I AM Shakespeare is a a sonnet writing contest sponsored by the English-Speaking Union (ESU).
Students will strictly follow the form of a Shakespearean sonnet (14 line, ending couple, volta, iambic pentamenter) and write a contemporary sonnet inspired by their lives.
This competition requires a good understanding of sonnet structure, and familiarity with Shakespeare’s themes and works. This high-rigor competition is open to high school students only.
Students are encouraged to submit work from their actual classes, or they may submit work written specifically for this contest.
Submissions accepted now!
Deadline to submit is January 7, 2024 (midnight)
Winner will be announced in early 2024
I AM Shakespeare Submission Rules
Sonnets may be written on any subject, but must follow Shakespearean sonnet form:
-14 lines of iambic pentameter
-An ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme
-Utlize a volta, or turn in theme prior to an ending couplet
1st Place – $500 cash prize
The 1st place winner will also be invited to share their sonnet on stage at the 2024 National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center on Monday, April 15, 2024
2nd and 3rd place winners will receive a gift certificate and tote bag from Shakespeare & Co. in NYC
For more information contact ESU Manager of Shakespeare Programs, Maryellen Liotta at