professor Dawe has long been involved with Toowoomba and USQ. He believed universities should support the study of literature and promote the Arts in Australian society. His decision to sponsor this prominent literary prize is ongoing proof of his conviction.

The Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize runs in conjunction with two other USQ writing competitions, Get Writing and Get Songwriting.

The Get Writing competition offers Australian high school students in Years 7 to 12 to express their passion for poetry or short stories. Prizes include membership to Express Media, mentoring by USQ staff or students, writer’s toolboxes, QBD vouchers and more.

The Get Songwriting competition is open to Year 10 to 12 Australian high school students. The prize includes a place at the 2019 week-long USQ Artsworx McGregor Music Retreat.

All three competitions will be judged by a panel of experts from the School of Arts and Communication. Competition entries will close on Friday 1 June 2018.

Readers may also be interested in this Harmony Day event featuring local talent.