Literary Prizes

2023 CBC Poetry Prize is now closed

You could win $6,000, a writing residency and have your work published on CBC Books. The deadline to submit is May 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The CBC Poetry Prize is open between April 1 and May 31

An illustration of a feather that transitions into a key.
The 2023 CBC Poetry Prize is open from April 1 to May 31. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

The 2023 CBC Poetry Prize is now closed. Results will be announced in the fall.

Keep reading to learn about the prize, what you can submit and what you can win! 

Who can enter?

The prize is open to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

There is no age requirement, but if you are a minor, there is a box to check on the entry form. You will need a parent or guardian's signed authorization only if your entry makes the longlist.

What can you submit?

You can submit an original, unpublished poem or collection of poems, up to 600 words in length. There is no minimum word requirement.

Work that has been published online or in print or recorded for broadcast is considered "previously published" and is not eligible. 

While the competition is active, submit online by creating an account through Submittable. A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry.

You may submit as many times as you like; each entry will require the $25 submission fee. The prize is for one long poem or a collection of poems. You only need to fill out one entry form and make one $25 administration fee payment, but the submission will be judged as a whole and must be a maximum of 600 words (including titles).

What can you win?

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, a cultural hub on Toronto Island, and have their work published on CBC Books.

"As much as a residency is about your individual practice, it can also be about building your writing community," two-time CBC Literary Prize winner Chanel M. Sutherland told CBC Books about her residency. "Before I knew it, I'd become part of a community of writers who to this day continue to inspire and support me."

"My visit let me recommit to trying to carve out pieces of time in my life for writing. I came home thinking, 'How do I do that at home?' It's so easy for the writing time to slip away. But I came home with a project that I now think is possible. That was the big deal," 2016 CBC Nonfiction Prize winner Leslie A. Davidson told CBC Books after completing her residency.

A bungalow type building surrounded by greenery and some picnic tables.
Artscape Gibraltar Point is a cultural hub on Toronto Island (Artscape Toronto)

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books. And all the longlisted writers will be featured on CBC Books.

Who is judging the prize?

A team of readers from across Canada will read the entries and determine the longlist.

The shortlist and winner will be decided by a jury comprised of Joseph A. Dandurand, Catherine Graham and Tolu Oloruntoba.

The judging process is blind, so your name will not be known by the readers or jurors until the final decisions have been made.

We have different readers and jurors every year. The jurors will be announced in April 2023. The readers will be revealed along with the longlist in fall 2023.

"Knowing that some of the top writers in the country will be reading your work forces you to polish your poem(s)," 2022 CBC Poetry Prize winner Bren Simmers told CBC Books.

    Recent past CBC Poetry Prize jurors include Armand Garnet Ruffo, Megan Gail Coles and Hoa NguyenLouise Bernice Halfe, Canisia Lubrin and Steven Heighton; and Kaie Kellough, Dionne Brand and Stephen Collis

    LISTEN | Past juror Megan Gail Coles has advice for those submitting:

    The CBC Poetry Prize is open for submissions until May 31, 2022. Newfoundland author and poet Megan Gail Coles is one of this year's judges and she speaks about her new poetry collection, Satched, and what she will be looking for from this year's entries.

    Who has won before?

    The winner of the 2023 CBC Poetry Prize will join some esteemed company!

    Last year's winner was P.E.I. poet Bren Simmers for her poetry collection Spell World Backwards. Simmers' winning poetry collection was selected from over 2,200 entries.

    "I am incredulous and so grateful! I've always wanted to win the CBC Poetry Prize, but never thought it would happen," Simmers told CBC Books

    The CBC Literary Prizes have been recognizing Canadian writers since 1979.

    Other past CBC Literary Prize winners include include Susan Musgrave, Lorna Crozier, Alison PickMichael Ondaatje and Carol Shields.

    LISTEN | Bren Simmers reacts to winning the CBC Poetry Prize:

    The 2022 CBC Poetry Prize winner readers her winning collection Spell World Backwards and discusses her writing.

    What if I need help?

    "I'd encourage anyone to enter the CBC Literary Prizes. It's a wonderful way to get your work out there, connect with a community of writers across the country and support CBC! The annual deadlines are a great motivation to finish or rework something to give it that extra oomph," 2020 winner Matthew Hollett told CBC Books.

    Make sure to subscribe to the CBC Poetry Prize newsletter for writing tips and support along the way. We will send you writing tips, tricks and prompts every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday while the CBC Poetry Prize is open.

    You should also consider joining our Canada Writes Facebook group! It's a place where writers across Canada can connect with each other, support each other and even offer each other feedback.

    Anything else I need to know?

    The 2024 CBC Short Story Prize will open in September and the 2024 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January.

    If you're looking to submit to the French poetry prize, you can enter here

    You can see the complete rules and regulations here.

    Have questions? Check out our frequently asked questions or email us at

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