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The 2019 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

Thank you to the 192 poets who submitted their poems to the 2019 Venie Prize.

SUBMISSION ARE NOW CLOSED for this year’s Prize.

In partnership with Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry we are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2019 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. The specifics are as follows:

Major prize: AUD$1000

All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Monday July 22 2019.
The shortlist and winner will be announced during the Daylesford Words in Winter festival, August 16, 17 & 18, 2019.
The judges for the 2019 competition are Claire C. Coleman and Kevin Brophy.

Entry terms and conditions

1. Entrants must be citizens of Australia or New Zealand or have permanent resident status in Australia or New Zealand.
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 Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.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 poems will be published on and
7. An entry fee of $10 will be charged and is payable via bank transfer, PayPal, cash or cheque. A receipt 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 July 22, 2019.
13. Selection will be made by the judges. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

About the judges

Claire Coleman

Claire G. Coleman is a writer from Western Australia. She identifies with the South Coast Noongar people. Her family are associated with the area around Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun.

Claire grew up in a Forestry settlement in the middle of a tree plantation, where her dad worked, not far out of Perth. She wrote her black&write! fellowship-winning book Terra Nullius while travelling around Australia in a caravan. The Old Lie is her second novel.

Kevin Brophy

Kevin Brophy’s latest book is Look at the Lake (Puncher & Wattmann, 2018), a record of two years living in the Great Sandy Desert. In 2013, Walking,: New and Selected Poems was shortlisted for the WA Premiers Poetry Prize.

He was 2009 co-winner of the Calibre Prize for an outstanding essay; his poetry appears in many Best Australian Poems volumes and in major nationalanthologies. In 2015 he was writer-in-residence at Australia Council’s B. R. Whiting Studio in Rome, and in 2019-20 at the Keesing Studio in Paris. He is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne.

About Venie

Venie Holmgren

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:


7 thoughts on “The 2019 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize”

  1. I forwarded three poems to you for the environmental poetry competition on 22 July and put $30 into your account. I understood from your entry details that I would get a receipt for the $30 which has not materialised.
    Could you please confirm that you received it – my bank says it went through OK.
    Thanks and regards

    1. Thank you Gordon.
      Yes we received your poems and entry fees and emailed to let you know on July 22 at 4:13 PM.
      With warm regards,

  2. Hi. Where can i find the short list and winners from 2019? You usually publish them but i can’t find it. I thought an email would be sent to all who entered last year to say who won as well?

    1. Hi Janice, you can see the 2019 winner and commendeds here:
      We didn’t send individual emails to all the poets who entered last year but we let them all know that the winner would be announced at the Daylesford Words in Winter festival and the poem published on our website and in Rabbit journal. The results of this year’s Prize will also be published on this website and in Rabbit.
      I hope that helps! P.S. I very clearly remember your Flow of Life poem from last year and I hope you enter again. Warm regards, Meg

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