Ends on August 2, 2019

About the award

This award has been made possible by a generous bequest to the University of Sydney by Helen Anne Bell to fund a biennial award to a female poet. This is the third biennial award made under the Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest. 

The 2019 award offers a cash prize of $7,000 and publication with Vagabond Press for a collection of poems between 50 - 80 pages by an Australian woman poet over the age of 18. The manuscript submitted must be “about Australian culture”, broadly defined. The bequest will pay for the publication and launch of the Vagabond Press book. Only one entry is accepted per applicant.

The judges for the Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest Award 2019 are Pam Brown, Fiona Hile and Kate Lilley.


Closing date for submissions is 2 August 2019, 11.59pm (AEST).

The winning entry will be announced on 8 November 2019.


Please read the full Conditions of Entry below before submitting your work.


Conditions of Entry

  • Closing date for submissions is 2 August 2019, 11.59pm (AEST)
  • Entry is FREE
  • Only ONE entry per person will be accepted
  • The award is for an original, previously unpublished collection of poems between      50 - 80 pages, “about Australian culture”, broadly defined
  • Applicants must be Australian females over the age of 18
  • Individual poems can have been previously published or won prizes, but the manuscript, as a whole, should be unpublished
  • Entries may be under consideration for publication elsewhere, but if an offer to      publish the manuscript is accepted elsewhere, the applicant should immediately withdraw from the award
  • The writer must present the entry under her own name and NOT under a pseudonym      
  • The entry must be typed (12 point) and submitted in one Word or PDF document
  • The judges will short-list applications and select a winner. The decision of the judges is final, and no further correspondence will be entered into 
  • Applicants may reapply for a subsequent award provided that they have not previously won the award
  • The winner must agree to give a public reading of the works at University of      Sydney
  • Late entries will not be considered
  • Entries will not be accepted by post, email or fax
  • Entries will not be returned
  • All entries to be submitted to: https://slamsydney.submittable.com/submit

For any further enquiries please email slam.rsvp@sydney.edu.au (with Helen Anne Bell in the subject line)