Robert Spiess Memorial Competition Guidelines
The Robert Spiess
2010 Haiku Awards
As a memorial to Editor Bob Spiess, who died on March
13, 2002, Modern Haiku sponsors The Robert Spiess
Memorial Award Haiku Competition.
Many haiku of quality
combine unexpectedness with inevitability
—that “shock of mild surprise” (Blyth), followed
the felt-significance of “Of course, that’s just as
Rules: The competition is
open to everyone but the staff of Modern Haiku,
the competition coordinator, and the judges. Entries
must be in English. Each entry must be the original,
unpublished work of the author, and should not be under
consideration in a contest or for publication elsewhere.
For purposes of this competition, appearance of a haiku
in an Internet journal, a Web site, or a blog is
considered publication, but posting haiku on a private
e-mail list is not. Of course, entries should not be
shared in an Internet journal, Web site, blog, or haiku
list during the term of the competition.
Submission guidelines: Poets may submit a maximum of
five haiku written in the spirit of the above
Speculation. Entries should be typed or printed legibly.
Submit three copies of each haiku on plain white 3 x 5
cards or paper. The haiku (one haiku per card) should
appear on the face of each card. The poet’s name,
mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address
(if any) should appear on one of the three cards, in the
upper left-hand corner above the haiku; the other two
copies should contain only the haiku. Please keep a copy
of your submission; entries will not be returned. Please
follow the instructions carefully: entries that are
incomplete or that do not comply with the instructions
will be discarded.
Entry fee: $1 per haiku, cash or check (U.S. funds);
make checks payable to Modern Haiku.
Send submissions to: Billie Wilson, 1170 Fritz Cove
Road, Juneau, AK 99801-8501 USA.
Adjudication: Two judges will be selected by
Modern Haiku; their names will be announced at
the time of the awards. Judging will be double-blind,
and the judges will not know the identity of the
entrants. Judges’ decisions are final.
Selection criteria: The judges will look for entries
that hew to Western norms for haiku as published in
Modern Haiku and other leading English-language haiku
journals and that best capture the spirit of the theme
Speculation above. There are no rules as to syllable or
Awards: First Prize: $100 plus a previously-loved copy
of The Heron’s Legs (1966, out of print;
copy #328 of 335). Second Prize: $50 plus a copy of
Bob’s The Shape of Water (1982); Third
Prize: $25 plus a copy of Bob’s Some Sticks and
Pebbles (2001). Up to five poets will be awarded
Honorable Mentions and each will receive a copy of Bob’s
A Year’s Speculations on Haiku (1995).
Notification: Winners will be notified by e-mail or
phone before the general announcement. Winning entries
will be published in the summer 2010 issue of Modern
Haiku and posted on the Modern Haiku Web site, <http://www.modernhaiku.org/>,
on or before July 1, 2010. If you would like a list of
the winners, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed
envelope (SASE) with your entries. Overseas entrants
should provide one IRC or one U.S. dollar in cash with a
self-addressed envelope. These will be mailed when the
summer issue of Modern Haiku is released.