Clever Competitions



Don’t you just love whales? These beautiful giants of the deep are so intelligent and wise, and they’ve lived at peace in their watery world for many thousands of years, in a way that we silly human beings simply cannot seem to manage up here on the earth! And many of you will know that my new book with Australian publishers Allen & Unwin, called Storm Whale, illustrated by the award-winning Australian artist Jane Tanner, has just been launched in Melbourne! So to celebrate these beautiful animals – and Jane’s and my beautiful new book – I thought it was high time that we celebrated these wonderful animals in a Wonderful Whale Poem Competition!

Here are all rules:

  1. The competition is open to any child of Primary School age, living anywhere in the world. Home-educated kids of the relevant age may also enter.
  2. Your poem must be a traditional haiku ie 3 lines, with 17 syllables or beats in total, with 5 beats in the first line, 7 beats in the second line, and 5 beats in the final line.
  3. I’ll be looking for beautiful imagery, wonderful vocabulary, and above all, a haiku that really makes me FEEL something, be that joy, sadness, wonder, fear or even foreboding!
  4. Your haiku must be your own work ie completely original, written by YOU from your own imagination: I always check for plagiarism/copying other people’s work, and if detected, your school will be notified, your entry will be disqualified and you will not be permitted to enter any future of my competitions;
  5. When you’re happy with your haiku, please type it up on a Word document, or type it into the body of your email, and send it to me at Please put the words “Entry in Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition” in the subject box.
  6. Please let me have your full name, age, grade at school, school name (including campus if there is more than one for your school) and city with your entry.
  7. Please only let me have one entry! You are welcome to write as many as you like, but then please choose your favourite one for your entry!
  8. Please don’t worry about illustrating your entry; I’ll only be judging your written work, and adding illustrations can make your work hard to format for publication on my blog if you are one of the winners!
  9. I will acknowledge receipt of each entry by email.
  10. There will be two categories: Grades One to Three, and Grades Four to Six.
  11. The writers of the ten best entries in each Category will be notified by email (as well as their school) and their entries will be published on my blog!
  12. The judges decision will be final, and  there will be no further correspondence entered into following the announcement of results.
  13. The writer of the very best entry in each Category will also receive a free signed copy of my beautiful book Storm Whale, sent to their school for awarding in assembly!

Storm Whale cover

14. The deadline for entries is Saturday 30th September 2017, so you can have a lovely time over your upcoming holidays thinking about whales and writing your poem!

So what are you waiting for: I wish you a whale of a time writing your Wonderful Whale Haiku!


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