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 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 shortlist

Join the League of Canadian Poets in congratulating the spoken word poets shortlisted for the inaugural LCP Spoken Word Award!

Read More about LCP Spoken Word Award: Inaugural shortlist

Contests and prizes

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.

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Summer Lovin Web image

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 poets.ca, and one outstanding poem from each contest will receive $500 and appear in Poetry Pause!

Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth

Deadline: April 30, 2024

Runs annually from September 15 to April 30. Winners announced in June.

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 cash prizes awarded in both the Junior (grades 7 to 9) and Senior (grades 10 to 12) categories.

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Contest winners and finalists

Special recognition awards

Colleen Thibaudeau Award for Outstanding Contribution

Nominations are accepted from January 20 – February 10 annually. Winner announced during National Volunteer Week

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 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.

Honorary Membership Award

Selected by the Board of Directors. Announced annually in June.

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.

Life Membership Award

Selected by the Board of Directors. Announced annually in June.

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

This prize is no longer active.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

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

Leon E. and Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize

This one-time prize was awarded in 2021.

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