Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 4, December 2010

Announcement: The British Haiku Awards


From 1991 to 2009 the British Haiku Society was privileged to organise an annual, international contest for haiku, known as the James W Hackett Awards. The contest has been popular and highly respected, but now Mr Hackett, who was adjudicator and maintained certain criteria of excellence, is sadly unable to continue in that role.

In 2002, to serve the expanding number of writers challenged by the form known as haibun, the British Haiku Society launched another international contest, this time biennial, known at first by the name of its patron, Nobuyuki Yuasa, renowned for his English translation of Bashō's Oku-no-hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Penguin,1966.) After three rounds this contest was restyled as the biennial British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology, described as 'an educational process', with no hierarchy of winners and runners-up, but extensive critiques of a number of entries that came up to a certain standard of excellence. The Society feel that this form of award has now served its purpose.

A new unified system:

From 2010 the British Haiku Society is replacing both these contests with annual international British Haiku Awards in two categories — haiku and haibun.

Rules of the British Haiku Awards

1 Submissions must be in English, unpublished at the time of submission, remaining so until results are declared, and not concurrently entered for any other competition. There is no limit on the number of entries from any single competitor.

2 Deadline: in the administrator's hands by 31 January, 2011. Haiku and haibun entries may be sent in the same envelope.

3 Entry procedures:

For haiku, send each poem on three separate 5 x 3 in. (125 x 75mm) cards (or paper cut to the same size.) On one only of the 3 copies write your name and address on the back.

For haibun, send three copies of each haibun, each copy on a separate A4 sheet or sheets. One copy should bear your name, address, phone number and email address (if applicable.) The other two copies should bear no identification. Enclose the appropriate fee[s] (see below) and post to: The Administrator, British Haiku Awards, Newton House, Holt Road, North Elmham, Norfolk, NR20 5JQ, UK. No entries for haiku or haibun will be returned, so do keep your own copies. Haibun must contain at least 100 words of prose and at least one haiku, and must not exceed 2,500 words in length. Each haibun should be given a title. PTO

4 Fees: The entry fee for up to 3 haiku is £3 (or US$ 6) and £1 (US$ 2) per haiku thereafter, the fee for haibun is £3 (or US$ 6) per entry. Cheques and money orders payable to: The British Haiku Society (N.B. not 'BHS'.) Due to high currency and clearance charges, payment can only be accepted in sterling by cheque drawn on a bank with branches in the UK; or by British postal order or International Money Order; or (at the sender's risk) in sterling bank notes, dollar bills, or Euro bank notes at the current rate of exchange..

5 No current trustee of the British Haiku Society is eligible to enter.

6 Adjudication process: BHS appoints two judges for each category, haiku and haibun (four different judges in all.) Each judge sees all entries submitted in the category assigned to him/her, and without consulting the other judge makes his/her own independent choice of best haiku /haibun and, in the case of haiku only, one runner-up in each category. Their choices will be final and no correspondence can be entered into about the results. If two judges' choices happen to coincide, a Double Award will be declared, i.e. one winner receives both prizes.

7 Prizes: For haiku, prizes of £125 will be awarded to each of the two best and £50 to each of two runners-up. (Double awards: £250 and £100.) For haibun, prizes of £125 will be awarded to each of the two best, but at present there will be no runner-up prize. (As the number of entries for the haibun category increases it is hoped eventually to bring this into line with the haiku category and award runner-up prizes as well.)

8 Publication of results: As soon as they are known, results will be put up on the BHS website at www.britishhaikusociety.org and published in the June issue of the BHS members' newsletter. All haiku selected for awards will be published in the June 2011 issue of the BHS journal, Blithe Spirit. It is hoped the selected haibun may also appear in full in that issue, but as their length is unpredictable, for space reasons the journal editor will use his/her discretion about spreading publication over two issues, i.e. June and September 2011.

9 For personal early notification of results, please enclose a self-addressed envelope with appropriate UK stamp, or US$ 1, or two International Reply Coupons (e.g. US$ 7 covers the entry fee for 3 haiku and notification.)

10 Copyrights revert to authors after publication in the British Haiku Society journal, Blithe Spirit, but entry for either award signifies agreement to your work being published digitally by the Society or copied for archival purposes (for example, by the British Library or the Poetry Library, London).

Judges for the British Haiku Awards 2010 are as follows:

Haiku: Dee Evetts and Clare McCotter
Haibun: Lynne Rees and Jeffrey Woodward


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