The David Harold Tribe Poetry Award 2023 

A $20,000 cash prize for an unpublished poem

*** Deadline extended - entries now close Sunday 4 June 2023 at 11.59pm ***

In 2023 the Discipline of English at the University of Sydney will present the David Harold Tribe Award for Poetry. 

This year the award offers the richest poetry prize of $20,000 in Australia for an original unpublished work of poetry on any theme, up to 100 lines in length. The prize is open to anyone normally resident in Australia for at least three years prior to entry.

The David Harold Tribe Poetry Award is part of a generous bequest supporting diverse artforms. This award has been made possible by a generous gift to the university by David Harold Tribe to promote interest in Australian poetry and to encourage the writing and enjoyment of poetry in Australia.



The judges for the David Harold Tribe Poetry Award 2023 are: 

  • Toby Fitch
  • John Kinsella 
  • Ellen Van Neerven. 

The award will be blind-judged.

Important Dates

  • Entries open on Monday 3 April 2023 and close on Sunday 4 June 2023, 11.59pm (AEST).

How do I enter?

  • Ensure your work complies with the Conditions of Entry below.
  • Remove any self-identifying features (name, email, etc.) from the document of your submitted poem.
  • Complete the required sections below then click the Submit button at the bottom of the page. You will receive confirmation of your entry once it has been submitted.

What is the prize?

  • There is a cash prize of $20,000 for the award winner. 

Who was David Harold Tribe? 

David Harold Tribe was an Australian secularist, humanist, and author of numerous books, articles, and pamphlets. In 2005 he provided funds to establish the University of Sydney's "David Harold Tribe Awards" in fiction, poetry, philosophy, sculpture, and symphony. The award rotates across the five categories; thus, the Poetry award is held every five years.  

Want more information?

  • For any further enquiries about the award please review the FAQ section below or email  (with David Harold Tribe in the subject line).
  • Visit the University of Sydney website.
  • If you have any trouble using this online system, please email

Conditions of Entry

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

  • This award is for an original, previously unpublished poem of up to 100 lines.
  • The poem must have been completed not earlier than three years before the closing date.
  • Poets must have been ordinarily resident in Australia during the three years prior to the closing date for the submission of entries. 
  • Only one entry per poet will be accepted. 
  • Previously published or prize-winning poems will not be accepted.
  • Entries must not be under consideration for publication or award elsewhere.
  • The poet's name or any other identifying details are not to be included on the entry.
  • The poem should be submitted in one Word or PDF document, font 12 point.
  • Only electronic submissions via Submittable will be accepted.
  • The decision of the judges is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
  • Late entries will not be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enter this award?

The award is open to all poets normally resident in Australia during the three years prior to the submission of the poem. 

Are there any restrictions on poems that can be submitted?

Poems must be original, previously unpublished, up to 100 lines and completed not earlier than three years before the closing date.

How old do you have to be to enter this award?

There are no age restrictions.

What does 'unpublished' mean?

‘Unpublished’ means your poem has not been published in  any  form of publication, printed or online, by a registered publisher who is not paid by you to publish your work.

Does self-published count as already published?

No. You may enter the award if you have self-published your poem.

Are there any restrictions on formatting?

Entries must be typed. Please upload a single pdf or Word document. We only accept .doc, .docx, .pdf file formats. Font size should be 12pt but font, line spacing and layout is your choice, as is the style of poetry.

How many times can I enter?

One entry per person is allowed.

How do I know my entry has been successfully submitted?

You will receive a confirmation email via the Submittable system when you submit your work.

Can employees of the University enter the award?

Yes, but employees directly connected with administering or judging the prize may not enter.

When is the closing date/time and will late submissions be accepted?

4 Jun 2023, 11.59pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Can I query why my poem has not been selected or ask for feedback?

No. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into either prior to or after the winner is announced.

Can I include my name on the poem?

No. The judging of this award is done anonymously.

For any further enquiries please email

(with David Harold Tribe in the subject line).

School of Art, Communication and English – University of Sydney