“Autumn, Then Winter” Haiku Contest 2009 – Instructions

haiku new


Beginning on this the first day of Autumn, 2009, you are cordially invited to participate in the third annual Dassler Effect Haiku Contest, which I aim to name “Autumn, Then Winter” from here on out.

Why a haiku contest at this time of year only? Well, only because Autumn is my favorite season, and the one which I find to be the most poetic (even if Spring and Summer get all the love poems), and because Winter is pretty great too. I always intend to do a “Spring, Then Summer” contest, but I never seem to manage it.

I have already procured the services of two fine judges and have messages in to several more. So, without further preface, here is the scoop:


  • The Basics: Write two haiku with 5-7-5 syllables in each of the three lines respectively. I realize that many contemporary haiku do not follow the 5-7-5 syllable pattern strictly, but for the sake of consistency please do so for this contest.

    One haiku should be about Autumn, the other about Winter. These haiku need not have the words “Autumn” or “Winter” in them, but should include a “kigo,” or a seasonal word or phrase which evokes the season in the reader’s mind.

  • Style: I leave questions about whether to title or not, whether to punctuate and capitalize or not up to you entirely, though I think it is more traditional to not title. And, also, it is up to you to decide if and how much your haiku should “talk” to one another or whether they should be roughly about the same subject or theme. Just impress the judges, that’s all πŸ™‚

When: Haiku should be emailed to Neil at neil.e.das@gmail.com by Thursday, October 22rd at midnight. Please also send along the city in which you live and any personal website/blog information you may wish to include. The winners will be announced on Friday, November 6th.

How: The judges will assign each of your haiku a score between 1 and 10 for a best possible score of 20 points. The haiku with the highest cumulative score from all the judges for each season and the haiku pair with highest cumulative scores will win.

The Prizes:

  • Grand Prize for best Autumn/Winter haiku pair: $40 $50 and publication in Catapult Magazine.
  • 1st Prize for best Autumn haiku: $20 $25
  • 1st Prize for best Winter haiku: $20 $25

So, if you are doing the math at home, one individual could potentially take $25 or $50 or the whole kitty of $100 home. Wow. So, let the writing begin.

For inspiration, you may check out last year’s entries or return to this blog for fresh inspiration every couple of days, both visual and written (see, I can write spring and summer haiku if I set my mind to it πŸ™‚

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