We are delighted to announce QPF’s 2017 Prizes and Awards. This year there are three Arts Queensland Poetry Awards (open May 29th), as well the Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award (open May 30th) and the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize (open June 3rd.)


 only after fifteen notes / did silence grip its tongue
– from Val Vallis’s ‘The Ballad of Changi Chimes’

Named in honour of a distinguished Queensland poet, the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem is committed to encouraging poets throughout Australia. Now in its 17th year, this prestigious prize for an unpublished poem (or suite of poems) of 80 lines or less comes with a total value of $2,000 including support from Queensland Writers Centre and winning entries to be published online in Cordite, both of whom are great supporters of this prize.2017

Selection panel: Stuart Barnes (QLD) & Michelle Cahill (NSW)

Previous winners: Caitlin Maling, Andrew Last, Chloe Wilson, Brett Dionysius, Rachael Briggs, Nathan Shepherdson, Rebecca Edwards, Bronwyn Lea, Michelle Cahill, Anna Krien, Jaya Savige, Ynes Sanz

Download guidelines & entry form: aq-vallis-award-entry-form-2017

Note: Entries close 5pm July 10th 2017. 


 To have something is to be able to recognise it, even in the dark.
– Thomas Shapcott 

Named in honour of this distinguished Queensland poet, the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript is committed to encouraging emerging Queensland poets. Now in its 15th year, this prestigious prize comes with total prize money of $2,000 and publication with UQP

2017 Selection panel: Felicity Plunkett (UQP Poetry Editor) & Ali Alizadeh (VIC) 

Previous winners: Shastra Deo, Stuart Barnes, Krissy Kneen, David Stavanger, Rachael Briggs, Nicholas Powell, Rosanna Licari, Jaya Savige, Nathan Shepherdson, Angela Gardner, Sarah Holland-Batt, Felicity Plunkett 

Download guidelines & submission forms: 2017 Thomas Shapcott Award Entry Form

Note: Entries close at 5pm July 10th 2017.


I wanna hear a little revolution ~ from ‘Revolution’
by Emily XYZ 

The Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word is Australia’s only arts award that recognises the growing field of spoken word, and is named after the former 2010 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence, Emily XYZ, who left a deep impression on many of today’s Queensland spoken word artists. Open to all Australian residents, this award comes with total prize money of $1000 with winning entries also to be published online and CD by Melbourne Spoken Word (MSW). Queensland Writers Centre will also offer membership and workshop credit to the highest QLD entry. 

2017 Selection panel: Benjamin Solah (MSW) + the 2017 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence 

Previous winners: Benjamin Wild, Manna Marvel 

Download guidelines & submission forms: 2017 XYZ Award Entry Form

Note: Entries for these three prizes close at 5pm July 10th 2017. NOTE: XYZ Prize entries now extended until 5pm July 17th 2017

The winners of the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott, Val Vallis, and XYZ Prizes will be announced at the Poetry Awards night at Queensland Poetry Festival, 6pm-730pm on Thursday 24 August 2017 at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. QPF has the pleasure of administering these Arts Queensland Poetry Prizes on behalf of the Queensland Government. University of Queensland Press, Queensland Writers Centre, Cordite Poetry Review, Melbourne and Spoken Word are all proud supporters of these awards.



‘LS06’ 2011 by Michael Zavros

QPF is proud to announce the return of the Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award in 2017. This award is now in its third year, named after one of Australia’s premier art dealers, Philip Bacon, who has agreed to be the patron of Queensland’s only ekphrastic prize. The word ‘ekphrasis’ comes from the Greek ek ‘out’ and phrasis ‘speak’, as well as the verb ekphrazein, which means to call an inanimate object by name. Artistically, ekphrasis is a rhetorical device in which a visual object, usually a work of art, is vividly described by another artistic medium – in this case, a poem under 12 lines in length. Open to all Australian residents, the overall winner will receive $500 in prize money and the runner-up $250, and the top three poems will be published online in Verity La

Previous winners: Gail Hennessy, Rosanna Licari. 

2017 Judging panel: Nathan Shepherdson (QLD) & Michele Seminara (Verity La Editor) 

2017 Painting selection: Philip Bacon has selected five paintings from his own collection (see link to PDF entry form below for full images.) 

Download guidelines & submission forms: Philip Bacon Entry Form 2017

Entries for the Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award open May 30th and close at 5pm July 10th 2017.


We are the shadow-ghosts creeping back as the camp fires burn low 
from ‘We Are Going’ by Oodgeroo Noonuccal 

QPF are very proud to announce the return of Australia’s only open-age Indigenous poetry prize for an unpublished poem, the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize. Named in honour after Oodgeroo Noonuccal, the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse, the prize has been named after receiving permission from Oodgeroo’s family and in close consultation with Quandamooka Festival. The Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize is for an Unpublished Poem and is open to indigenous poets, emerging and established, throughout Australia. The prize for a single poem (or suite of poems) of 80 lines or less comes with a first prize of $2,000 + mentoring sessions with an established Indigenous poet, and the highest-placed Quandamooka entry will receive $500 plus 12 months membership & workshop credit from Queensland Writers Centre. The winning and highly commended entries will also be published online by Overland. QPF would like to thank Copyright Agency for funding this prize, as well as the support of Queensland Writers Centre, Overland and Quandamooka Festival. QPF also thanks the Walker family for their support in the naming this prize. 

Previous winners: Andrew Booth / Julie Janson 
2017 Selection panel: Ali Cobby Eckermann & Ellen van Neerven 

Download guidelines & submission forms: Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize. Entry Form 2017

Note: Entries open June 3rd and close at 5pm July 17th 2017.

 If you have any queries regarding any of these awards, please email awards@queenslandpoetryfestival.com