Haiku Invitational - General

Haiku Invitational

Presented by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.

Haiku Invitational

From now until June 1st, Vancouverites and poets around the world over are invited to congregate at Mink Chocolates and submit haiku poems to the 16h Annual Haiku Invitational for the chance at fame, and a $50 Mink Gift Card!


What is the Haiku Invitational?

The Haiku Invitational is a global competition run by the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, and supported by Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel. Over the years, the contest has attracted tens of thousands of haiku submissions from 42 countries.

Aspiring poets are encouraged to submit haikus that feature cherry blossoms to be considered for awards.

Check out www.vcbf.ca to learn more!


What can you win?

Bragging rights! Each year, the international panel of judges encourages poets by recognizing winners in six categories (Vancouver, BC, Canada, United States, International and Youth).

Winning poems will receive celebrity readings and be featured in creative ways during the festival, some of which include: Haiku Canada newsletter, an online publication in the newsletter of the Haiku Society of America, and publication on the VCBF website.

Christopher Gaze, the founding artistic director of Shakespeare in the Park, also reads the winning poems each year at the VSO’s Tea & Trumpets Concert or at the Sakura Nights gala. Attendees of the festival's media-kickoff concert event, Cherry Jam Downtown, will be treated to a reading as well. 

Click here to see other creative ways winning haikus have been celebrated in past years.

What are the deadlines?

The deadline for Haiku Invitational submissions worldwide is June 1, 2022.

Back to Basics: What is a Haiku?

A haiku (pronounced "High-Koo") is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. 

It's less complicated than you think to write one...

The only rule is this: Compose 17 syllables over three lines - that's it!

As kids, many people would have learned that you are supposed to write a haiku as: 

5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables 

This is correct, but the modern gurus of haiku are not as strict. As long as you write 17 syllables over 3 lines, you're ok. 

About the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Now in its 16th year, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the beautiful trees that flower across the city each year. In addition to the Haiku Invitational, there are a many excellent events that happen in the month of April, including Bike the Blossoms, Cherry Jam, Sakura Night Gala, BC Blossom Photo Watch, Tree Talks & Walks, and The Big Picnic at Queen Elizabeth Park. 

Check out www.vcbf.ca to learn more!