ROC the SONNET

Writers & Books and The Rochester Chapter of the English Speaking Union invite you to participate in:

ROC the SONNET

Sonnet Composition Challenge for High School Students and Adults

!!! $100 First Place Prize !!!

What: A writing challenge in which participants compose an original sonnet and submit it for judging. The challenge rules involve using the Shakespearean sonnet format. Why: Shakespeare’s sonnets are poetic masterpieces addressing themes of love, time, mortality, jealousy, and rivalry among others. They are structured as an argument where the conclusion is summarized in the final two lines. Students are encouraged to master this form to become better writers and to study some of the finest examples of Western literature. As part of the Rochester Shakespeare Competition, students learn to recite these timeless works. Cash prizes are awarded.

 

Who: Open to Rochester area high school students and, in a separate category, to adults. Students are asked to identify a teacher/advisor. A donation is suggested for adult entries. When: Submission deadline is January 15th 2019. Winners will be announced at the Rochester Shakespeare Competition, part of the National Shakespeare Competition, to be held on March 2nd , 2019 at the University of Rochester. How: Details and rules for the challenge on may be found at: www.esuus.org/Rochester. Online submissions only. Send to: submissions@wab.org Contact: Writers & Books (585) 473-2590 for more information

Details and rules on preceeding below.

Format:

1) Three of five hallmarks of the Shakespearean sonnet form need to be included in the submission, see below “Hallmarks”.

2)  Submissions are electronic only (no written submissions accepted)

3) The work must be original and not previously published. Ideally, submissions should be new works, created on or after Sept 2018.

 

Hallmarks (three of five need to be included):

1) Length of 14 lines.

2)  Three quatrains (quatrain=four lines) followed by a couplet (=2 lines).

3)  Verse of iambic pentameter. This is a verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable: for example, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”.

4)  Rhyming scheme: abab cdcd efef gg.

5)  Thematic structure: A problem is presented in quatrains and resolved in the couplet. Example: Beauty is frail and transient (problem) but can be everlasting when translated into writing (resolution).

 

Examples:

1) Any of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets. A great example, Sonnet #18, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”.

For high school student submissions:

  1. Students need to identify a teacher who can guide and assist them. 2. Students need to include the teacher’s name and contact information (phone number/email) with the submission.

For adult submissions:

  1. Adults are encouraged to make a small donation with their submission (does not apply to college students). Suggested donation is $5 or $10.

 

Rules and Information 

Submission instructions:

1) Include submitter’s full name, address, phone number, and email address.

2)  Students: Include the name of your school (unless home schooled), your teacher’s name, teacher’s phone number and email address.

3)  Adults: Consider making a donation using the Writers & Books website at www.wab.org/give-to-wab/ . Include “Sonnet Challenge” in the “notes about the gift” section if you do.

4) Send the submission and information to submissions@wab.org. Please use the subject line “Roc the Sonnet submission”. No written submissions will be accepted.

 

Award Categories:

1) All submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges which will include a poet, a Shakesepeare scholar, and a high school teacher.

2) The overall winners of the high school and adult categories will receive a $100 cash prize.

3) Runners up in each category will receive gifts. The number of runners up will be determined by the overall number of submissions.

Announcement of winners:

1) Winners will be contacted in mid-February.

2) Winners, including runners up, will be announced at the Rochester Shakespeare Competition for high school students, a regional event for the National Shakespeare Competition, scheduled for March 2nd at the University of Rochester. Winning submissions will be printed in the program for the competition.

 

Questions

Contact Sally Bittner Bonn at Writers & Books for more information at (585) 473-2590 or email sallyb@wab.org.