GENJUAN International Haibun Contest 2020 GUIDELINES


Genjuan 幻住庵 is the name of the cottage near Lake Biwa where, in 1690, Basho lived for a time. His residence in this ‘Vision-Inhabited Cottage’ was probably the happiest period of his life, and it was there that he wrote his most famous short haibun. The purpose of the Contest is to encourage the writing of fine haibun in English and maintain the connection between the traditional Japanese perception of haibun and what is evolving around the world. The judges are hoping that the Contest will continue to receive a warm response from all haibun writers. The award for the Grand Prix remains the same – a fine, full-size replica of a Hokusai or Hiroshige ukiyo-e print – and smaller gifts will be sent to the An (Cottage) Prize-winners. The writers of all the decorated works will receive a certificate of merit. We sincerely look forward to your participation.

Guidelines for 2020

Subject:                  Free.

Style:                      No restrictions, but special attention must be paid to honour the spirit of haikai. This includes such features as the subtle linking of haiku with prose, omission prompting the reader’s imagination, humour and self-deprecation. (Examples of previous year’s winning works can be viewed via the Genjuan page links at top rt. of our top page)

Length:                   In total, between 7 and 35 lines (at 1 line = 80 spaces; a 3-line haiku counts as 3 lines; the title, as 1 line).

Haiku/Title:            At least one haiku (no formal restrictions) should be included and each piece should be given a title, however short.

Format:                   Print each piece separately on one sheet of A4-size paper (and use the reverse if long) and write at the very bottom your name (and your pen name, if you have one) together with your address, telephone number, and email address. Your privacy will be strictly protected, and the judges will not see your names until the result has been decided.

Deadline:               All entries should reach the following address between 1 October 2019 and 31 January 2020. Please send your entries to: Ms. Yaeno Azuchi, 53-56 Izumigawa-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0807, Japan. Entries received after this date might not be accepted. Kindly avoid sending by express and using extra-large envelopes. Best write your home address on your envelope, too. We apologize for not being able to accept emailed entries.

Entry Fee:              None.

Restrictions:          Entrants can send up to three entries, but one or two is what we normally expect. They should be unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere. As we cannot return your entries after screening, please retain your own copies.

Questions:             All queries should be sent to the address above or by email to Email Ms. Azuchi 2 weeks after sending your entries if you wish to have an acknowledgement of receipt.

10 Judges:                 Akiko Takazawa, Stephen Henry Gill (Tito), Sean O’Connor

11 Special Request:  The authors of the decorated works will later be requested to send us their pieces as Word-files by email. In this, we expect your cooperation.

12 Results:                 The results will be posted on the Hailstone Icebox site by May, after awardees have first been notified by email. Later, the prize-winning pieces will be posted there on a dedicated page. Judges’ comments will, in due course, be sent to awardees, together with prizes and/or certificates of merit.

38 Responses to “GENJUAN International Haibun Contest 2020 GUIDELINES”

  1. Is Letter sized paper acceptable instead of A4? It’s 216mm x 279mm instead of 210mm x 297mm. I live in the US, where A4-size paper is somewhat hard to come by, and would prefer not to have to buy a 500-sheet package of something I am only likely to use 3 sheets of per year.

  2. A haibun with a prose of less than 10 lines, is it eligible? And the space before the haiku is considered as a line?

    • Less than 10 lines is ineligible in this contest, but don’t forget that a 3-line haiku counts as 3 of those lines, so it would require a minimum of 7 accompanying lines of prose. Two 3-line haiku would only require 4 lines of prose, etc. A half line at the end of a paragraph is counted as 1 line. Blank lines before/after a haiku do not, however, count as lines! I hope this helps.

  3. May foreign participants email their entries?

  4. Hi, Do we have to mention our name, address etc at the end of each sheet? Assuming we send two entries – I understand we will place the haibun on two different A4 sheets and write our name/ address/ no. etc at the end of each sheet or a separate sheet for the identity markers?

    • Paresh, each submitted haibun piece must have your details written or typed along the bottom of the first sheet. When entries are copied to the judges this will be hidden by a white sheet placed over the information, I am told. If one piece is long and runs onto a second sheet, perhaps just put your name and the title of the piece along the bottom of that second sheet. I hope this helps you. Good luck.

  5. I do not live in Japan, can send my submission via email?

    • No, sorry, Ahmad. Airmail only. The office usually waits for a few extra days after deadline, so if you act soon, it should be OK. Thank you very much for your interest.

