The Walrus Foundation is delighted to announce the fourth annual $4,000 Walrus Poetry Prize and $1,000 Readers’ Choice Award, generously supported by the Hal Jackman Foundation. Celebrated Canadian poet Sue Sinclair will choose this year’s winner from a short list compiled by The Walrus magazine’s new poetry editor, Damian Rogers.

Submit your poem below from May 15–June 30, 2015. (Rules and regulations are available further down this page.)

Voting for the Readers’ Choice Award will begin on September 1!

Meanwhile, download your free ebook celebrating the first ten years of poetry in The Walrus, featuring poems by Leonard Cohen, Lynn Crosbie, P. K. Page, and many more.

The Walrus Foundation extends its deepest gratitude to the Hal Jackman Foundation for its generous support of the Walrus Poetry Prize and poetry in The Walrus.

Hal Jackman Foundation
Rules and Regulations of the 2015 Walrus Poetry Prize

The Walrus Poetry Prize is open to all citizens and permanent residents of Canada eighteen years of age or older as of May 15, 2015, excluding employees, retirees of the Walrus Foundation, the Hal Jackman Foundation, Poetry in Voice, and their affiliates, franchisees, agents, associates, dealers, representatives, advertising and promotional agencies, and members of the immediate family of these employees and retirees or any person with whom they are domiciled.

Poems must be unpublished works that are not under consideration for any other contest or prize at the time of submission, or during the submission period. Unpublished works will not have been published in print or online, been broadcast, or delivered to a public audience. This includes self-published works.

Only poems with one author will be considered.


Entrants warrant they wrote their poems and own the rights to their submissions. Entrants will hold the Walrus Foundation and Poetry in Voice harmless from and against any and all losses, damages, costs, or other expenses arising from any claims, whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly from breach of this warranty. By submitting their poems, entrants grant the following licenses to the Walrus Foundation:

  • The right to first print publication of the winning poems, and the right to reproduce and publish the poems in the magazine, on its website, and on any and all prospective derivative products, including audio and digital projects.
  • Winners agree, free of charge, to have their names and/or pictures, their poems, and/or their voices used for advertising purposes related to this competition.

And the following licenses to Poetry in Voice:

  • The right to publication of the winning poem on its website, in the online anthology for students

All eligible works must be under fifty lines in length (excluding one title line).

Entries longer than the specified line count will be disqualified.

Participants may submit as many entries as they wish. For each poem entered, entrants must pay a $25 submission fee, as outlined below, and will receive a complimentary one-year, ten-issue subscription or renewal to The Walrus magazine, starting with the September 2015 issue.

How to submit

All submissions must be made via this web page’s entry form, which can be reached at, including payment of the $25 fee as outlined below.

All submissions will be judged anonymously.

Entrants’ names must not appear anywhere on their entry document(s).


A fee of $25 (tax included) is required for each entry. The competition is not-for-profit, with all fees going toward administrative costs. Entries will not be considered until payment has been received. The entry fee will not be refunded if a submission is deemed ineligible. All submissions are final. Entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.


All entries must be submitted and payments made before June 30, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Winners will be announced in fall 2015.


Works are judged anonymously, based on originality and style. Submissions are processed and judged using a two-tiered system, by Walrus poetry editor Damian Rogers and juror Sue Sinclair. Up to five finalists will be selected, and the public will vote online for the Readers’ Choice winner between September 1 and September 30, 2015. All decisions are final, with no exceptions.


The Walrus Poetry Prize winner receives:

  • Publication in The Walrus and at
  • Inclusion in the Poetry in Voice online anthology
  • $4,000

The Reader’s Choice winner receives:

  • Publication in The Walrus and at
  • Inclusion in the Poetry in Voice online anthology
  • $1,000

Entrants retain copyright of their entries.

To be declared a winner, entrants must meet all of the conditions described in these regulations. The prizewinners shall sign a waiver attesting to their eligibility and that of their poems, as stipulated in these regulations, and releasing the Walrus Foundation from all liability for any damage or loss resulting from participation in this competition, or arising from the awarding, acceptance, or use of the prize.

Prizes shall be accepted as is and may not be exchanged or transferred. No substitutions will be allowed.

If prizes cannot be awarded as described in these rules, the Walrus Foundation reserves the right to substitute any prize or prize component with another of comparable value. If no suitable entries are received for publication in The Walrus, the magazine reserves the right to cancel the contest.

Refusal to accept the prizes releases the Walrus Foundation and its affiliates, as well as their respective directors, officers, and employees, from any obligation to the winners.


Plagiarized or otherwise false entries will be disqualified.

Personal information is collected solely for the purposes of administering this competition and shall not be used for any other purpose without the entrant’s consent. By providing this information, entrants consent to its being used for the stated purposes.

By entering, participants agree to abide by the competition rules. This competition is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, and municipal legislation.