Tūhono — We Want Your Poems!

We are excited to announce that Wellington City Libraries is launching its very own poetry journal for kids and teens — Tūhono! All throughout the month of November, we will be accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets submitted will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory!

Let your poetic thoughts take wing!

Here is all the information you need to submit a poem for inclusion in Tūhono 2020:


  • Submissions will be open from 1 – 30 November 2020.
  • The journal will be published and available to borrow from the library in December 2020.


  • Submissions for Tūhono 2020 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who sent us their work!


  • Everyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who lives in the Wellington region may participate.


  • Theme: We want you to write a poem on the theme of “Tūhono — Connection.” Exactly what this means to you is up to you — you could write about your family; friends; your connection with history or your place in the world; disconnection during lockdown — anything at all. We can’t wait to see what you create!
  • LengthYour poem should not be longer than one A4 page typed, with size 12 font and 1.5 line spacing. Only one poem per person will be accepted.
  • Language: Your poem may be written in English or te reo Māori.


  • We want to give all young people in Wellington the opportunity to have their work published in an accessible platform. We think everyone deserves a platform and the chance to see something they created be part of the library’s collection, alongside all the great authors and poets represented on our shelves. We hope that Tūhono grows into a uniquely Wellington collection of writing, capturing the thoughts and emotions of kids and teens from all over the city and region across time. We are so excited to see what you come up with!

Throughout the month of November, we will be posting regular updates providing inspiration for your writing — so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like more information about Tūhono, you are more than welcome to contact the editors here. Happy writing, everyone!

9 Responses

  1. Kate 3 November, 2020 / 7:24 am

    I have tried to click the submission link but it is not working. I don’t know if it is my computer just acting up or the link is not working. Please let me know.

  2. Zachary 6 November, 2020 / 10:59 am


    When it is night, I go to sleep, and I could go to the moon or go to the deepest part of the ocean. Then wake up in the morning and eat breakfast and go to school.

  3. Stephen Clothier 6 November, 2020 / 11:54 am

    Very cool poem, Zachary! Would you like to submit this poem to Tūhono? If so, make sure to do it through the submission link above. 🙂

  4. D 27 November, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Can this be submitted on mobile?

  5. D 27 November, 2020 / 2:45 pm

    Can you submit through a phone?

  6. Stephen Clothier 30 November, 2020 / 8:13 am

    Hi D! It should be possible to submit via mobile, as long as you can access the file you’d like to submit on your phone 🙂

  7. Pearl Freemantle 1 December, 2020 / 6:02 pm

    I was sick and away from school – can these four children’s poems please be accepted?

    High up in the sky
    And when you see it on the beach,who knows what you will find!
    Different colours of all types.
    And they blend into the night-sky.
    Different shapes and sizes,unique each one
    And sometimes there is only one.
    But sometimes at full moon one might come out…
    And it is a sight to tell about…
    To your dad mum and cousins too,but please DON’T MAKE THE CONVO ALL ABOUT YOU!

    By: Nikayla Bishop


    The Kereru’s wings flap loud in the sky
    They flap and flap so high on the night
    You maybe just maybe might see them afar
    And before you ask no this bird does not know Jafar
    The Kereru can sweep down low
    You’d be lucky to see one though
    You shouldn’t want to run and hide
    Because these heavy birds don’t stay long just like the tide.

    By Emiliia Laavasa

    In The Sky
    I like to fly.
    So very high
    In the sky.
    At night it’s cold, as cold as can be.
    But in the day it’s warm and there’s a spark I can see.
    I fly away every day and bits of cloud get in my way.

    By Miriam Siave



    By Taylor-Rei Pihema
    https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/5969398/Poetry-Submission. Apologies – for sending these today – I have been sick, off work – back today – I hope they can be accepted please.
    Nga mihi
    Pearl Freemantle
    Ngati Toa School, Titahi Bay, Porirua

  8. Stephen Clothier 2 December, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    Hi there Pearl. Not a problem — I will add these four poems into our database of entries 🙂 Thank you for encouraging your students to take part in Tūhono!

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