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 


All six of the winning poems will also be featured on the League of Canadian Poets’ website and distributed through our Poetry Pause subscription program. 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. 

Submissions are closed until September 2019.

The winners of the 2019 Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize will be announced on June 14, 2019 on our website and social media.


The League of Canadian Poets are pleased to announce the winners of 2018’s Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize! 

2018 Winners
(view the full announcement and read the winning poems)

FIRST PLACE: Stephanie Cui (junior), Melanie Thompson (senior)
SECOND PLACE: Leeloo Lengagne (junior), Aminah Attar (senior)
THIRD PLACE: Connie Xie (junior), Stephanie Chang (senior) 

In addition to the cash prizes, this year’s first place winners in both categories were published in 2018’s Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet. Congratulations, Stephanie and Melanie! To learn more about Poem in your Pocket Day, click here.

Past Winners

2017 | 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.