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leaves rustle with the wind 
forever whispering
as if they have a secret to tell. 

~ Jamie, Year 7, Picton High School

Write a poem – plant a tree! 

POEM FOREST is a free nature writing prize that literally breathes life back into the natural world that sustains us.

Created by Red Room Poetry, in partnership with the Australian Botanic GardenPOEM FOREST deepens our connection with nature by inviting students and communities to create and publish poems inspired by the natural environment. For every poem received a tree will be planted at Mount Annan to help heal habitats and create a POEM FOREST for future generations. Our goal is to cultivate the creation and planting of 10,000 poem trees in three years!


Key dates

  • POEM FOREST prize opens Sunday 21 March 2021
  • Submissions close 5pm Friday 17 September 2021
  • Shortlist and poems published in October 2021
  • Winners announced November 2021
  • POEM FOREST trees planted at the Australian Botanic Garden throughout 2021 and 2022


Categories of entry

  • Lower primary (F–Year 3)
  • Upper primary (Years 4–6)
  • Lower secondary (Years 7–9)
  • Upper secondary (Years 10–12)
  • Threatened Species (F–12)
  • Accredited Teacher (All ages)
  • Australian Botanic Gardens prize (F–12)



Prizes will be awarded to the best poem in each category and all submissions are published on the Red Room Poetry website. A special tour of the Gardens will also be awarded by The Australian Botanic Gardens for local entrants. Prizes include:

  • $500 cash
  • Book packs valued at $100
  • Winning certificates

Be the first to receive free POEM FOREST learning resources by signing up to our monthly Poetic Learning e-news.

Read POEM FOREST Terms and Conditions

Partners and Supporters

Generously supported by John B. Fairfax AO, Principal Patron of Poem Forest.