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things lost are now a small waste to retrieve,
even the ocean is messy, let it teach you to trust

~ 'Later Dusk’ by Michelle Cahill, Red Room Poetry Fellow 2020

Each year, the Red Room Poetry Fellowship is awarded to a previously-commissioned poet to foster and enhance their poetic and professional development. Established to recognise and develop the achievements of contemporary Australian poets, the Fellowship supports the artistic growth of the individual as well as the wider community.

Valued at $10,000, this opportunity encourages poets to undertake an intensive period of creative development involving a range of commissions, residency, recordings and publication outcomes. Previous recipients of the Red Room Poetry Fellowship include Michelle Cahill (2020), Jeanine Leane (2019), the late Candy Royalle (2018) and Ali Cobby Eckermann (2017).

Now in its fifth year, we're pleased to announce the 2021 Fellowship is open for applications.


The 2021 Fellow receives

  • $5000 poetic stipend “no strings”
  • $1000 commission to create a suite of poems inspired by an existing Red Room Poetry project
  • A two-week residency at Bundanon Trust with local workshops (Monday 12 July – Monday 25 July 2021)
  • Travel assistance
  • Opportunity to film or present a public address during the year-long Fellowship


How to apply

Applications open: 9:00 am, Monday 1 December 2020
Applications close: 5:00 pm, Monday 22 February 2021

Step 1: Read our Terms and Conditions and Application Information

Step 2: Submit your application via the online form below

You'll need:

  • a recent CV
  • three recent poems
  • a high-res headshot
  • a biography
  • a cover letter (1000 words max) addressing the selection criteria

Poets who have been previously-commissioned by Red Room Poetry, are warmly invited to apply. In 2021, we’re also thrilled to welcome applications from poets whose work was selected for Writing Water and In Your Hands in 2020.

It is expected that the Fellow will complete all activities within 12 months of the announcement of the Fellowship unless otherwise agreed. 

The Shortlist 2021

Each year Red Room Poetry's judges select a shortlist of poets from the many exceptional applications. To discover what makes a stand-out application, read the Judging Notes from previous years.


The Judges 

This year, we warmly welcome Jessica Alice, Stuart Barnes and Jeanine Leane as judges of the Red Room Poetry Fellowship 2021.


Discover past years

While this Fellowship is currently only open to previously commissioned Red Room Poets, we're always looking for new voices for upcoming poetic projects. If you're interested in a Red Room Poetry commission, email with a copy of your CV, a suite of your best poems, as well as the kind of projects in which you are interested.