The winners of the Martha Richardson Memorial Poetry Prize, judged by Terry Jaensch, were announced on November 26.

To read Terry’s comments, click here, and click on the entries to read the poems.

BWI thanks Terry for his insightful comments and all those who entered for their support, and offers congratulations to the winners and those highly commended.

First Prize ($1,000)

Bee Hives at Night‘ by Nathan Curnow, Ballarat East, VIC

Second Prize ($400)

Banksia‘ by Claire Miranda Roberts, Edinburgh

Third Prize ($100)

What Time It Is In Auckland‘ by Colin Montfort, Padbury, WA

Highly Commended

‘Piano Concerto’ by Helen Bradwell, Williamstown, VIC

‘Burden’ by David Terelinck, Biggera Waters, QLD

‘Ibis Roost’ by Pippa Kay, Hunters Hill, NSW

‘The Georges Sand, Eliot and Lewes’ by Anne M Carson, Bonbeach, VIC

‘The Way’ by Damen O’Brien, Wynnum, QLD

‘Your Coma Is A Half Death’ by Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Padbury, WA


Terry JaenschTerry Jaensch is the author of three books of poetry: Buoy (Five Islands Press 2001), Excess Baggage & Claim (co-authored with Cyril Wong, Transit Lounge 2007) and Shark (Transit Lounge 2013). Terry’s first book, Buoy, was shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award by the Fellowship of Australian Writers.

Terry has worked as writer-in-community, poetry editor (Cordite), artist-in-residence, dramaturge, poetry teacher, artistic director of the 2005 Emerging Writers’ Festival, literature co-ordinator for the 2011 Castlemaine State Festival, artistic director of ISH (Insert Self Here): Queer Ideas, Activism and Arts Day and most recently was poetry tutor for the online poetry clinic at Writers Victoria.

Terry has been the recipient of two Asialink Residencies (in Singapore and South Korea) and has won awards including the Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize and Victorian Writers Centre Poetry Slam.  Terry’s poetry has been published and read nationally and internationally and Terry’s poetry has been translated into Korean, Bengali and Russian.


  1. Entries open at 9am Saturday 1 August 2020 and close at 11.59pm on Sunday 11 October 2020. Late entries will not be accepted.
  2. The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 years, including overseas applicants.
  3. Entries must be the original work of the applicant.
  4. Entries must not have been previously published or broadcast (including social media), or a prizewinner in any other competition.
  5. Entry fees are AU$25 per poem. Second and subsequent entries by the same entrant are eligible for the reduced rate of AU$15. Entries via trybooking will incur a 30c booking fee.
  6. Members of Ballarat Writers are entitled to a $5 discount on the entry fee (first poem only.)
  7. There is no limit to the number of entries each applicant may submit, providing the entry fee is paid for each poem submitted.
  8. All entries must be submitted in English, double-spaced and using a standard 12 pt font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  9. Entries should be no more than 40 lines.
  10. As all entries are subject to a blind judging process, the applicant’s name must not appear anywhere on the poem.
  11. Fees will not be refunded under any circumstances.
  12. Submissions will not be returned.
  13. No corrections or changes will be accepted once entries are submitted.
  14. Copyright remains with the author.
  15. The judge’s decision is final.
  16. The finalists and winner will be announced at our November members’ night on Wednesday 25 November 2020 in Ballarat (or online depending on restrictions).
  17. The winning entry will be published, along with the judge’s report, on the Ballarat Writers website in December 2020.


All parts of the process above must be completed before 11.59pm on the closing date, Sunday 11 October 2020.

All entries must be submitted in English, double-spaced and using a standard 12 pt font and the applicant’s name must not appear anywhere on the poem.


  1. Pay the entry fee online by credit card and enter your details through Trybooking:
  2. Email your poem/s to

Save your poem/s as PDF files (1 poem per file), and then attach it to your email. In the subject title, put ‘MRMPP 2020’. In the body of the email, include your full name and the title of the poem/s.


  1. Pay the entry fee by cheque or money-order, made out to ‘Ballarat Writers’
  2. Print & complete the entry form (1 per poem).
  3. Print your poem/s.
  4. Post payment, form and poem to

Ballarat Writers MRMPP 2020
PO Box 2738
Bakery Hill VIC 3350



Entry form (only for printed entries): can be downloaded here

Join as a member online


Competitions co-ordinator:


Martha Richardson emigrated from Los Angeles to Mildura after her Australia-born husband Ted became ill with cancer and decided to return ‘home’ in 1991. Over the next six years she continued to diligently hone her writing skills; her reputation as an emerging poet began to spread beyond Mildura. She was the first prize winner of the poetry contest sponsored by ABC Radio Oasis FM and the Mildura Writers’ Festival in 1995. Her work was published in America and Australia.

At the beginning of 1997 Martha and Ted came to Ballarat and joined the Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing & Editing) course at the University of Ballarat. The following year Martha was a first place winner in the Seddon Prize for Poetry 1998 and Five Islands Press announced its intention to publish an anthology of her poems titled In an Empty Room (New Poets: Series 6, 1998). Her reputation as a talented poet continued to grow.

Martha was diagnosed with breast cancer two years later. Writing became even more important to her as she endured an aggressive regime of radiotherapy treatment throughout 2001. She agreed to join the committee of the Ballaarat Writing Council (now Ballarat Writers Inc.) when her treatment was completed.

Martha Elaine Richardson died in June 2002, six months after developing secondary cancer; she never reached ‘retiring age’.