Clever Competitions


Photo credits: Summer –; Winter –; Spring –; Autumn –

A very warm welcome back to school!

Don’t you just love the four seasons? They are all so beautiful in their own way! Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll love Autumn best, when you can rug up in a warm coat and go walking with your dog in a nearby park on a crisp, clear day. Or you might prefer lazy, hot Summers when you can go to the beach and splash about in the sea. Or those stormy Winter days when you can sit beside a roaring fire feeling snug and safe inside as the wind buffets and the rain buckets down outside. Or those cool, damp Spring mornings, with their drifts of blossom and gorgeous scent of narcissi and jonquils filling the air.

And just about everyone I know also loves haikus! They’re very short poems, dating back to the 17th century in Japan, and with very strict rules. And they’re PERFECT for describing nature, weather, and the seasons! In fact, the four seasons were regular topics in the very earliest haikus!

It’s entirely up to you which season you choose to write about! But you must follow ALL the rules below if you want to win this competition!


  1. This competition is open to all primary school-aged children, anywhere in the world, including students that are being educated at home.
  2. Your poem must be in traditional haiku format, ie 3 lines with 17 syllables in total, with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second and 5 in the third line.
  3. Your haiku must be about your favourite season – with lots of gorgeous words to paint an evocative picture please!
  4. I’m looking for really interesting vocabulary, original ideas, and especially, a poem that makes me really feel I’m there in the season that you love!
  5. Please note very carefully that no plagiarism (copying, from any source including books or websites) is allowed. I want to see YOUR OWN work and nobody else’s, thank you! I check all poems that reach my short list for plagiarism, which will result in automatic disqualification from all my competitions, and will also be reported to your school, so please take this warning very seriously.
  6. If you love writing haikus, I know that you’ll be tempted to send in more than one! But you may send in one entry only – so choose the one you think is your best!
  7. I’m only judging your writing, so please DO NOT send in pictures or drawings, and please do not use unusual fonts! It only creates trouble for me when I’m formatting my list for judging, and might even make me grumpy about your entry!
  8. When you think your haiku is ready to send, please DO NOT send in a document. Please just type it into the body of your email.
  9. With your entry I will also need your name, your grade at school, your age and the name of your school (including campus if your school has more than one), and your city. If you are being home-educated, please state your equivalent grade at school.
  10. Your entry should be sent to me directly at Please type My Favourite Season Haiku Competition into the subject box.
  11. I will acknowledge receipt of all entries – but please be patient as I may not be able to write back immediately ! If you haven’t heard from me within 14 days, do write me a quick reminder. I will also let your school know how clever you were to enter when I report on the results!
  12. As ever, there will be two categories: Grades One to Three, and Grades Four to Six.
  13. The FIRST PLACE winner in each category will receive a signed hard cover copy of my lyrical, multi-award nominated story book in rhyme, Storm Whale.
  14. The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners will receive a signed copy of one of my Chinese Calendar Tales of their choice.
  15. All prizes will be sent to the winners via their schools, for presentation in assembly.
  16. In addition, the TOP 10 ENTRIES in each category will be published on my blog, together with the finalist’s names and the names of their schools. When I publish the results of my competitions, I get hits from all around the world – so that’s the quickest way to become a world famous writer!
  17. I will be the sole judge of this competition. All entries will be judged anonymously to ensure fairness.
  18. The results of the competition will be announced on this blog within 21 days of the competition deadline. There will be no further correspondence after the results have been posted.
  19. The deadline for this competition is midnight EST on FRIDAY 15th November.

I cannot wait to read your entry! So get out that writing pad, choose your favourite season, and start writing your My Favourite Season Haiku NOW!

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