Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize

for Canadian youth.

Submissions are closed until September 2019.

The Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth was established to foster a lifelong relationship between Canadian youth and the literary arts, specifically poetry. The prize is supported through a generous donation from the Stursberg family and other donors in honour of Jessamy Stursberg. The prize accepts submissions from young poets all across Canada, with three prizes awarded in both the Junior (grades 7 to 9) and Senior (grades 10 to 12) categories: 


Winner: $400
Second Place: $350
Third Place: $300 


The League of Canadian Poets is pleased to announce the winners of 2019’s Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth! We received a record number of 381 submissions this year and we couldn’t be more excited to publish the fantastic 6 winning poems on our website!

2019 Winners

FIRST PLACE: Jonathan Chu (junior category) & Nazanin Soghrati (senior category)
SECOND PLACE: Sophie Choong (junior category) & Angelina Shandro (senior category)
THIRD PLACE: Jamie Wang (junior category) & Max Zhang (senior category)
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Rashid Al-Abri, Jewel Cao, Stephanie Ya Wen Chang, Jonathan Chu, Madhavan Thevar

View the full announcement, winning poems, and interviews with the winning poets here.

Congratulations to the winners, honourable mentions, and all the poets who submitted their work! Submitting is a huge first step in a poet’s career and we thank you for sending us your work!

Past Winners

20182017 | 2016 | 2015 (junior/senior)


About the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize

Photo: Richard and Jessamy Stursberg
Richard and Jessamy Stursberg

The Jessamy Stursberg Youth Poetry Trust Fund makes this prize possible, and contributes to the sustainability of the Canadian poetry community and our young writers. Stursberg believed, with Christopher Fry, that “Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement”. Poetry was-for her-the deepest way of understanding the world. Her keen mind retained impressive amounts of verse, most of which she knew by heart. This gift became a comfort once her eyesight failed.

It is the wish of her family to see Jessamy’s love of poetry carried on by young people. Through this fund, Canadian youth now have access to greater opportunities to grow, as poets, through the love of writing, reading and instruction.