This year for our annual Lest We Forget poetry competition, writers are invited to respond to the theme of A Personal Story.

War is a universal tragedy, the impacts of which are widespread and enduring across time and space. But it is the personal stories of war that help us to understand the true impact, and that touch our hearts and spark empathy for the suffering of fellow human beings. Many families throughout New Zealand hold stories of their forebears' involvement in conflict, whether through family lore reaching back to the World Wars and beyond, or newer residents of Aotearoa whose experience of war may, sadly, be more recent.

This year also sees the 25th anniversary of the Museum's Online Cenotaph, our national database of records and stories of those who served for Aotearoa New Zealand. We encourage you to visit the Online Cenotaph for inspiration through the personal stories of servicemen and women.

The competition is open to all ages. There are three age categories: 18 years+, 12 - 17 years, and 11 years and under.

Entries must be received by 5PM on Wednesday 13 April 2022.

2019 winner Andrew Ma.

How to enter

How to enter

Enter via email:
Email using 'Lest We Forget' as the subject. Please include your age and mobile number with your entry, and please do not use Google Docs links. 

You can also post your entries to: 
Lest We Forget Poetry Competition
Auckland Museum
Private Bag 92018
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

Entries will be judged by a panel of Museum writers, curators and educators. The judges' decision is final.

Finalists chosen from each age category will be invited to read their entries inside the Museum on Anzac Day at 9.30AM. Finalists will also be invited to a morning tea reception afterwards.

N.B. For school entries, please use personal email and phone numbers instead of school details.

2019 winner Madeline Bennett with competition sponsor Michele Mann.