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Alabama Renaissance Faire 
Junior and Senior High School Sonnet Contest

The Alabama Renaissance Faire sponsors an annual sonnet-writing contest each October. Sonnets may be Petrarchan/Italian, Shakespearean/English, or Spenserian/English, but it is NOT required. 

Student work will be judged in two divisions:

Junior High (grades 7-8).
Senior High (grades 9-12).

In keeping with the spirit of the competition, each winner (first, second and third place in each division) will receive a handsome book to add to his/her personal library.  Several honorable mention ribbons will also be awarded. 


Teachers, this is an excellent way for your students to be involved in the Alabama Renaissance Faire’s many activities, so we urge you to encourage your students to enter. Students may also enter the contest without teacher sponsorship. 

Submissions Guidelines:

1. Entries must be typed or printed.

2. Entries must include the following heading:

     a. Student Name

     b. Grade Level

     c. Teacher Name or Parent Name (if Homeschooled)

     d. School Name or Homeschool Designation

Entries must be received by Wednesday, October 2, 2024


All entries must be mailed, delivered (e-mail for appointment)

or e-mailed ( to:


Billy Warren

City-County Government Building

102 South Court Street, 2nd Floor

Florence, AL 35630

inkwell and quill

Rules for the Contest are as Follows:

1. All poems entered must be sonnets; that is, they must have exactly 14 lines and have a  set rhyme pattern. (The student may select his/her own rhyme pattern for the purposes  of this contest).

2. Students may choose the Italian or English form, BUT IT IS NOT REQUIRED for the  purposes of this contest.

3. English/Shakespearean Sonnets are written in iambic pentameter, BUT IT IS NOT REQUIRED for the purposes of this contest. 


Italian Form Rhyme Pattern:

ABBA ABBA (First 8 lines must follow this pattern). 

CDE CDE (Last 6 lines may follow any rhyme pattern).  


Shakespearean/English Form Rhyme Pattern:



Spenserian/English Form Rhyme Pattern:


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