Cloncurry Prize - Spirit of the Outback
In 2023, The Cloncurry Prize will be launched on World Poetry Day - Tuesday 21 March 2023.
Keep an eye on this webpage for more information.
HIGHLY COMMENDED BY JUDGE TANIA KERNAGHAN
HIGHLY COMMENDED BY JUDGE ALLAN COONEY
HIGHLY COMMENDED BY JUDGE DAVID CAMPBELL
The Cloncurry Prize is one of Australia’s richest poetry competitions with a cash prize of $10,000. The competition aims to showcase the essence of outback Australia. The Cloncurry Prize is open to Australian Citizens, living in Australia with all entries to be assessed by a select panel of judges.
The Junior Competition is open to Queensland school aged individuals with a cash prize of $250.
The theme of the 2022 Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition is “Spirit of the Outback”.
The inaugural Cloncurry Prize launched in 2021 to commemorate the 155th Birthday of Dame Mary Gilmore DBE, who returned to Cloncurry to lay rest with her husband in December 1962. The national competition pays tribute to Dame Mary, an Australian writer and journalist who features on the $10 note, known for her prolific contributions to Australian literature and the broader national discourse.
How to enter
- Entries open: 1 December 2021 at 5.00pm AEST.
- Entries close: Extended to 14 February 2022 at 11.59 AEST.
- Longlisting (selection of the top 50 entries): 18 February 2022.
- Shortlisting (selection of each judge’s top three entries): 25 February 2022.
- Final judging: week commencing 28 February 2022.
- Prize announcement: 18 March 2022.
For information on the Junior Competition, see Junior Competition tab.
Entries must be submitted observing the following formatting and stylistic elements:
- Each entry must be a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx);
- All stanza breaks must be clearly spaced;
- Entries must be a single poem of no more than two pages written in English;
- Pages must be numbered, with the poet’s name right aligned in the footer of the document;
- The poet’s name should not appear anywhere in the document body unless it is relevant to the work; and
- The file name should include the Title followed by the Poets Name e.g. The Cameleers Saddle – Bob Down
The theme of the Cloncurry Prize Poetry Competition is “Spirit of the Outback”.
Longlisting Criteria (Top 50)
- Theme Relevance – Spirit of the Outback = 60%
- Form – word choice, commas, stanzas = 20%
- Language – choice of words, and order is precise = 20%
Shortlisting criteria (Top 10)
- Theme Relevance – Spirit of the Outback = 60%
- Form – word choice, commas, stanzas = 15%
- Language – choice of words, and order is precise = 15%
- Legacy – timelessness of Poem = 10%
The competition Terms & Conditions contain valuable information including key dates, eligibility and formatting. A copy of the Terms & Conditions can be found HERE.
The Heart and Soul of Australia - by David Campbell
Broken Down - by Jennifer Harrison
a portrait in the theatre of desire - by Brian Obiri-Asare
I am delighted that Cloncurry Shire Council has initiated the ‘Cloncurry Prize ~ Spirit of Outback’ Poetry Competition.
Dame Mary Gilmore was my great-great aunt. She was a beloved family member, and a source of pride - for her poetry and her place as a voice of our people.
When I see her wise face looking out from our $10 notes, I imagine her surveying modern Australia with wonder, and I suspect with a few helpful suggestions.
Much of what she spoke for has come to pass, so much of what she valued remains, and so much of our nation's promise has been fulfilled. I can't think of a better place than Cloncurry, where Aunt Mary rests with her husband William, to uncover the next bard of Australia, whoever she or he may be.
Australia is an ancient land of stories that reach back for millennia. The rich oral and visual imaginings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, the poems of colonial Australia, and the verse that grew from our developing nation reflect the epic narrative of our history. In times of trouble and challenge, these are the stories we turn to for comfort and hope.
The stories of Australia come from the city and the bush. They are made in the past and the present. They are our beacon for the future. They are the words of our national spirit, which transcends politics, religion, ethnicity or capital. Aunt Mary wrote once 'I see the world as one'. It's my belief that true poetry comes from that vision and brings people together.
Our poets tell our stories and show us who we are. Sometimes, as the days race by, we forget to stop and listen to those voices. I'm grateful to the people of Cloncurry who have endured so much in recent years, for encouraging us to change that - to hear our stories anew and celebrate the spirit they represent.
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
For media enquires, please contact Council's Media and Public Relations Officer, Ella Thompson on 07 4742 4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org