How to Enter

The entry period for the 2024 contest is now CLOSED. The deadline was June 1 (midnight, Central Daylight Time). 

THIS IS FOR FUTURE INFORMATION ONLY: Please review the Contest Rules and Sonnet Submission Instructions below then click on the link to the Entry Form.

IMPORTANT: The entry process is a one-step system; your sonnet(s) must be uploaded within the entry form itself, not submitted separately. No changes to sonnets can be made after entries have been received.

Before completing the entry form, please:

✓ Carefully review the contest rules and sonnet submission instructions below.

✓ Format your sonnet(s) according to the instructions and save as one of the acceptable file formats listed.

✓ Be prepared to submit the entry fee either through PayPal or by US mail.

Contest Rules

  1. Sonnets may be written in Shakespearean, Spenserian, Petrarchan, or Non-Traditional rhyme schemes, but each must be fourteen lines long and written entirely (or predominantly) in iambic pentameter form. (Read more about the sonnet form here: About the Sonnet.) Sonnets must be written by the individual who is submitting them, and only previously unpublished sonnets are eligible. Sonnets that were submitted to the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in prior years are ineligible.
  2. Sonnets must be received by June 1, 2024 by midnight CDT to compete in this year's contest.
  3. There is a $5 FEE for up to three sonnets per entry through April 30, 2024. To encourage timely submissions, the entry fee will increase to $10 on May 1, 2024. The entry fee may be submitted through PayPal or by US mail. There is NO FEE for entrants in the Youth category (high school and younger) or for undergraduate college students.
  4. Participants may enter more than three sonnets by filling out an additional entry form(s) and paying the additional entry fee(s) at the rate of $5 per three sonnets. The total number of sonnets an individual may enter is not limited.
  5. No entrant may be awarded more than one prize per contest year. Winners from past years are eligible to enter again in the current year.

Note: On rare occasions, a poem could be given an award conditional upon minor edits to clarify punctuation, grammar, and/or spelling. In such a case, no edit would be made without the prior consent of the poet.

Sonnet Submission Instructions

  1. Up to three sonnets may be submitted for each entry fee. Sonnets must be uploaded as individual files.
  2. No changes can be made after sonnets are submitted. Please make sure your sonnets are in their final version before uploading them.
  3. Acceptable file formats are: .doc, .docx, and .pdf.
  4. In your document, place the title, or the first line if it is your title, then skip two lines and add all fourteen lines of your sonnet, double spacing each line. To assist our judges with readability, 14 point Times New Roman is the preferred font and size. Do not include your name on the sonnets. Please see the image (right) for an example of a sonnet correctly formatted for submission. 
  5. Click here or on the image for a Microsoft Word Template with the correct formatting.
  6. Sonnets are submitted through the Entry Form.
  7. If you have any difficulties with the form or require assistance, please email


Winners will be announced in early August. Cash prizes, totaling over $3,000, will be awarded in several categories, including:

  • Top Four Sonnets
  • Regional (Four Winners - Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa)
  • Best Youth (Four Winners - High School and Younger)
  • Laureate's Choice (Sixteen Winners)

Copyright Notice:

The author retains all copyrights to the submitted sonnet. Winning sonnets will appear on this website with the copyright notice intact and may be published in a forthcoming anthology. By entering the contest, the author consents to the publication of a sonnet selected as a winning entry.