The National Schools Poetry Award has been providing a forum for young writers in Aotearoa New Zealand since 2003. The law firm Bell Gully was our major sponsor from 2003 to 2007 when New Zealand Post picked up this important role. In 2009 we said goodbye to New Zealand Post as our major sponsor and the 2010 Award was suspended, along with the National Schools Writing Festival which has been run alongside the Award since 2004.

The support of Creative New Zealand enabled us to hold the Award in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013 the New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English (NZATE) funded the finalists’ poetry masterclass.

The Award was again suspended in 2014 due to lack of funding but thanks to partial support from Creative New Zealand for the years 2015-2017, it is now back on.

However, we are aware that the financial support of this Award is becoming increasingly precarious. We fundraised the balance of our budget for 2015 with a Boosted Campaign, and welcomed two new sponsors: Ogilvy & Mather (2015-2017) and Weta Digital (2015).

The Award is also generously supported by our prize partners: The New Zealand Book Council, Victoria University Press, the literary journals Landfall and Sport.

If you would like to become a prize partner or sponsor please contact Damien Wilkins on modernletters@vuw.ac.nz.

The benefits we offer in return include:

  • Your Logo on posters in a poetry pack sent to over 500 secondary schools around New Zealand
  • Acknowledgement or inclusion of your logo in relevant media releases
  • Permanent recognition as a major sponsor or prize partner on our website.