The Nelson Ball Prize

Jan. 22 2020
Stuart Ross
Calls For Submission

We are pleased to announce the creation of the Nelson Ball Prize, an annual award honouring the legacy of Canadian poet, publisher, and bookseller Nelson Ball (1942–2019). Nelson was renowned for his poetry of observation and his quiet, steady support of Canadian writers as a bookseller and a publisher of literary magazines, chapbooks, and ephemera.


How it works

The Prize runs in three-year cycles. In years one and two, it is awarded for a published work (any size)—by a Canadian poet and published by a Canadian publisher in the previous two calendar years—that features “poetry of observation,” as chosen by two volunteer judges. In year three, the Prize recognizes a Canadian who has made a significant, under-the-mainstream-radar contribution to Canadian literature, as selected by two volunteer judges.



The inaugural Prize, $1,000 and a certificate, will be awarded in fall 2020 to the Canadian author of a publication issued in 2018 or 2019. Canadian publishers are encouraged to submit three copies of their nominated publication(s) by March 30, 2020, to The Nelson Ball Prize, c/o 3–300 Division Street, Cobourg, ON, K9A 3R3. Please include a statement confirming that the author is Canadian.



We are actively seeking patrons to help fund The Nelson Ball Prize. If you are able to make a onetime or annual contribution in Nelson Ball’s memory, please contact James or Stuart.


The Nelson Ball Prize Committee

James McDonald
Stuart Ross