Each entry should include a pair of 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 you must do so for this contest. You may submit up to two entries (i.e. two pair of haiku).

One haiku in each pair should be about autumn, and 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. Regarding tone, haiku may be serious or whimsical, depressive or joyful, in short, whatever you like.

I leave questions about whether to punctuate or to capitalize or not up to you entirely, for this contest, though, no titles please. It is also up to you to decide if and how much your haiku should “talk” to one another (i.e. whether they should be about the same theme or scene or use similar images or metaphors or language) but in order to get the maximum number of points possible they must do so in some way. So, you could strive to make the perfect autumn and winter haiku which are unrelated to one another, a perfectly fine goal, but the most points each could get individually would be 9 for a total of 18.

All entries must be emailed to Neil at by Friday, November 2nd at midnight, and all the entries will be posted the next day without names for the judging period. With your entry please also include the city in which you live and any personal website or blog information you may wish to be posted when the results are announced. Results will be posted on Wednesday, November 22nd to be enjoyed with your Thanksgiving turkey and Black Friday shopping!

The judges (to be announced soon) 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
1st Prize for best autumn haiku: $ 15
1st Prize for best winter haiku: $ 15

So, if you are doing the math at home, one individual could potentially take $15, $30, $45 or the whole kitty of $70 home. Wow! So, let the writing begin.

For inspiration, you may check out previous year’s contests or return to this blog for fresh inspiration every couple of days, both visual and written.

Finally, by all means feel free to repost this page or pass it along to friends.

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