Awards & Contests

The League administers several awards and contests annually, from book awards to spoken word awards to single-poem contests and more. Find information about deadlines, eligibility, and submissions on this page.

Book awards

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

This award is inclusive of cis women, trans women, and non-binary individuals who feel comfortable being recognized by a women’s 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.  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.

Spoken Word awards

LCP Spoken Word Award

Launched in winter 2023, the LCP Spoken Word Award consists of 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. 

LCP Spoken Word Award: Inaugural winners

Join the League of Canadian Poets in congratulating Adeena Karasick and Ian Keteku, the inaugural winners of the LCP Spoken Word Award!

Read More about LCP Spoken Word Award: Inaugural winners

Lillian Allen Prize & the Lillian Allen Emerging Artist Prize

In 2024 the Ontario Arts Council, in partnership with the League of Canadian Poets, created the Lillian Allen Prize and the Lillian Allen Emerging Artist Prize to recognize and celebrate spoken word poetry.

The prizes are named after Canadian poet and spoken word artist Lillian Allen. Her distinctive approach to poetry through language, music and social consciousness continues to capture attention and make change. She embodies the excellence, creativity, and professionalism that she has brought to the form, and we recognize her community building and generosity of spirit by naming this prize in her honour.

The Lillian Allen Prize supports and promotes a spoken word artist with five or more years’ experience, and the Lillian Allen Emerging Artist Prize is for a spoken word artist with less than five years’ experience.

Prize: Two prizes of $2,000

These annual prizes will alternate between recognizing poets based in Ontario and in Canada. In year one the prizes will recognize poets in Ontario, and in year two the prizes will recognize poets based anywhere in Canada.

Submissions and nominations open May 15, 2024.

Le prix Lillian Allen et le prix Lillian Allen de la relève

Le Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, en partenariat avec la Ligue des poètes canadiens (LPC), a créé ces prix en 2024 pour récompenser et célébrer la poésie orale.

Les prix portent le nom de Lillian Allen, poète canadienne et artiste de la création parlée. Son approche particulière de la poésie par l’entremise du langage, de la musique et de la conscience sociale continue de captiver les esprits et d’entraîner le changement. Lillian Allen incarne les qualités qu’elle a apportées à la poésie orale – excellence, créativité, professionnalisme – et nous avons nommé ces prix en son honneur pour rendre hommage à son sens de la communauté et à son esprit de générosité.

Le prix Lillian Allen récompense une ou un poète ayant au moins cinq ans d’expérience, et le prix Lillian Allen de la relève récompense une ou un poète ayant moins de cinq ans d'expérience.

Montant: Deux prix de 2 000 $ chacun 

Les prix récompenseront en alternance des poètes établis en Ontario et au Canada. La première année, les prix récompenseront des poètes de l'Ontario et, la deuxième année, des poètes établis où que ce soit au Canada.

Les soumission et les mises en cadidature seront ouvertes le 15 mai, 2024.

The deadline for submissions and self-nominations is July 31, 2024 at 11:59pm ET.

The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2024, at 11:59pm ET.

La date limite des autocandidatures et soumissions est le 31 juillet à 23h59.

La date limite des mises en candidature est le 30 juin à 23h59.

Cold Moon Contests

The Very Small Verse Contest and the Broadsheet Contest are run annually November 15 – January 20. Winners announced on March 21 (World Poetry Day).

Each spring, two outstanding poems will win $300 and publication in the annual Poem In Your Pocket Day Postcard Collection.

2024 Cold Moon Contest winners

Join the League of Canadian Poets in congratulating Kelly Madden and Jessica Lee McMillan, winners of the 2024 Cold Moon Contests!

Read More about 2024 Cold Moon Contest winners

Summer Lovin' Contests

The Lesley Strutt Poetry Contest and the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto Foundation Poetry Award are 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!

There is one submission form for all Summer Lovin' Contests. Entry into both contests is not required.