Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest

The Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest is an annual event that welcomes entries from around the world to Winona. The contest honors the memory of Maria W. Faust: a Winona State University graduate in Communications; a twenty-year resident of Winona; an avid supporter of varied local arts; and a lover of poetry. Maria’s husband, Ted Haaland, is the contest’s benefactor, with the goal of keeping Maria’s love of poetry alive in our community and beyond.

What started as a local contest sponsored by Winona’s First Poet Laureate and the Great River Shakespeare Festival has grown into an international phenomenon with a reach far beyond our community. The 2023 contest saw entries from 16 countries and 43 states. Almost 700 sonnets were submitted by 262 individuals, including 73 in the youth category. Prizes totaling $3,200 were awarded in the following categories: Top Four, Regional (4), Youth (4), and Laureates’ Choice (16).


Entries for the 2024 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest will be accepted from January 15 through June 1, 2024. Please carefully review and follow entry instructions on the How to Enter page.

The entry process is a one-step system. Sonnet(s) must be submitted with the Entry Form.

The Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest is an annual event that welcomes entries from around the world. Cash prizes, totaling over $3,000, will be awarded in several categories, including:

  • Top Four Sonnets
  • Regional (Four Winners – Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa)
  • Best Youth (Four Winners – High School and Younger)
  • Laureate’s Choice (Sixteen Winners)

There is a $5 FEE for up to three sonnets per entry through April 30, 2024. To encourage timely submissions, the entry fee will increase to $10 on May 1, 2024. There is NO FEE for entrants in the Youth category (high school and younger) or for undergraduate college students.

For complete contest information, visit

The deadline for entries is June 1, 2024. Submissions should be made through our on-line process, with payment option by PayPal or check. If this process presents a hardship, instructions for entering by mail will be provided upon request. Just send us an email at [email protected].





[email protected]




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