Second annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Haiku ContestLast year we started our annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST! Now it’s time for round two. Anyone can do this!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

For haiku, the typical subject matter is nature, but if you decide to be traditional, you must give it a fantasy, science fiction, or horror twist. We expect to be told that the peaceful wind you describe is blowing across a landscape of an unfamiliar, distant planet. And if your poem is about a flower, we hope that elegant little touch of beauty is about to be trampled by an Orc. We welcome the sublime as well as the humorous, the pedestrian along with the momentous.

Though you may use the traditional three-line haiku following a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, feel free to break that pattern. Many poets who write English haiku adhere to other expectations:

  1. Written in three lines, though sometimes in two or four lines
  2. Often offers a juxtaposition of two images or ideas
  3. Doesn’t rhyme
  4. Often uses a season-term or a word/phrase that implies a time of year
  5. Employs compressed, objective, descriptive language
  6. Often divided in two parts (the break usually comes at the end of the first line, the middle of the second line, or the end of the second line).

As inspiration, here are a few from last year:

Perched on sandy bluffs
A Fremen thumper pulsates
Shai-hulud responds

Tower of glass
the rainbow reflects:
dark remains the heart

a meddlesome god
sows nightmares in childhood dreams
meesa jar jar binks

You may write as many haiku as you like.

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BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Read Brad's series on HOW TO READ COMICS.

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  1. sandy ferber /

    A new Star Wars film…
    With bated breath, I am now…
    To use Yoda speak.

  2. The android sneezes —
    an unexpected surprise.
    “I have allergies?”

  3. dr susan /

    Sleeping forest waits;
    Snowflakes dust evergreen boughs;
    The elm walks away.

  4. dr susan /

    A wolf howls off-key;
    His pack pauses, horrified;
    The crow laughs out loud.

  5. Melanie Goldmund /

    Though I only see
    my own footprints, yet I know,
    it still follows me.

  6. Nicole Lily /

    This forgotten land
    Was this how Eden ended?
    We advance to steel.

    Wherever I go
    Worlds of metal or red soil
    I long to come home.

  7. Nicole, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks, or aFanLit T-shirt (please include preferred size).

    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!


  1. Pixel Scroll 11/19 The Endochronic Pixils of Resublimated Scrollotimoline | File 770 - […] Fantasy Literature has launched its “Second annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest”. Leave your entries in the comments. Can you…

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