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The 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize

Please join us on Sunday August 9 from 2pm – 3pm for the Venie Prize presentation. You can watch the event live here on the day or after the event as it will be recorded:

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In partnership with Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry we are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize.

Major prize: AUD$1000

All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Monday July 20 2020.
The winner will be announced in an online presentation on Sunday August 9 2020.
The judges for the 2020 competition are Jeanine Leane and Michael Farrell.

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 Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.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 20, 2020.
13. Selection will be made by the judges. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

About the judges

Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. She has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction.

She was the recipient of the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, and she has won the Oodgeroo Noonucal Prize for Poetry twice (2017 & 2019).

Jeanine teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne and is currently editing a collection of First Nations Australian poetry commissioned by Red Room Poetry and Magabala Books to be released in 2020.


Originally from Bombala, NSW, Michael Farrell has lived in Melbourne since 1990. His new poetry book is Family Trees, the follow-up to the Queensland Literary Award-winning I Love Poetry (both with Giramondo). He has also won the Peter Porter Poetry Prize. Other book projects include the anthology Ashbery Mode (TinFish), an Australian tribute to American poet John Ashbery, and the scholarly work, Writing Australian Unsettlement: Modes of Poetic Invention 1796-1945 (Palgrave Macmillan)Michael also edits Flash Cove. He co-won the Venie Holmgren Poetry Prize in 2017, and was runner up in 2018.


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:


11 thoughts on “The 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize”

  1. Hey there just wondering if my poetry submission was received? I never got an email confirming that the poem was received but I did get one saying that the payment was received.

    1. Hi Aaron, yes your poem was received. The email we sent you said: “We have received both your poem and the entrance fee.” Thank you so much for entering your poem! With warm regards, Meg

  2. Hi Meg,
    I was wondering if there was a ‘theme’ to the poems to be submitted or any theme ok?
    This would be my first foray into ‘serious poetry writing’ 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Kerry. The theme is ‘environmental poetry’ so anything in line with this very broad theme is accepted. I hope this helps! Meg

  3. Hi MegU, I was wondering if my entry submitted and paid for four days ago has been received and entered please. I have not had any email of confirmation but see the entry fee has been sent. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Diana, yes your poem and payment were received. When payments are marked as received an automatic email is generated to let the poet know. I will ask out IT guy why that didn’t happen in your case. My apologies for this. With warm regards, MegU

  4. Hi there, I just wanted to know if my submission was received from a few days ago, I didn’t get a confirmation email.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Fadi,
      Many thanks for your entry in the 2020 Venie Prize.
      As soon as our accounts person Elke marks your payment as received you will receive an email of confirmation, but I can see here in our system that “The Garden Bears No Fruit But Us” was your poem and you paid via PayPal. Elke is working on this today so stay tuned for your receipt.
      Many thanks for your patience while we attend to the hundreds of poems entered.
      With warm regards and all the best with your poem!

  5. Preethika Mathan

    Hi MegU! I posted a reply earlier however I think something has happened to it as I can no longer see it. I was just wondering whether or not my entry has been submitted and recieved. I submitted it through the website and paid for it this morning (and recieved confirmation from Paypal) however I am yet to recieve confirmation regarding my entry. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Preethika,
      Many thanks for your entry to the 2020 Venie Prize.
      As soon as our accounts person Elke marks your payment as received you will receive an email of confirmation, but I can see here in our system that you entered your poem “What Matters” twice and have paid once via Credit Card and once via PayPal. Elke is working on this today so stay tuned for your receipts.
      Many thanks for your patience while we attend to the hundreds of poems entered.
      With warm regards and all the best with your poem!

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