Twitter Writing Contest 2:
Win a MacBook Air for a Clever Haiku


Twitter Writing Contest 2 is now closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry, and winners will be announced Friday, November 21.

Back in May, I launched the first ever @copyblogger Twitter Writing Contest. People seemed to have a lot of fun participating and reading the hundreds of submitted entries, so I’ve been looking forward to doing another one.

If you missed the first one, the Los Angeles Times did a nice write-up of the event. In a nutshell, contestants had to tell a story in exactly 140 characters, which is the maximum allowed for any tweet on Twitter.

This time we’re doing something a bit different.

Write a Killer Haiku for the Win

As you might have gleaned from the headline, this time we’re going to write Twitter haiku. There’s already a healthy group of people who tweet clever little haiku poems on Twitter due to the constrained size, so it seems a natural for Twitter Writing Contest 2.

If your memory is a little rusty on what haiku is, here’s a refresher:

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. It consists of 17 syllables broken up into three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively.

Here are two quick examples found on Twitter Search with the tag #haiku:

Been up way too long / Need about a week’s more sleep / Might not be enough

~ @MFlanders

The furnace is fixed / breath invisible again / how much is the bill?

~ @badboc

Got it? Obviously, the more clever, comedic, or compelling your haiku, the better your chances of winning.

Like this one found on t-shirts:

Haikus are easy / But sometimes they don’t make sense / Refrigerator

Now on to the good stuff.

First Prize? A MacBook Air

We had some really great prizes last time, but we’re kicking it up a notch. Here are the prizes for first, second, third places.

First Prize – A MacBook Air, the world’s thinnest laptop, courtesy of DIY Themes and the Thesis Theme for WordPress.

Second Prize – Free access to Product Launch Formula 2.1+, the highly regarded online training program (tuition $1,997), courtesy of Jeff Walker. (If you purchase PLF when it opens–and likely sells out–today, you will receive a full refund as winner).

Third Prize – Free access to the new-and-improved Teaching Sells online training program (re-launching in January 2009 for $997), courtesy of Teaching Sells.

These are the Rules:

Rules, rules, rules… you can’t avoid them. And to be eligible to win, these are the ones you’ve got to follow:

1. You must have a Twitter account. Open one for free to participate.

2. Please tweet your submission (one per account) in English with the following format:

Phrase one (5 syllables) / phrase two (7 syllables) / phrase three (5 syllables)

3. After you’ve tweeted, you must cut and paste the poem itself into the comments of this post, along with the direct URL to the tweet (to get the tweet URL, you click on the tweet time stamp, i.e. “3:32 PM Nov 12th” or “about 12 hours ago”). Make sure the email address you use for the comment is valid so we can contact you as a winner (email addresses are never used for any other purpose).

4. I know it’s unnecessary with this crowd, but… original submissions only! It’s quite easy to search Twitter or Google to see if your inspiration amounts to plagiarism. Don’t do it please. :)

5. Submissions will be accepted in the comments of this post until 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, Sunday, November 16, 2008.

I’ll be answering questions and giving any necessary updates on Twitter, so make sure to follow @copyblogger. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

About the Author: Brian Clark is the founding editor of Copyblogger, and co-founder of DIY Themes and Lateral Action. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

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Reader Comments (1062)

  1. says

    Yay, I love these twitter contests! I’m spreading the word right now. :)

    You know, I haven’t had to write a haiku since like… elementary school or something. Time to exercise that haiku muscle.

  2. Sharad Poddar says

    @LearningNerd agree with you. This contest allowed me to refreshen up after a long day of work.

    “Let the cat out of the bag” @copyblogger..

  3. says

    Sound and fury; Angst
    imposes its hydra-like wrath;
    The Will to Frenzy

    (Reading Albert Camus right now, and the nietzschean Will to Power is referred to here…)

  4. says

    Unfortunately you got the rules very wrong, as most people sadly do. Haiku is NOT about the syllable count. It is a form of poetry about the nature. A poem which is not about the nature can NEVER be a haiku, perhaps a senryu, but not a haiku. It does not, however, have to be 5-7-5, it can be a lot shorter.

    So, is this a haiku contest or a senryu contest? And do we really have to follow the syllable rule, which is not what defines haiku?

    a pedantic journalist and haiku poet

  5. says

    @Maija Wikipedia doesn’t think so:

    My understanding has always been that the syllables matter (the “on”); that it’s more artful to get the syllables in in fewer words; that somewhat like an English sonnet, a haiku has a “turn” (the “kireji”); and that while many haiku contain a “kigo”) or seasonal reference, it is not *required* that the poem be meditation on nature.

    –a fellow pedantic and poet.

  6. says

    @Maija Haavisto: You’re correct. A seasonal reference is needed and syllable count isn’t so strict. There’s the one-line haiku, senryu, waka, so many forms…

    Yet for a fun contest like this it’s legit to keep it simple and stick to 5/7/5 structure with no other constraints…this is haiku social media style & I think the form allows it. For purest haiku, interested people can read Bassho or Issa…

  7. says

    In praise of Copyblogger – not for contest!

    Love Copyblogger/for better or worse, its best/none to compete against!

    I love reading blogs/but only the best I read/love Copyblogger!

  8. says

    So, the link on my twitter doesn’t seem to work well — I’m not sure why, but I have to refresh it a couple times before Twitter can find it. I hope that’s not a big problem … >.<

  9. says

    This is a great idea for a contest. It’s blending the world of creative writing with social networking. The MacBook Air is an awesome prize. Good luck to all of the contestants!

  10. says

    Such a dilemma / want to write my best except / I want SECOND prize!

    <a href=”″

  11. Angela Watson says

    Oh, darn it! I just realized I screwed it up!! How can I screw up 5 syllables??? I have six in my first phrase. What a ditz!! Wait….can that be a haiku?? Oh, well. I had fun writing it! Good luck to everyone who got it “write”!

  12. Michael E. Cantone says

    I am a writer but want to copy no IM copy writer who am I a mac or a pc blackeberry or Iphone without pen and paper what do you see?

  13. fristad says

    Hearing throat air sounds / Flying high on the moment / Afraid to come down

    12 minutes ago from web

  14. says

    All this creativity is beautiful! I was just remembering something about a more extended form of haiku, 5-7-5, then add more stanzas of 7-5 until finished, like 5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5 for example. Somebody out there must know something about this…outside of contest rules, but good education.

  15. says

    You follow my tweets / I may follow in return / No profile, no friend #Haiku @copyblogger

    While perhaps not the most creative Haiku out there, I thought I would use this opportunity to put forth one of my frustrations. If you don’t have a Twitter Profile, make one, this is a great way to let people know a little bit about you.

    You don’t have to give up embarassing details of your life, just tell us something.

    Anyway, great contest idea Brian, thanks. Good luck sorting through all this jazz.