How to Enter

The entry period for the 2017 contest has closed. The deadline for entries was June 1st.

This page can be used as a guide to entering in future years.


Instructions for preparing your entries for submission can be found here: Sonnet Submission Instructions.

Rules and Guidelines

Cash prizes, totaling over $2,000, will be awarded in several categories, including:

  • Top Three Sonnets
  • Local Area (Three Winners – Winona and adjacent counties)
  • Best Youth (Three Winners – Age 17 and Younger)
  • Laureate’s Choice (Fifteen Winners)

Sonnets may be written in Shakespearean, Spenserian, Petrarchan or Non-Traditional rhyme schemes, but each must be in the fourteen line, iambic pentameter form. (Read more about Sonnet Forms here: What is a Sonnet?) Only previously unpublished sonnets are eligible. 

There is a $5 ENTRY FEE for up to three sonnets per entrant. There is NO FEE for entrants in the 17 and Under category. Sonnets must be received by June 1st to compete in this year’s contest.

The $5 entry fee may be submitted through PayPal or by US or International Post. No entrant may be awarded more than one prize.

Sonnets should be submitted using our File Upload Form. Complete directions will be provided in your Entry Confirmation Email. If using the upload system presents a hardship, please email entries@sonnetcontest.org for instructions.

Each sonnet should be on a separate sheet. Place the title, or the first line if it is your title, at the top of the sheet, then skip two lines and add all fourteen lines of your sonnet, double spacing each line. Submissions will not be returned. Do not include your name on the sonnets.

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