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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.

(view the full announcement)

FIRST PLACE: Muneeza Sheikh (junior), Aubry Williams (senior)
SECOND PLACE: Sadie Bell (junior), Harmony Diane Taetz (senior)
THIRD PLACE: Frida Purdon (junior), Kelsey Tishinski (senior)

Visit our Community page to read the winning poems and meet the poets!


The Jessamy Stursberg Poetry 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

All six of the winning poets and poems will also be featured on the League of Canadian Poets’ Community page. Submissions can be entered by the poet, by a teacher, or by a parent or guardian, but the poem(s) submitted must be original work by the poet. To submit, follow the steps outlined below.


  • Prepare a Microsoft Word document of the poem. This document should use Times New Roman size 12 font, and contain no information other than the title of the poem, and the poem itself.
  • If students are submitting more than one poem to be considered, prepare a separate document for each poem. You may submit a maximum of two poems.
  • Poems must be under 50 lines long, and must be original work.


Prepare an e-mail to In the body of the email, include the following information:

Poet’s full name:
Poet’s age:
Poet’s grade as of September 2016:
Poet’s city and province:
Poet’s school:
Poet’s e-mail address:
Title(s) of attached poem(s):


Attach the Word document(s) containing the poem(s) to your e-mail and submit! We will confirm receipt of your submission within seven business days–if you have not heard from us by then, please feel free to follow up. Winners will be notified in April and announced in May.

Copyright remains with the poet. Winners will be asked for first rights to publish their work. Should an entry be published elsewhere during the course of the contest, we ask that the entrant notify the League immediately. Revisions on any poem will not be accepted after it has been entered. All decisions of the jury are final. Contest is open to Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Members of the League’s National Council, staff or contest judges or their families are not eligible to enter the contest.



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.

The establishment of this Fund is meant to honour the memory of Jessamy and her life long love of poetry. She 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.

The League of Canadian Poets, a non-profit arts service organization, is the national association of professional publishing and performing poets in Canada. Its purpose is to enhance the status of poets and to nurture a professional poetic community to facilitate the teaching of Canadian poetry at all levels of education and to develop the audience for poetry by encouraging publication, performance and recognition of Canadian poetry nationally and internationally.