The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

The White Shoe Haiku Contest

The White Shoe Staff

[The White Shoe Haiku Contest ran for several months, with one winner posted every day alongside each new White Shoe piece. For a brief, shining moment, the haiku contest meant everything to us. It was a phenomenal thing. We had joy, we had fun, and despite the fact that this contest occurred during the winter months, it was as if we had seasons in the sun. Important Note: Although this page is archived as it originally appeared, this contest is over. If you still have haiku that you want to submit, we are sorry, but it is too late. Read the haiku to small children. They will give you prizes we cannot.]

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It has been a full week since we have mentioned one of our contests, and we know what trouble you have sleeping when you're anxious. Hence, without further delay, we bring you The White Shoe Haiku Contest.


• Each haiku should be three lines and conform to the traditional syllable pattern of five-seven-five. When we first considered announcing this contest, we checked several sources, all of which disagree about what qualifies as haiku. Some experts point out that the notion of the "Holy Seventeen" syllables is impractical, because we are not writing in Japanese (nor should we be; all submissions in Japanese will be immediately rejected). However, for the purposes of this contest, we have decided to enforce the seventeen syllable rule, if only to give you a single guideline to follow.

• The use of a seasonal word, or kigo, in the third line is allowed, but not required. We thought about enforcing this second strict standard, but we could only think of eight seasonal words. We cannot expect you to think of more.

• Subject matter is completely open. Please refer to our general guidelines for more details concerning White Shoe standards. Or don't.

• You may submit several haiku in a single email. Each haiku will be judged individually. Entries should be directed to submit [at] whiteshoe [dot] org. Put the words "Haiku Contest" in the subject line and — this next instruction has been our least followed instruction, so pay attention — please include your name somewhere in the body of the message. We do not know who you are by looking at your email address, especially when your email address is (note: Pokemon Master is not a valid pseudonym).

• You may begin entering…now!

The Judging Process

We will read your haiku. If we feel an emotion — any emotion at all — you are a winner. Some winners will be "instant winners," which means that the White Shoe Judges will know right away that you have won. Unfortunately, instant winners will be notified in the same manner as regular winners.

The Awarding of Prizes

Unlike our previous contests, The White Shoe Haiku Contest will have many, many winners, all of whom will be published on The White Shoe Irregular. In fact, we plan to publish one winner each day, beginning in a few weeks. When we tire of doing so, we will place all of the winnners in a pail, stir them around, and wait for the cream to rise to the top. A few of the creamiest haiku will be awarded prizes, by which we mean, of course, junk.

A Final Note

Can you count to five? Can you count to seven? Can you count to five again? (Feel free to use your fingers.) If the answer to those questions is no, we say, Go away — you are not smart enough to be here. Otherwise, you are eligible to enter this contest and likely to succeed in the attempt. We have never conducted a contest this easy and may never do so again. Someday, when you are reading the guidelines to The White Shoe James Joyce Dissertation Contest, you will kick yourself for not entering back in the day when our contests were easy. Friend, that day is today. Enter this contest.