The Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest

The sixth season for Poetry by the Sea’s Sonnet Contest, renamed in honor of our beloved Founder and Director and run in conjunction with Mezzo Cammin, is open as of November 12, 2023. There are two categories: Single Sonnet and Sonnet Crown. The winning poet in each category each will be awarded a prize of $500 and invited to read the pieces at the May 2024 Poetry by the Sea Conference. We welcome traditional sonnets, as well as artful variations that push the boundaries of the form. Submissions and payment must be received by Midnight on December 31, 2023 January 4, 2024. Deadline extended by 4 days!

Full Guidelines

1. Sonnets must be previously unpublished.

2. You may submit in both categories — up to eight single sonnets AND three sonnet crowns.

3. In the cover letter area, provide your name and contact information, and list the full titles of the single sonnets you are submitting.

4. Place up to four single sonnets in ONE Word document, indicating the category at the top of the page: “Single Sonnets.” Place each sonnet crown in a separate Word document, likewise indicating “Sonnet Crown”. Upload Word document(s) to Submittable. Important: This contest is judged ANONYMOUSLY. Do NOT include your name or any identifying information in the Word document(s) or file name(s). 

5. Please pay the reading fee through Submittable [you do not need a PayPal account to enter]. Only entries accompanied by the appropriate payment will be read. The reading fee schedule and links to Submittable are as follows:

2024 Final Judge – Dan Albergotti

Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and Millennial Teeth (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014), as well as the chapbooks Of Air and Earth and Circa MMXX (Unicorn Press, 2019 and 2022). His third full-length collection, Candy, will be published by LSU Press in 2024. His poems have appeared in 32 Poems, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, The Southern Review, The Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize, as well as other journals and anthologies. He has taught at Coastal Carolina University since 2005 and now lives in Tampa, Florida.

Thank you to the final judges, as well as to the poets who enter their fine work and continue to make this contest possible.

2024 Dan Albergotti
2023 Julia Griffin
2022 A.E. Stallings
2021 Jenna Lê
2020 Julie Kane
2019 Marilyn Nelson

2 thoughts on “The Kim Bridgford Memorial Sonnet Contest”

    • Hi John, The preliminary judge or ‘screener’ is actually me, Anna M. Evans, a renowned sonneteer and seven-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Contest. It isn’t an exact number but the final judge expects to receive about 25 individual sonnets and 10-20 sonnet crowns (Note: normally this is ALL the sonnet crowns.) All judging is anonymous at every stage. Hope this helps.


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