The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society is on the hunt for local poetry.
Entries for the annual poetry awards close in just five weeks and awards officer Brittany Riley is hopeful this is the year that local students showcase their creativity.
The national competition draws thousands of entries from around Australia, but it has long been a struggle to attract entries from schools in the Gunnedah shire. 'Is anybody there?' is this year's optional theme.
Ms Riley is offering to run poetry workshops in the weeks before the competition closes and is asking schools to contact her to express their interest.
By meeting students first-to-face, she hopes to spark their interest and make the competition more accessible.
"I want to show them it's not boring," Ms Riley said.
"It's about expression ... You don't just have traditional poetry any more. It's become very free-form, which is what the judges are after."
Ms Riley is spreading the word about the competition in other fields as well, visiting Mackellar Care Services' Apex Road campus on Wednesday.
Residents in the Sugar Plum group chose the awards as the recipient of its fundraising efforts this year, and have donated $300 in sponsorship of the lower primary section.
Mackellar Care volunteers, staff and residents gathered to hear how the competition has grown and changed over the years and the benefits for students and schools that participate. It was also an opportunity for the aged care facility to treats its volunteers in National Volunteer Week.
- To organise a poetry workshop, phone Brittany Riley on 6742 1200 from 10am-3pm, Tuesday-Thursday. To enter this year's poetry awards, click here.