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Well formed haiku bring/National Grammar Day glory/tweet your best today

Dozens of 17-syllable poems have already been submitted for The National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest. Follow the Twitter hashtag #grammarday, the official hashtag of National Grammar Day.

I’m hosting the haiku contest to help celebrate the binding principles of the English language. The top prize is a copy of “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing,” by National Grammar Day host Mignon Fogarty, and your choice of a t-shirt or mug with my favorite piece of writing advice at my new Café Press shop:

For all our finalists, glory and accolades await.

Here is how it works: Post your grammar-themed haiku on Twitter and include the hashtag #grammarday. Separate lines with commas or slashes.

Deadline is 10 p.m. Thursday. The winners will be announced the afternoon of March 4, National Grammar Day.

The initial screening team, consisting of a freelance copy editor, an educational policy expert, a university English major, and a high school scholar and musician, will collect all haiku tweeted with the hashtag and cull the list down to the top 10 or 12 entries. Entries will be judged according to how well they fit the theme and how much they look like a haiku.

Because all entries are public, it is impossible to know how much one entry may influence another and how much similarities are coincidence. In cases of similar entries, the earlier entry is more likely to be selected.

After the initial screening, a panel of expert judges will independently rank the finalists, and a winner will be determined based on the rankings.

The winner will be announced on Twitter, on the National Grammar Day website and on this blog.

Contest judges are:

  1. Jag Bhalla, author of “I’m Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears” and researcher into the less logical aspects of life and language.

  2. Erin Brenner, blogger, freelance editor at Right Touch Editing, and editor at Copyediting newsletter.

  3. Martha Brockenbrough, founder of National Grammar Day and the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, and author of “Things That Make Us (Sic).”

  4. GRAMMARHULK, editor, tweeter and lover of ALL CAPS who smashes poor usage choices but promises a delicate approach to sorting haiku.

  5. Erin McKean, founder of Wordnik, the online compendium of all the words, and author of “The Secret Lives of Dresses.”

  6. Amy Reynaldo, freelance editor, crossword blogger, and author of “How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle.”

Be sure to visit the National Grammar Day website at If longer-form writing is more your style, try the National Grammar Day short-story contest. Details are on the site.

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