League Awards and Contests

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. Shortlists for the annual book awards are announced in April, and winners are announced in May. Scroll down to view past winners and shortlists on each award’s dedicated page, as well as contests administered by the League.

Contests from the League of Canadian Poets

Summer Lovin’ Contests

Run annually, June 1 – August 10. Winners announced September 20.

  • Lesley Strutt Poetry Contest $5 entry fee. Open to all poets. No limit on number of submissions. Unpublished work only. Winner receives a $500 prize and publication on Poets.ca and Poetry Pause. 
  • Toronto Arts & Letters Club Foundation Annual Poetry Award $5 entry fee. Open to poets in the early stage of their career. No limit on number of submissions. Unpublished work only. Winner receives a $500 prize, publication on Poets.ca, and a year of membership with the Toronto Arts & Letters Club. 

Cold Moon Contests

Run annually November 15 – January 20. Winners announced on March 21 (World Poetry Day).

  • Very Small Verse Contest Entry fees for members and non-members; multiple submissions accepted. Unpublished poems only. Winner receives a $300 prize and publication on the LCP website and in the Poem in Your Pocket Day Collection, as well as a custom tote or t-shirt featuring the winning poem. 
  • Broadsheet Contest Entry fees for members and non-members; multiple submissions accepted. Unpublished poems only. Winner receives a $300 prize and publication on the LCP website and in the Poem in Your Pocket Day Collection, as well as a custom handcrafted broadsheet of the winning poem. 

National Poetry Month Contests

  • Poem in Your Pocket Day Contest Runs annually September 15 – October 30. Winners announced March 21 (World Poetry Day). Free for members, $10 entry fee for non-members. Limit of one (1) poem submission per poet. Accepts previously published poems. Ten winners receive a $300 prize and publication in Poem in Your Pocket Day Postcard Collection and Booklet. 

Awards from the League of Canadian Poets

Book Awards

  • Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for debut books of poetry – $2,000 prize 
    • The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is awarded in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized authors’ tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers.
  • Pat Lowther Memorial Award for books of poetry by women – $2,000 prize 
    • The Pat Lowther Memorial Award is awarded memory of the late Pat Lowther, whose career was cut short by her untimely death in 1975.  This award is inclusive of trans women and non-binary individuals who feel comfortable being recognized by a women’s prize. 
  • Raymond Souster Award for the best new book of poetry by an active League member – $2,000 prize
    • The Raymond Souster Award honours Raymond Souster, an early founder of the League of Canadian Poets.

On May 4, 2023, the League of Canadian Poets is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2023 Book Awards for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and Raymond Souster Award.

Congratulations to all poets and publishers on the lists!

Learn more about the 2023 awards and celebrate the poetry of 2022:

Youth Awards

Special Recognition Awards

  • Colleen Thibaudeau Award for Outstanding Contribution is offered annually to a League member in recognition of a substantial volunteer project or series of projects that nurture and support poets and poetry across Canada.
  • Honourary Membership Award is awarded to organizations or non-poet individuals as a mark of distinction and appreciation for special achievements and contributions to the art of poetry. Announced in June each year.
  • Life Membership Award is awarded to poets whose contributions to the art, culture, and status of poetry are exceptional at the level of craft, community, and education. Announced in June each year. 
  • Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for lifetime achievement in spoken word poetry
  • TheLeon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prizewas a one-time prize seeking to honour and encourage a Canadian poet whose work displays ample creativity and promise as well as an outstanding poetry group or collective with a positive and ongoing impact on poetry in Canada. Two prizes of $10,000 were awarded, to Andrea Thompson and Canthius. With an abundance of excellent applications, two runners-up prizes of $2,500 were also awarded, to Armand Garnet Ruffo and the Poets’ Corner Reading Series. 

Eligibility guidelines for Book Awards

  • Authors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents 
  • 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 2021) 
  • Titles may be submitted by a publisher, author, or other nominator 
  • Please submit only one (1) book per form
  • Books published in December 2022 will be eligible for our 2023 awards
  • 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. Fee reductions available for books authored by BIPOC and/or LGBTQI2S writers. 
  • Books must be submitted as hard copies, with three copies submitted per award, plus one additional copy per title. PDFs will only be accepted for exceptional circumstances
  • Please do NOT send books to our Carlton Street office; our awards administrator is not receiving them at that address, and will not be able to retrieve them
  • Please do NOT send books or payment until you have received a confirmation e-mail with the address and amount from our awards administrator aeb@poets.ca

Past Book Awards Winners