The Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest

The third season for Poetry by the Sea’s Sonnet Contest will open on December 1 2020, and as you can see, we have decided to rename the contest after our beloved Founder and Director. There are two categories: Single Sonnet and Sonnet Crown. The writers of the winning poem(s) in each category each will be awarded a prize of $500 and invited to read the pieces at the May 2021 Poetry by the Sea Conference Virtual Celebration. We welcome traditional sonnets, as well as artful variations that push the boundaries of the form. Submissions and payment must be received by January 15th 2021 DEADLINE EXTENDED to January 20th 2021! (Midnight US Eastern Time).




Submission Guidelines





1.Sonnets must be previously unpublished. Each entrant may submit up to eight individual sonnets AND three sonnet crowns. A poet may submit to both categories (individual sonnet or crown), but may win in only ONE category.

2. In the body of an e-mail, provide your name and contact information, and list the full titles of the individual sonnets you are submitting. Place all individual sonnets in ONE Word document, indicating the category at the top of the page: “Individual Sonnets.” Place any sonnet crowns in a separate Word document, likewise indicating “Sonnet Crown”. Attach Word document(s) to email. Important: This contest is judged ANONYMOUSLY. Do NOT include your name or any identifying information in the document(s) or file name(s). 

3. The reading fee is payable through Paypal [You do not need a Paypal account to enter]. Entries that are not accompanied by the appropriate payment will NOT be read. The reading fee schedule is as follows:

  • 1 sonnet for $10
  • 2 sonnets for $16
  • 3 sonnets for $20
  • 4 sonnets for $24
  • If submitting more than 4 sonnets, add $5 for each additional sonnet
  • $20 per sonnet crown

4. Please paste your PayPal confirmation code/receipt in the body of the email. Please do NOT submit payment to, but rather use the PayPal link below to send payment to Poetry by the Sea. Send only the email with the sonnets to


This year’s final judge, Jenna Lê, is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2018; 1st edition published by Anchor & Plume, 2016), the latter of which won Second Place in the 2017 Elgin Awards, voted on by the international membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. She won the 2019 Poetry By The Sea sonnet contest and the 2020 Poetry By The Sea sonnet crown contest. Her poetry has appeared in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Verse Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. She lives and works as a physician and educator in New York City. Her website is

16 thoughts on “The Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest”

  1. How does the judge define a crown of sonnets? (Some sources define it as a sequence of sonnets of an unspecified number, others define it as 7 sonnets.)

    • For the purposes of this contest, a crown is considered to be 7 sonnets, although you may also submit a heroic crown (15 sonnets, with the last sonnet made up of the first lines of all the sonnets)

  2. I am preparing eight sonnets in one word document as requested to email in for the individual sonnets contest. Should the sonnets be numbered, and is it best to put each on an individual page? At the moment, I am putting in two sonnets per page, but I can change this.

  3. I would like to submit 8 sonnets but cannot make one payment via the PayPal link for $44 as that is not an option. Should I make two payments?

  4. I was planning to send 6 individual sonnets but the paypal button only allows 4. How can I add the $5 per sonnet for the two additonal sonnets?

  5. Hi Anna — I don’t see any rule against simultaneous submission, so I’m assuming they are OK. But how do you prefer to be notified if a poem is accepted elsewhere? Thank you

  6. Hi Anna — I don’t see any rule against simultaneous submission, so I’m assuming they are OK. But how do you prefer to be notified if a poem is accepted elsewhere? Thank you

  7. Is there a way to verify that a PayPal code has been confirmed, and sonnets have been successfully entered into the contest?


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