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October 15th 2022. The Better Than Starbucks 2022 Sonnet Contest has been cancelled.

Better Than Starbucks 2022 Sonnet Contest

Submissions are open from September 30th to November 30th, 2022.

Please read and follow our submission guidelines below.

First Prize $500

Second Prize $100

Third Prize $50

Shortlist will be announced at the end of December, 2022, and the winners in January, 2023.

All prizes payable, via PayPal only, upon publication, which will be on February 1, 2023.

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

We do not open attachments.

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, as well as name and contact information.

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 your sonnet is 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, Jared Carter, and Vera Ignatowitsch.


This contest is not open to volunteer workers at Better Than Starbucks (or their family members.)

Our heartfelt thanks to the many supporters who donated toward the prizes for this contest.

They include Janice Soderling, Catherine Chandler, Richard Wakefield, Barbara Loots, Peter Mladinic,, and others who wish to remain anonymous.

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