The Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest is an annual event that welcomes entries from around the world to our artistic community in SE Minnesota – Winona. The contest originated as an extension of the Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF), founded in 2004.

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. Maria’s husband, Ted Haaland, took over directorship of the contest and, under his leadership, the contest grew to reach poets from around the world. In 2020, entries were submitted from 13 countries and 39 U.S. states.

We appreciate your interest in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest and look forward to your participation in 2021. If you have any questions, please email

The entry period for the 2021 contest is now OPEN.
Entries must be received by June 1, 2021.

IMPORTANT: The entry process has changed for 2021. It is now a one step system. Sonnet(s) must be submitted with the Entry Form. Please make sure your sonnets are properly formatted and ready to submit prior to completing the Entry Form. No changes to sonnets can be made after entries have been submitted. Visit “How to Enter” for detailed instructions and the link to the Entry Form.

The winners of the 2020 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest were announced on Saturday, August 8, 2020 during our Closing Event. The video of the online event is available on the Events page and at To see the contest results and read the winning entries, click here.