Manuscript Prize for Emerging Poets – the Winners!

Judges: Magdalena Ball, Kit Kelen, Brian Purcell

Flying Islands Poetry Community is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural Poetry Manuscript Prize. It was an extraordinarily difficult task to choose the winners, as so many of the more than fifty entries were of a very high standard. We would like to thank all of the poets who submitted their work – it makes us feel confident about the future of Australian poetry!

The Gold Medal was shared by Sophia Wilson and D. G. Lloyd, and both winning manuscripts will be launched in early 2023 – stay tuned for more details.  We hope to publish Alan Fyfe’s, Sophie Finlay’s and Carl Walsh’s books in 2023-24.



Sophia Wilson’s En Cas D’Urgence (Sea Skins)

D.G. Lloyd’s Alive in Dubbo 


Alan Fyfe’s G-D, Sleep and Chaos


Sophie Finlay’s the terrarium 

Carl Walsh’s Supermarket of Words

Congratulations to the winning entries, and all who took part in the competition!

More than 50 entries have been received!

About the Competition

With the activity of poetry-making central to its efforts, Flying Islands particularly aims to bring experienced and new poets together on and off-line, through mentoring, art events of various kinds, workshops, blogs, websites, readings, launches and, most importantly, through the ongoing publication of the Flying Island Pocket Poets Series. The Flying Islands Manuscript Prize for Emerging Poets is part of this process.

The Prize

(Oscar statue not included). The prize for the competition is $1000 cash, publication in the Flying Island Pocket Poets Series (with fifty free copies to the poet) and the possibility of negotiating a short writer’s residency at Arbaro Writers and Artists Residency. Other finalists may also be offered publication in the Flying Island Pocket Poets Series.


  • Dates for submission of entries: Opens 12 AM Jan 1, 2022 – Closes 11:59 PM March 31, 2022 ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED
  • Date of shortlist announced: 31 July 2022
  • Prize ceremony at poets’ picnic in December 2022 and/or a launch in Sydney (likely to take place in January, 2023.)

Eligibility and Terms and Conditions

  1. Entrants can be poets of any age who have not yet published a full-length poetry collection (of more than 40 pages);

  2. entrants must submit a complete manuscript (m/s) as a PDF document of no less than 60 A4 pages, and of no more than 90 pages;

  3. entrants are only permitted to submit one m/s or book proposal in this competition;

  4. manuscripts may be in English or in any other language AND English (bilingual manuscripts are encouraged);

  5. collaborative entries are permitted, and in such a case, all authors involved must provide all necessary details; collaborations between poet/translators will be entertained;

  6. poets who have already published books with Flying Islands are not eligible for this prize (likewise ineligible are poets who have previously discussed or negotiated a m/s with Flying Islands, or who currently have one in the pipeline);

  7. entries must be sent as a PDF attachment by the due date to: ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED, with your surname and Manuscript title in the Subject Line of the email. In the body of the email, you must include your full name and address, email contact and phone contact;

  8. once entries are submitted they will be acknowledged in a follow-up email, which will also instruct entrants on how to pay the entry fee of $10. Successful payment of the entry fee is a condition of entry;

  9. as this is a blind competition, the entrant’s name, address or other identifying details must not appear anywhere on the PDF of the m/s, (if identifying details do occur on the m/s, it will be excluded from the competition);

  10. the entry submitted must be the original work of the author and its submission is read as a statement of this as fact and as an agreement to all of these Terms and Conditions;

  11. the judges reserve the right not to award a prize if entries are of insufficient merit;

  12. the decisions of the judges are final and no correspondence will be entered into;

  13. winners must be prepared to participate in at least one launch of their book, as determined by Flying Islands.

Licenses and Permits

As this competition is definitely not a game of chance, and even if it was, (which it isn’t), the prize pool is valued at less than $3,000, no licenses or permits are required in any state or territory in Australia.

All the best for your entry!