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Cannon Poets
Sonnet or Not
Poetry Competition

Cannon Poets are pleased to announce this year's popular Sonnet or Not Competition. You are invited to write a poem or poems of just fourteen lines in length. You may choose any one of the traditional sonnet forms, or experiment with alternative 14 line forms perhaps using half rhyme, metarhyme or blank verse.

[This year we have increased the First Prize from £450 to £500.]
First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £250
Third Prize: £125

Special Offer
Submit at least one poem with the correct fee to become eligible for  one year subscription to The Cannon’s Mouth [in which winning entries and the judge's report will be published] discounted from the usual £13.00 to £11.00 [UK] or from £20 to £18 [outside UK].

An entry will consist of one 14 line poem typed on a sheet of A4 paper [please use at least 12 point typeface]. Please ensure that each entry has its own title. There is no limit to the number of entries providing the fees are paid. Use several entry forms if necessary. The entry fee is £5.00 for the first poem and £2.50 for each additional poem submitted. Alternatively, you can now enter on line. See details below.


This year’s final judge is Liz Berry.
Photograph Liz Berry

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her pamphlet The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2010.  Liz’s debut collection, Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Black Country was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Big Issue and The Morning Star. Liz’s poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio, television and recorded for the Poetry Archive. She has been a judge for major prizes including The Forward Prizes for Poetry and Foyle Young Poets. Liz works as a tutor for The Arvon Foundation, Writer’s Centre Norwich and Writing West Midlands.

Entry Form
Please download the entry form here and read the rules before you enter.

How to Enter
There are two ways to enter:

1. Enter by post: complete the entry form and attach each of your poems on separate A4 sheets. Please only put the title of the poem and the poem itself on the sheets but do not put your name. Post the completed entry form, your poems and a cheque for the full amount due in £ sterling to the address indicated.

2. Enter on lineclick here and follow the instructions.

Closing date: 31st October 2017

Cannon Poets
Sonnet or Not
1st prize: £450
    Joan Butler - Pennine Waller
2nd prize: £200
    Sharon Flynn - Danse Macabre
Joint 3rd prize: £100
    Ros Woolner – Sons and Roses 
Joint 3rd prize: £100
    Kathryn Burke – Titanic


Glenn James – No place like Rome
Sheila Spence –  Echo
Catherine Edmunds – now we are old
Nicky Phillips – On the edge
Joan Butler (Also 1st prize) – Include Thyself Out
Laura Thompson – Snipe
Sarah Doyle –  All through the winter time
Doreen Hinchliffe – Spring Journey
Victoria Gatehouse –  Canned
Keith Hutson – Tiddly Om Pom Pom
Rachel Plummer – Rosamund
Chloe Orrock –  Valediction
Leonard von Hollander –  Ice age