Sonnet Writing Contest

The 2015 Sonnet writing competition has concluded. The winners are Christopher Moseley (youth division) & Paula Ashley (Adult division). Thank you to all who submitted their work!

STC is holding a classical sonnet writing contest with two grand prizes: The winner of the youth division  will win a weekend trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR March 13 – 15, 2015 with STC’s Young Professionals Conservatory, departing from Sacramento. The winner of the adult division will receive a $250 honorarium. Both winners will be published in the Sacramento Poetry Center‘s summer edition of Poetry Now.

To qualify for the youth division, poets must be a currently enrolled junior high or high school student.

One submission per poet, please.

Sonnets must be original works.

Sonnets must meet the following criteria: 14 lines, 10 syllables in each line in iambic pentameter, and a rhyme scheme of ABAB, CDCD, EFEF, GG.

For some tips on writing sonnets, visit, or check out Sacramento Poet Laureate Jeff Knorr’s Sonnet Master Class presentation.

Judging for the contest will be blind and submissions will be judged on form, content, voice, imagery, and creativity.

Winners will be notified by February 27, 2015 and announced at the Sacramento Poetry Center on the evening of March 1, 2015, where winners will have the opportunity to do a reading of their sonnet.


Jeff Knorr: Sacramento’s Poet Laureate, Jeff Knorr is the author of the three books of poetry, and his works have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Jeff has edited, judged, and been a visiting writer for various conferences and festivals and been an invited judge for contests such as the DeNovo First Book Contest, the Willamette Award in Poetry and the Red Rock Poetry Award. Jeff will be teaching a sonnet writing master class at Sacramento Theatre Company on February 17th at 6 p.m.

Connie Gutowsky: Connie has been active in Sacramento’s poetry community for over a decade, and has published her work in numerous literary journals. She has studied with Joshua McKinney and John Allen Cann, among others, and currently serves as an editor of Tule Review. Connie’s book, Play, was published in 2013 by Random Lane Press.

Matt K. Miller: Miller plays the title role in Sacramento Theatre Company’s Julius Caesar and local stage credits include over thirty productions at STC (Othello, Amadeus, Tartuffe, etc.); Capital Stage (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Superior Donuts, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me); New Helvetia (The Gingerbread Lady); B Street (Equivocation, The Underpants); Davis Shakespeare Festival (Much Ado About Nothing, She Loves Me). Miller is an adjunct assistant professor of theatre arts at Sacramento City College.