Porter Prize Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t live in Australia and I am not an Australian citizen. Can I still enter?

Yes, you can. Anyone can enter the Porter Prize. But all poems must be written in English.

I’m interested in the Porter Prize but don’t know much about it. How can I familiarise myself with the competition?

This is the sixteenth time Australian Book Review has presented a poetry prize. Past issues containing the shortlisted and winning poems are available for subscribers to read online in our online archive, or to purchase in hard-copy from our online store.

Click here for more information about past winners.

How can I find out more about Australian Book Review?

ABR is a literary and cultural magazine that appears in print and online ten times a year. There is a full Publishing Profile on our website. You can order individual copies of the print edition or subscribe for one year or more. An annual digital subscription to ABR costs AU$60 – or $10 for 30 days’ access to the current issue.

Who was Peter Porter?

Peter Porter – born in Queensland and based in London for almost all his adult life – was one of Australia’s greatest poets. His vast body of poetry was gathered in two Collected Poems, and his poems appear in any serious anthology of Australian or British verse. They are well represented in Copyright Agency’s Australian Poetry Library. His most famous poetry collection is The Cost of Seriousness (1978). Porter edited several anthologies, including The Oxford Book of Modern Australian Verse (1996). He wrote thousands of reviews, essays, lectures, and introductions. His work appeared in Australian Book Review from 1985 to 2010. His fellow poet–critic Peter Steele, who wrote a monograph on Porter, published this tribute in ABR following Peter Porter’s death on 23 April 2010. ABR’s poetry prize was renamed in his honour following his death.

When does the 2020 Porter Prize close?

Entries closed at midnight, 1 October 2019.

Is there a set theme or topic for the Porter Prize?

No, poems can be on any subject and in any style.

How do I know if my poem is an eligible length to enter the Porter Prize?

Entries can be up to 70 lines long. The following are not included in the 70-line limit: the title of the poem, epigraph, stanza breaks, and internal numbers.

To be eligible for entry in the Porter Prize, poems must not have been previously published. What constitutes ‘publication’?

Publication includes, but is not limited to, publication in print and online (for example in a journal/magazine/anthology or on a website). Publication on a personal blog/website/social media constitutes publication. If a poem has been written and assessed as part of a writing course but has not been distributed further, this does not constitute publication.

My poem was shortlisted/commended for another prize, may I enter it in the Porter Prize?

If your poem was shortlisted/commended for another prize but was not published, then it may be entered in the Porter Prize. Please contact us if you are unsure about eligibility.

Can I submit or publish the work I have entered in the Prize elsewhere while I await notification?

Entries may be offered elsewhere during the judging of the Porter Prize. If an entrant is longlisted and has their poem offered elsewhere, the entrant will have 24 hours to decide if they would like to withdraw their poem on offer elsewhere or from the Jolley Prize. Exclusivity is essential for longlisted stories.

Can I enter multiple poems in one entry?

No. Separate entries must be made, and transactions paid, for each poem entered into the Porter Prize. This is to ensure that a record is kept of each poem entered, and also to ensure that payment is successfully made for each.

Is there a limit to the number of poems I can enter?

No, but as stated above, each poem must be entered and paid for separately, as individual entries.

I have written a poem with a friend, are we eligible to enter the Porter Prize?

No, poems entered into the Porter Prize must be written by one individual author.

Are translated poems eligible for entry in the Porter Prize?


What are the prizes on offer in the 2020 Porter Prize?

The Porter Prize is now worth a total of $9,000. A shortlist of five poems will be published in the January–February 2020 issue. The winner and runners-up will be announced later that month. The winner receives $7,000. The other four shortlisted poets will receive $500.

Can I pay the discounted entry fee?

Current print subscribers and yearly online subscribers may pay the discounted entry fee of AU$15 per entry. Full-time students are also eligible to enter at the lower rate but must provide their student number and the name of the institution in which they are enrolled when entering. Non-subscribers pay AU$25 per entry. If you would like to subscribe to Australian Book Review in print or digital, click here

Alternatively you can purchase a digital subscription to ABR with your entry for the combined price of AU$65. We will then send you your login details by email and you will be entitled to enter any additional poems at the discounted rate. We also offered combined print subscriptions and Porter entry packages. A full list of these rates appears below:

Porter Entry (Subscriber): $15
Porter Entry (Full-time student): $15
Porter Entry (Non-Subscriber)*: $25
Porter Entry + ABR digital subscription: $65
Porter Entry + ABR print subscription (within Australia): $100
Porter Entry + ABR print subscription (within New Zealand/Asia): $165
Porter Entry + ABR print subscription (ROW): $185

* Entrants who choose not to subscribe when entering the Porter Prize, and who are not already current ABR subscribers, will be provided with digital access to ABR, free of charge, for four months. Eligible entrants will be contacted when their complimentary subscription has been activated.

Note: Print subscribers must provide their subscriber number to be eligible for the discounted rate (this can be found on the flysheet sent out with the magazine, or on renewal notices – alternatively, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will provide you with your subscriber number). Likewise, yearly digital subscribers to ABR must provide the email address with which they registered the online subscription.

Can I pay with PayPal?

At this time we are accepting credit card payments ONLY – Visa and MasterCard. We regret that we cannot accept AMEX at this time.

Will I receive confirmation of payment?

Yes, once you have submitted your online entry and payment form, you will receive a confirmation email at the email address you supplied in the form. Keep a copy for your records. If you cannot find the confirmation email, be sure to check that it has not gone to your spam or junk folders.

Can I enter by post?

No, entries must be submitted online.

Who are the judges this year?

The 2020 judges are John Hawke, Bronwyn Lea, and Philip Mead.
Click here for more information about the judges.

Will you give me feedback about my poem?

We don’t have the time or resources to comment on individual poems.

How should I format my poem?

Entries should be presented with 1.5 line spacing and in 12 pt font size. The pages of poems should be numbered. The author’s name must not appear on the manuscript or in the name of the digital file.

How can I stay in touch with news about the Porter Prize?

If you have provided us with a current email address we will contact you with news about the Prize. Another way to stay up to date with news about the Prize and other ABR prizes and events is to sign up to our free monthly e-News. You can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Where can I find the complete terms and conditions of entry?

These can be found here.

My question isn't answered here, what should I do?

If you have a question about the Porter Prize that isn't answered here, or in the entry guidelines, please contact us via the comments facility below and we will respond when we can.