Awards & Contests

Book Awards

celebrating poetry

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award

for a debut book of poetry

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized authors’ tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers. The award recognizes a first book of poetry published by a Canadian. The award carries a $2,000 prize and is awarded annually in May. 

Pat Lowther Memorial Award

for a book of poetry by a woman

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. The Pat Lowther Memorial Award carries a $2000 prize and is awarded annually in May. 

Raymond Souster Award

for a book of poetry by a League member

The Raymond Souster Award honours Raymond Souster, an early founder of the League of Canadian Poets, and carries a $2000 prize, awarded annually in May.


Where poetry wins big!

Cold Moon Contests

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

Now Open! LCP’s Cold Moon Contests are looking for poetry big and small Enter the Very Small Verse and Broadsheet Contests today!

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Summer Lovin Contests

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

Our jurors will evaluate each entry based on its originality, creativity, emotional impact, and mastery of language. The winners and honourable mentions will receive recognition on, and one outstanding poem from each contest will receive $500 and appear in Poetry Pause!

Poem In Your Pocket Day Contest

Now open until November 30, 2023Winners announced March 21 (World Poetry Day).

Now open! Poem In Your Pocket Day Contest

See your poem distributed across the country for National Poetry Month (April 2024). Ten (10) Selected winning poets and their poems will receive $300, the full Poem Postcard Pack, and will be invited to provide an audio recording of their selected poem. LCP Members are invited to enter the contest free of charge and general public are asked to include a $10 entry fee.

We can’t wait to stuff our pockets with your poetry!

Deadline: November 30, 2023. 

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Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth

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

LCP Spoken Word Award

celebrating poetry

Two awards, presented annually to two poets for a single poem or suite of poems up to 10 minutes in length. 

Prize: Two prizes of $1000

With this award, the League will celebrate the wide range of styles represented within the spoken word genre, from dub poetry to spoken word poetry to sound poetry and beyond. This award will recognize two poems or suites of poems that represent two distinct schools of spoken word poetry. 

This award has been created to celebrate the specific art of spoken word and performance poetry: that is, poems that have been constructed with the specific intent of being read or performed aloud. Submissions and the artist’s statement should reflect this intent. Please note that spoken word and performance poetry do not need to be memorized to be performed. 

Submissions will not be judged by their production value; all submissions will be evaluated using the same rubric. 

The 2023-2024 jurors for the LCP Spoken Word Award are Andrea Thompson and Eric Schmaltz.

Now closed. This award will reopen in Fall 2024.

Special Recognition Awards

Colleen Thibaudeau Award for Outstanding Contribution

Nominations are accepted from January 20 – February 10 annually.

The League is honoured to recognize the contribution of member volunteers through the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award. Established in 2012, the award 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. This award was established in memory of Colleen Thibaudeau (1925 – 2012), an Honorary Member and lifelong supporter of the League of Canadian poets, to show her support for the League, which was a source of friendship and recognition for her in her lifetime.

The Winner will be announced during National Volunteer Week in April.

Honourary Membership Award

The League is proud to welcome new honorary members into our ranks each year. The Honorary Membership award is presented to distinguished 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

Every year, the League is honoured to induct new Life Members into our ranks. Life Members are selected for their incredible contribution to poets and poetry in Canada, and the award is presented as a mark of distinction and appreciation for special achievements.

Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award

for lifetime achievement in Canadian spoken word poetry.

The Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award is an annual literary prize crafted specifically to highlight the unique strengths and values of spoken word poetry. The Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award honours an established Canadian poet with a history of achievement and performance in spoken word.

This prize is no longer active. The last year it was awarded was 2021.

Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize was 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. In 2021, 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.

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize commemorates Pavlick’s Passages – a biography of Leon & Ann’s love story written in a unique poetic form – and the life and work of Leon E. Pavlick, who was a celebrated Canadian poet and member of the League. This award is made possible by a generous donation from Larry H. Mueller and Ann Pavlick in Leon’s memory. The League of Canadian Poets extends our exuberant thanks to Larry H. Mueller and Ann M. Pavlick whose contribution made this wonderful award possible. Through the Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize, we had the chance to provide a Canadian poet and a Canadian poetry group with funds to encourage their growth, furthering our organization’s goal of nurturing a professional poetic community in Canada. We are honoured to have had this chance, with thanks to Larry and Ann.

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Past Winners

Celebrate the incredible poetry from contests, prizes and book awards from recent years