The Great River Shakespeare Festival/Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest – 2016

The year 2004 witnessed the fledging of yet another feather – or quill , if you will – in the artistic destination cap of Winona, Minnesota. That year was the first soon-to-be thirteen seasons of wonderfully staged plays of William Shakespeare. Given also the Bard’s skill in writing the sonnet form of poetry, (154 in total), quite soon an idea was hatched between Winona’s then-Poet Laureate, Professor James Armstrong, and the directorship of the GRSF company.

Thus, 2008 became the first year, of eight so far, of the Great River Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest. in 2012, the Contest was renamed in memory of Maria W. Faust: a Winona State University graduate in Communications; a twenty-year resident of Winona; an avid supporter of varied local arts; and a lover of poetry.

We of the Sonnet Contest very much appreciate your interest, and welcome you to our web page, which includes guidelines for entering the Contest.

Sonnet Contest Details

Cash prizes, totaling over $2,000, will be awarded in a number of categories, including:

  • Three Top Sonnets
  • Local Area (Winona and adjacent counties)
  • Best Youth (High School & Younger)
  • Laureate’s Choice
  • Honorable Mention

Sonnets may be written in Shakespearean, Petrarchan, Spenserian or non-traditional rhyme scheme, but in traditional 14 lines of Iambic Pentameter. Submissions will be judged by Winona’s present and past poet laureates. Only previously unpublished sonnets are eligible.

Click a link below to learn more:

How to Enter What is a Sonnet? Events About the Contest

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