Category judge Jenny Bornholdt commented:
'I chose 12 poems to highly commend. These poems all stood out as being written by people who'd thought about language and were attempting to use it in interesting and imaginative ways. Some of them were a bit uneven – they had fantastic bits, but then conked out somewhere along the way – but all were engaging and showed plenty of promise. Congratulations to all of them.'
- Charlotte Agnew-Harrington of St Cuthbert's College: 'In Praise of the Girl Next Door'
- Phway Aye of Palmerston North Girls' High Schoool: 'A Love Letter to Burma'
- Toni Duder of Epsom Girls' Grammar School: 'Gambling with Matches'
- Philippa Ebdon of St Cuthbert's College: ' How to be Bored'
- Anna Feilding of Columba College: 'Haikus'
- Olivia Hall of St Cuthbert's College: 'How Else to Explain'
- Kat Hunia of St Cuthbert's College: 'Identity'
- Andew McIndoe of Wellington College: 'Hiding Place'
- Madeline McIntyre-Wilson of Onslow College: 'Unrequite'
- Jessica Storey of St Cuthbert's College: 'redbloodbluedress'
- Pooja Sundar of Epsom Girls' Grammar School: 'Tha Tha (Grandpa)'
'In Praise of the Girl Next Door' by Charlotte Agnew-Harrington and 'Gambling with Matches' by Georgia Boyce were also runners-up in the Best Lyric category.