Holmgren Design is thrilled to announce the launch of

The 2023 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

Major Prize: AUD$1000

Submissions close August 7 2023

About the judges

Alison J Barton is a Wiradjuri poet whose work is widely published in journals such as Cordite, Australian Poetry Journal, Meanjin, Otoliths, Rabbit, Westerly Mag and StylusLit. In 2022 Alison’s poetry was recognised in the Queensland Poetry Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize, the WB Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia and the Liquid Amber Press Poetry Prize. Her work appeared in Best of Australian Poems 2022 and the Mascara Review Resilience Anthology. In 2023 she won places in both the Varuna House/Mascara First Nations Residency and the Varuna House Tony Birch Masterclass. Alison’s first full-length collection of poetry, Not Telling, is forthcoming with Puncher & Wattmann.

Follow Alison at @alison_j_barton

Peter O’Mara lives in Hepburn Springs. His long friendship with Venie Holmgren is still held close. Peter has poetry work published in magazines, literary & critical writing journals, anthologies and on-line both here and overseas. Such publications include Meanjin, Cordite, Words & Things (Reverie Press), e-poetics, Overland and Angelaki. Peter also published an art/TEXT manuscript, How to do Words with Things (treeElbow Publishing) with Patrick Jones.

Follow Peter at @peteromara2872

About Venie

In her late 50’s Venie Holmgren began to write poetry and her first published anthology, The Sun Collection for the Planet in 1989, became a poetry ‘best seller’. At the same time, she applied her environmental activist skills and commitment to the campaign to save native forests near her home on the far south coast of NSW, where she was arrested twice for obstructing log trucks.

After 16 years of solo self-reliant living she moved to the local town of Pambula where she penned her travel memoir, several more books of poetry and travelled widely as a performance poet.

In 2010 Venie moved to Hepburn where she wrote her last poetry collection, The Tea-house Poems. In January 2016, Venie ‘caught the bus’ at the age of 93 .

You can read more of Venie’s life here.

Entry terms and conditions

Major prize: AUD$1000

All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Monday August 7, 2023. The winner will be announced at the Words in Winter festival in Daylesford on Sunday August 27 2023. The judges for the 2023 competition are Alison J Barton and Peter O’Mara.

  1. Entrants must be citizens of Australia or have permanent resident status in Australia.
  2. Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.
  3. Poems that have won or are under consideration in other competitions are not eligible.
  4. Poems must have an environmental theme.
  5. All poems must be written in English. No images, videos or audio files.
  6. The winning poem will be published on www.holmgren.com.au
  7. An entry fee of $10 will be charged and is payable via credit card. An email will be sent as confirmation once the money has been received.
  8. The name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript (including the header, footer or file name) since all poems will be considered anonymously.
  9. Poems must be no more than 80 lines of text.
  10. Multiple entries are permitted, though a $10 fee applies to each poem.
  11. Please ensure you are satisfied with your poem before submitting. Poems that are resubmitted will incur a second fee.
  12. The competition closes 11.59 pm EST, Monday August 7, 2023.
  13. Selection will be made by the judges. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.


Submissions for the 2023 Venie Prize have now closed. Thank you to all those who entered.

The winner will be announced at the 2023 Daylesford Words in Winter festival on Sunday August 27.


Submissions for the 2023 Venie Prize have now closed. Thank you to all those who entered.

The winner will be announced on Sunday 27th August at the 2023 Daylesford Words in Winter festival.

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