  6. Peter Newton Says:

    I never received a confirmation that my submission was received. The only reason I ask is because I’ve always received one in years past. –Peter

    • Dear Peter, I asked the Office tonight about this and can confirm 1) that we do not automatically send entrants receipt of entries confirmation (unless they email the Office themselves directly) and 2) that your own entries were indeed safely received. We thank you for them. The judging will take a while longer, I’m afraid. Results are expected sometime late in April and they will be posted here soon after an attempt has been made to notify all awardees.

  7. MotherOwl Says:

    If I send in two haibun, should I send two letters or can I post both the papers in the same letter (envelope). Hope this is clear.

    • Up to three pieces in the same envelope, please.
      Your other enquiry (above) is about a comment of one year ago when the minimum length was 10 lines. Now it is 7. Thanks for your interest.

  8. A year ago I posted something in a workshop, it was a work in progress at the time and not posted to a haibun workshop. It has been re-vamped and I’ve made a few changes. Does my having posted it somewhere make it ineligible?

  9. Renee Owen Says:

    Hi Tito:
    I entered 2 haibun in the last Genjuan contest (sent in Jan. 2015). I’m looking forward to entering the contest again this year. However, I have been waiting to receive my copy of the Genjuan 2012-2014 anthology, but have not yet received it. My understanding is that all of those who entered during those years will receive a free copy of the anthology. Do you know if they have been mailed yet, or why I may not have received it? Thank you, Renee Owen (Sebastopol, Calif.)

    • Those who entered the 2012, 13 and 14 Contests have all received a free copy. You entered the 2015 Contest. You can order a copy, if you wish, in the way outlined on our Publications page, accessed via the page link at top right of the Icebox top page.

  10. […] competition devoted to the genre which is the only one of its kind in Japan.  (Please see here to learn […]

    • Congratulations to all the WiK Competition winners, especially to Hailstone Circle poets, Mayumi Kawaharada and Richard Steiner! A pity that the WiK and the Genjuan Haibun contests were concomitant.
      Genjuan Haibun Contest results will be posted on the Icebox in mid April. This year’s 127 entries means allowing plenty of time for the judges! Thank you for your patience. 

  11. I am looking for information on upcoming haibun contest for 2018 ~ also I noticed that the 2016 haibun contest only had references to haiku with the entries when haibun are also being written with tanka entries in the haibun. Do you not except haibun with tanka?

    • Thanks for your enquiry. We would not release guidelines for next year’s Contest until summer, perhaps a month or six weeks before admissions open (usually around Oct. 1). Unless we change the rules, at least one haiku must feature, for part of the challenge is how best to contrast haiku with prose… although, in the past, I seem to remember we have accepted a tanka or two in a piece, provided there is a haiku or two, too.

  12. […] Los originales deberán remitirse en inglés antes del 31 de enero de 2018. Quienes estén interesados en participar, encontrarán toda la información necesaria en este enlace. […]

  13. Deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Angelee Deodhar. I don’t think we will see another extraordinary person like her again.

    humble condolences,
    Alan Summers
    President, United Haiku and Tanka Society
    co-founder, Call of the Page

  14. I am unclear how, where to submit to this contest. Can we submit to the email info address above?

  15. […] to enter the annual GENJUAN International Haibun Contest please visit the Icebox website for the 2019 Guidelines. Link kindly supplied by […]

  16. Elaine Andre Says:

    Would you please point out the way copyright is handled for submissions? Does the author retain copyright?

    • Genjuan Haibun Contest reserves the right to publish the awarded works in print and online, but the author retains copyright. We would expect subsequent publication to mention the work was first published in one of our anthologies or here on the Icebox. Once the Contest results are announced, if your work is not awarded, feel free to publish it elsewhere.
      I hope this helps.

  17. May Haibun be fictional for the purpose of your contest?

    Thank you

    • We certainly prefer authentic stories, for the Contest judges will surely ‘believe’ almost everything they read, but as we have no way of knowing to what extent stories have been made up, fictional ones are allowed. Thanks for this useful question, Suzette.

  18. Bryan Cook Says:

    Hi, I have a specific concern about including blank lines in the allowable line count. A blank line after the title and before and after each haiku in a haibun gives air or space to the haibun….essential to letting it breathe and easier to read….. unless for a good reason specific breathless or oppressive effects are needed to enhance the haibun’s mood.. Could you reconsider this rule at some stage. Thanks, Bryan

Leave a Reply to MotherOwl Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: