Better Than Starbucks 2021 Sonnet Contest
Submissions open September 30th and close November 30th, 2021.
Winners will be announced in January and published on February 1st, 2022.
We will also publish up to seven honorable mention sonnets.
No entry fee and no simultaneous submissions please.
Prize payment via Paypal only.
This contest is for a metrical sonnet.
Your sonnet can be shakespearean, petrarchan, spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed.
Blank verse is eligible, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable.
We’ll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter.
Some metrical variation is fine, but don’t forget the volta!
As always, we do accept previously published work.
Please let us know where the poem was previously published.
If previously published, make sure you have the rights to it. Most publications do not keep the rights to poetry. We do not, we retain the right to use them in anthologies or promotional material as we see fit in the future, but we do not retain any copyright to your work.
Submit one sonnet only.
Please include your entry in the body of your email, put “Sonnet Contest” into the subject line of your email, and send to
Any possible loss of formatting in email transmission will be corrected if your sonnet is chosen as a winner or for publication, as you will be asked to proof before publication, but you are welcome to mention special formatting in your submission.
Please include a third person bio of 30 (max 40) words.
An introduction is welcome but not required.
You will receive an acknowledgement of your entry within 24 hours. This is the only communication you will receive unless one or both of your sonnets are selected for publication, either as winners or honorable mentions, or for subsequent publication.
If you do not receive an acknowledgement then we did not receive your entry. Check your spam folder if you have not already whitelisted Better Than Starbucks. Check the email address your entry was addressed to. Try again.
Unlike general submissions to the journal, we do not respond further to contest entries unless they are selected as winners, honorable mentions, or for subsequent publication. If your sonnet is on the 'short list' (of up to 50 sonnets from which ten will be chosen and winners or honorable mentions) you will be notified by email.
Entries are read blind. The poems alone are copied into reading files as they come in. Address your entry only to Better Than Starbucks editors.
We look forward to reading your entries!
All entries are eligible for publication in Better Than Starbucks. By submitting your work you grant us the non-exclusive right to publish it. Copyright remains with the author/poet.
Judges are Sally Thomas, Michael Burch, Tom Merrill, and Vera Ignatowitsch.
This contest is not open to employees of Better Than Starbucks (or their family members.)
The sponsor of this contest wishes to remain anonymous.