League Awards

Each year, the League is pleased to present three book awards to poets at various stages in their career, as well as a spoken word lifetime achievement award and a young poets prize. We are also proud to present the Life Membership, Honorary Membership, and Colleen Thibaudeau awards each year in recognition of an outstanding contribution to poets and poetry in Canada. Shortlists for the annual book awards are announced in April, and winners are announced in June. Scroll down to view past winners and shortlists on each award’s dedicated page. The League also regularly administers poetry contests! Click here to view a list of all League contests and contest-winning poems.

View a list of contests, prizes, and awards from magazines and other organizations here!


Book award submissions are now open! 

Deadline: December 10, 2019 

Publishers and authors may now submit books published in 2019 to the following awards: 

Additional eligibility guidelines (for all awards): 

  • Authors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents 
  • Titles must be published in 2019 
  • Submitted titles must have one author. Translators are not eligible as authors 
  • Titles must be at least 48 pages in length, excluding front and back material 
  • If a title is “selected” or “collected” work, it must contain at least 50% new material, measured in pages of text. This percentage must be identified with the submission. 
  • Chapbooks and self-published books are not eligible. 
  • Submissions are welcome in any language, but submissions in a language other than English must be accompanied by a translation (the original language text must have been published in 2019) 
  • Titles may be submitted by a publisher, author, or other nominator 
  • There is a $25.00 submission fee per title, per award that may be paid by credit card or cheque upon confirmation of receipt of the submission. 
  • Submissions must be received by Tuesday, December 10, 2019. If a book is set to be published between December 10 and December 31, 2019, contact admin@poets.ca by November 30, 2019 to arrange an extension. 

Submission process: 

Please note the submission process has been updated to minimize confusion and errors during the submission process! We welcome feedback on this update process – feel free to email nicole@poets.ca with any concerns or comments. 

  • Step one: complete this online form to indicate which books you will be submitting, and to which awards https://forms.gle/GmLW4kD2SD4D5XQz5 
  • Step two: await e-mail confirmation from the League office confirming a) how many copies of each title to send and b) an invoice for applicable submission fees 
  • Step three: send books to the League Toronto office and submit payment for submission fees online via credit card, or include a cheque with the parcel of books for consideration 

Submissions will include three (3) copies of each title submitted, per award, and one (1) additional copy of each book, as well as a $25.00 submission fee per title, per award. 

Longlists and shortlists for the 2020 book awards will be announced in April 2020, and the winner will be announced in May 2020 at the League of Canadian Poets Annual Conference and AGM! 


Announcing the winners of the League’s 2019 Awards… 

The League of Canadian Poets is proud to announce the winners of our annual awards for 2019: 

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Winner: Obits. by Tess Liem (Coach House Books) 
Pat Lowther Memorial Award Winner: Ekke by Klara du Plessis (Palimpsest Press) 
Raymond Souster Award Winner: I left nothing inside on purpose by Stevie Howell (McClelland & Stewart) 

Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award Winner: Andrea Thompson 

These awards are given in recognition of incredible talents in Canadian poetry. Each winner will receive $2000, thanks to funding from Canada Council for the Arts,Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Canada Book Fund. Congratulations to the winning poets and their publishers!  

Find the full awards announcement here to read jurors’ citations, find links to excerpts from the winning poets, and more. See the 2019 Book Awards shortlists here. Want to see even more from the 2019 awards? View the 2019 Book Awards longlists here



for a debut book of poetry | $2,000 prize





for a book of poetry by a woman | $2,000 prize





for a book of poetry by a League member | $2,000 prize





for excellence and innovation in spoken word poetry| $2,000 prize





for Canadian youth