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The Puncher & Wattmann Prize for a First Book of Poetry

We are delighted to announce an annual prize of $2,500 and print publication of a first book of poetry, by Puncher & Wattmann.

The prize will open on August 15 and close on November 30 each year.

The winner will be announced and their book will be launched at the Newcastle Writers’ Festival in April of the subsequent year.

The following conditions apply:

  • This award is for an unpublished manuscript of poems between 50-100 A4 pages.
  • The manuscript must not be under consideration by any other publisher or for any other award for the duration of the award. Entries which fail to meet this criteria will be automatically disqualified.
  • Entrants must have previously published at least three poems in print or online literary journals, magazines and newspapers. Self-publication on websites or in other forms is not deemed as previous publication.
  • Poets who have previously published a book of 32 or more pages (or digital equivalent) by an independent publisher are not eligible to enter.
  • There is no age limit.
  • Entrants should be Australian citizens or have lived in Australia for at least three years.
  • The winning entrant must be prepared to work with an editor or judge on the manuscript, prior to publication.
  • The cash prize is in-lieu of royalty payments. If sales of the winning book exceed the equivalent of a $2,500 royalty payment, then royalties will be paid to the author as per an industry-standard royalty contract.
  • The entry fee must be paid for the entry to be complete. If an entrant withdraws from the competition for any reason, the entry fee will not be refunded.
  • Entries received outside the entry period will not be considered.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The judges reserve the right not to make the award if they deem that the quality of the entries does not warrant it.
  • Manuscripts should include a title, a contents page and a list of previous publications. Poems should be formatted with 1.5 spacing.
  • Please save the ms using your surname and the manuscript title. Eg: “Slessor_FiveBells.doc” or “Slessor_FiveBells.pdf”.
  • Your email should include a postal address, a contact telephone number, a short biography of around 100 words and a list of previously published poems.

Manuscripts should be submitted as a pdf or Word doc to: firstbookprize@puncherandwattmann.com

An entry fee of $25 must be paid through Eventbrite

Judges: MTC Cronin, David Musgrave and Ann Vickery

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