For National Poetry Month and in conjunction with our production of THE BOOK OF WILL, Live Arts is hosting a SONNET CONTEST during April 2019.

April is the COOLEST month…

1. Enter the Sonnet Contest!

  • Click Here to enter your sonnet:
  • Sonnets may be written on any subject and in any voice.
  • Each sonnet must follow Shakespearean sonnet form: 14 lines of iambic pentameter with an ABAB  CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme
  • Need help? Email
  • Contest open all of April 2019

Enter Your Sonnet Here!

2. READ YOU SONNET ON STAGE @ THE BOOK OF WILL at Live Arts! (optional)

Sonnet Contest at Live Arts at the Book of Will

Super Sonnet Saturdays @ THE BOOK OF WILL @ Live Arts

  • If your sonnet is chosen, we’d love to have you read your sonnet onstage – LIVE – in front of a packed house for THE BOOK OF WILL
  • Readings will take place before our performances on Saturdays, April 13, 20,27, 2019
    • THE BOOK OF WILL introduces us to John Heminges and Henry Condell, Shakespeare’s closest friends, without whom we might have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays! After the death of their friend and mentor, Shakespeare’s cronies determine to compile a definitive copy of his original plays. In order to do so, they’ll have to contend with an unscrupulous publisher, a drunken poet laureate, and even with their own mortality. Set in the bustle of Elizabethan London, Lauren Gunderson’s THE BOOK OF WILL is a lively, funny, poignant love letter to theater.
  • Full THE BOOK OF WILL Show Dates: April 12 to 28, 2019
  • Super Sonnet Saturdays, April 13, 20, and 27, 2019
  • Free ticket to those who read their poem on stage (limited to confirmed readers only)


  • Well, if you enter, you’re already a winner.  We love poetry and think you’re the best for submitting your sonnet – we can’t wait to read it.
  • Those who read their poem before the show will have a grab bag gift – so you never know what you might win.
  • The winning sonnets will be published on our website and shared on our social media.

DISCLAIMER: The overall winning sonnets will be chosen from ALL submissions. By entering your poem in the Live Arts Sonnet Contest, you are giving Live Arts permission to reprint and/or publish it electronically. If you present your sonnet at a Saturday performance, you’ll win a grab bag prize and remain in the overall sonnet contest.  No cash value promised.  Total enjoyment of creating poetry promised.

Who can enter?

  • Anyone. No need to be at Live Arts to win.  And of course, a special shoutout to those willing to read their sonnet at the show.
  • If you want to read your sonnet before THE BOOK OF WILL at Live Arts, remember to check that box in the form.

What is the sonnet form?

  • We are looking for sonnets in the Shakespearean form of 14 lines of iambic pentameter with an ABAB  CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme.

Can you share a Shakespearean sample?

Sure. Sonnet 18:


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

What can the sonnet be about?

  • Sonnets may be written about any subject and in any voice, just follow the Shakespearean sonnet form as noted above.

Can you share a non-Shakespearean sonnet sample on any subject… say, my pick up truck?

Sure.  Ahh… Here you go:

Admit, I do, that this may be a sin
At times I find my man to be a bore
But not my truck; with everywhere I’ve been
‘Tis my pick-up that I, the most, adore

I love my old pick-up – sleep in its bed
Its wheels are huge; the tire spare is rack’d
Of faded yellow; racing stripe so red
Off road, in mud; the suspension is jack’d

I’m pleased to tell you – I’m in such great luck
With 4×4 and 8 cylinders strong
It is the greatest car, or rather truck!
To my Ford F-150, I belong

So keep your man, and you can keep your wife;
O truck, O truck, my truck, you are my life.

How do I enter?

Is there a deadline?

  • April 30, 2019

What if I can’t write a sonnet?

  • Submit a poem anyway, April is national poetry month.  We’d love to read your poem.