The search is on for the Bard of Marlborough

Written by Peter Davison on .

Sarah Howe. Picture by Hayley MaddenSarah Howe. Picture by Hayley MaddenBudding Bards are being asked to put quill to parchment (or finger to touchscreen) and pen a sonnet to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare.

Competitors need to write 14 lines of iambic pentameter in response to one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets.

The competition is being run by Marlborough Literature Festival, will be judged by poet Sarah Howe, winner of the TS Eliot Prize.

Winners in two categories – under 19 and adult – will each receive £100, along with a copy of Sarah’s new collection, Loop of Jade.

Sarah will be reading from her collection at Marlborough College on Sunday, October 2: the final day of the literature festival, which runs from September 30.

The competition closes on August 29. Full details, including guidelines on writing a sonnet, are on the festival website at