The University of Newcastle, Australia

Call for Entries: 2020 Karen Thrift Prize for Poetry and Lyrics

Thursday, 4 June 2020

The University of Newcastle's School of Humanities and Social Science is thrilled to announce the launch of the 2020 Karen Thrift Prize for Poetry and Lyrics.

Major Prize: $1,000

All entries must be sent to

and received by 11.59 pm AEDT, Monday 19 October 2020.

Karen Thrift Prize for Poetry and Lyrics poster

Entry Terms and Conditions:

  1. In 2020 entrants must be a current student at The University of Newcastle
  2. Entries must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers
  3. All poems and lyrics must be written in English
  4. Poems and lyrics must be no more than 80 lines
  5. Maximum of one entry per person
  6. Entries will be deidentified before sending to the judging panel
  7. Selection will be made by a judging panel appointed by the Head of School, Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. The Prize will be awarded in November, 2020 and the winning poet will be invited to read at an event organised by the School of Humanities and Social Science
  9. Previous winners are ineligible to enter

About Karen:

Karen Elizabeth Thrift was born in 1955 in Western Australia and grew up in Cooranbong. She taught at Northholm Grammar School in Sydney for 22 years, many of them as Head of English. Her overwhelming goal and mission as a teacher was to light the fires of creativity, share her love of literature, and she was passionate to hone the skills of every student in her classes. She fought for the underdog, inspired the disengaged and drew high respect for her role in pastoral care, and inspired many students to accept the challenge to become adults with informed consciences.

It is to continue to recognise Karen’s contribution that this prize seeks to recognise creativity, passion, intelligence, the poetry and music of life and the creators of these foods for the soul.

View Karen Thrift Memories 1955-2016 here

Submission details:

Please send your entry to as a word document.

Please ensure that the word document does not contain identifying personal or contact information.

The judging panel will not be aware of any submission authorship during the judging process.

Please ensure that the e-mail you send contains your name and contact details, including student number to ensure eligibility.

You will receive an e-mail reply within 2 business days confirming receipt of your submission.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome via e-mail after the judging panel has reached a verdict.

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