The Walrus Poetry Prize 2016

The Walrus Foundation is delighted to announce the fifth annual $4,000 Walrus Poetry Prize and $1,000 Readers’ Choice Award, generously supported by the Hal Jackman Foundation. Celebrated poet Hoa Nguyen will choose this year’s winner from a shortlist compiled by The Walrus magazine’s poetry editor, Damian Rogers.

The deadline for submissions was September 12, 2016. All Entries are currently being reviewed. A shortlist of five poems will be announced October 3. Help us choose the Reader’s Choice winner by voting for your favourite between October 5 and October 26.

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 magazine.

Hal Jackman Foundation
Poetry in Voice

Rules & Regulations


The Walrus Poetry Prize is open to all citizens and permanent residents of Canada eighteen years of age or older as of August 5, 2016, excluding employees or 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Poems must be unpublished works that are not under consideration for any other contest or prize at the time of submission or during the submission period. Unpublished works will not have been published in print or online, been broadcast, or delivered to a public audience.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 January/February 2017 issue.

How to submit

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

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 September 12, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Winners will be announced in December 2016.


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 Hoa Nguyen. Up to five finalists will be selected, and the public will vote online for the Readers’ Choice winner between October 3 and October 26, 2016. All decisions are final, with no exceptions.


The Walrus Poetry Prize winner receives:

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

The Reader’s Choice winner receives:

  • Publication in The Walrus and on
  • 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.

The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms, publishing The Walrus magazine—which focuses on Canada and its place in the world—ten times a year in print, tablet, and mobile editions; curating and producing the national series of public Walrus Talks; convening annual sector-based leadership dinners; posting original, high-quality content daily at; and designing such digital projects as Walrus Ebooks and Walrus TV. The foundation also trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.