“Thou dost speak masterly!” Shakespeare’s sonnets are revered for a reason: infinities are explored in just fourteen lines …
Choosing your Shakespeare sonnet
You’re free to perform, from memory, any of Shakespeare’s complete sonnets. Your choice could be any one from his quarto of 154 sonnets, or any complete sonnet (of 14 lines) from his plays.
You will need to provide us with further information about which sonnet you have chosen by 30 April 2024. You will be sent full information about how to do this after the main entry deadline on 8 April 2024.
What we reward
- Secure, well-memorised words
- Clarity and audibility
- Sensitivity to, and capturing of, mood and meaning
- Vocal variety which engages the audience and adds power to the words
- Thoughtful and appropriate use of pause
- Skilful handling of the volta (where the feeling of the sonnet ‘turns’) when appropriate
- Facial expressions which support the successful communication of the words
Enter as an individual
Individuals can enter Shakespeare Sonnet (12-14 Years) in one of the events below. A session given as 0800 UTC / 0900 BST starts at 0800 Coordinated Universal Time (formerly known as ‘Greenwich Mean Time’) and 0900 British Summer Time.
- Events with a red border take place in the afternoon/evening in Asia and Australasia, and in the morning in Europe and Africa
- Events with a blue border take place in the afternoon/evening in Europe and Africa, and in the morning or early afternoon in the Americas
- If you’re confused about timings and time zones, you can read more about festival scheduling.
Sunday 12 May at 0800 UTC / 0900 BST
Thursday 16 May at 0900 UTC / 1000 BST
Saturday 18 May at 1600 UTC / 1700 BST
You will be asked to provide more information about the entrant (name, date of birth, any special educational needs or disabilities) before you check out.
Once you’ve entered, you can start getting ready for your session. You can use our handy tips to prepare for the Festival. Or why not book one of our 1-to-1 or small group practice sessions?
Enter a group
In previous years, we’ve had everything from a small club of 6 students, to institutions with over 150 entries, maximising participation in oratory from across their school. This year, if you like, we can also try to pair you with another group from a different country.
In any one session, you can enter both different age groups and any mix of categories across either Poetry/Prose/Acting or Public Speaking/News. Sessions longer than an hour can be broken up so each student doesn’t have to be on the Zoom call for too long.
Age ranges and rules
- All entries are subject to our friendly and encouraging rules.
- Entrants must be within the age bands on the first day of the festival. For example, to qualify as “12-14 Years Old”, you must have your 12th birthday on or before 9 May 2024, and your 15th birthday must be after 9 May 2024.
Book an online coaching session
Would you like to book a Zoom coaching session for some extra help preparing for the Festival? One of our fun and engaging expert coaches will help you practise for your category in 1-on-1 Zoom sessions, or with up to three of your friends. You’ll build your skills, and gain confidence for your Festival performance.
- Coaching costs £25 per 30 minute session, or
£25 per session£20 per 30 minute session: Get £5 off every half hour coaching session if you purchase them at the same time as entering any of our Oratory Festival categories! (Discounts will be applied at the checkout, you can book as many coaching sessions as you like).
If you’ve any questions about entering this category, or anything else to do with the International Oratory Festival, you can contact us at email@example.com, or by using the form below.