The Kathryn Purnell Poetry Prize 2023 is now open!
Prizes: First place will be $200, second place $125, and third place $75.
This competition is open to members of The Society of Women Writers in all states and women writers who are non-members.
This years judge is Angela Costi, who is a poet, playwright, essayist and reviewer with backgrounds in social justice and community arts. Read more about Angela here.
The Kathryn Purnell Poetry Prize is awarded for a poem of no more than 50 lines, this biennial award is named in honour of a much-loved member of SWWV.
Kathryn was born in Canada and lived in France, England, Scotland, Egypt, Indonesia and Africa. When she married an Australian she moved permanently to Melbourne. Kathryn continued her education at the University of Melbourne and became a creative writing tutor. Her poetry and prose was published in many magazines and broadcast on ABC radio. She was an editor in the Luna collective and won many awards for her work.
Kathryn Purnell ran poetry workshops in her home for members, who greatly benefited from her expertise and mentoring. She edited a number of poetry anthologies on behalf of SWWV.
After her death, the Society set up the Kathryn Purnell Poetry Prize in her honour. It is open to SWW members in all branches and non-members.
The 2021 winners were:
You can read Tegan Schetrumpf’s judges report here.
The 2019 winners were:
The 2017 winners were:
- First Prize: ‘You Are…’ by Mary Jones
- Second Prize: ‘Washing Her Hair’ by Lorraine McGuigan
- Third Prize: ‘Nest’ by Lorraine McGuigan
- Honourable Mention: ‘Kangaroo’ by Lorraine McGuigan, and ‘A Poet Speaks To Her Progenies’ by Rhonda Poholke
The 2015 Kathryn Purnell Poetry Prize was won by Judith Green.
Conditions of Entry:
- Size: Limit of 50 lines per poem
- Presentation: Size 12 font
- Each entry to be attached to separate entry form (keep copies of all work submitted)
- Writers’ names are not to be on the manuscript
- Number of entries: Poems limited to three  per person
- Fees: Per entry – $10 (SWW members)/$15 (non-members) OR 3 entries$20 (SWW members)/$30 (non-members) Pay via buttons at the end of the page.
- Authorship: Entries must be unpublished, original work of the entrant. Not concurrently entered in another competition, and not previously in receipt of an award.
- Judging: The Judge’s decisions are final; no correspondence will be entered into.
- The Society reserves the right to split the prize money if there are equally deserving winners.
- Announcement of winners will be made at the Society’s Monthly Meeting on Friday 21 July 2023.
- Winning poems will be published in the 2023 issue of Sparx.
- Send entries by email to: Tracee Spiby, Receiving Officer
- The entry form can be found here
Please pay online via the buttons below
Or via bank transfer:
Account name: Society of Women Writers Victoria
Community Solutions BSB: 033636
Account: 152422 please put [KPPP and your surname] in the reference section and email a copy of your transaction receipt with your entry to the receiving officer Tracee Spiby.
RESULTS OF THE KATHRYN PURNELL POETRY PRIZE WILL BE MADE KNOWN THROUGH THE FOLLOWING:
1. The Society of Women Writers Victoria Monthly Meeting
2. Publication in the Society of Women Writers Victoria newsletter – Write Away August edition.
3. Posting to the SWWV website www.swwvic.org.au.