Snapshots: A Cover Story haiku and senryu contest

We are hosting another contest and live webinar event for our Cover Story students! Any student who is currently using the curriculum is eligible to enter their haiku poems from Lessons 16 & 17 or senryu poems from Lesson 61 for a chance to win some fun prizes!

Curious about haiku and senryu poems? Scroll to the bottom of the webpage for a more in-depth explanation of the contest guidelines.


For this contest, we will select one winner and 3–5 finalists.

The top three winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Two additional finalists will receive an autographed copy of one of the novels from Mr. Schwabauer’s Legends of Tira-Nor series: Runt the Brave, Runt the Hunted, or The Curse of the Seer. (If your student is a finalist, we will email you to ask which book he or she would prefer.)

How Your Student Can Enter

  1. Any student using Cover Story this school year is eligible to submit two haiku or senryu poems, or one of each.
  2. The poems must be submitted by the parent/teacher of the student.
  3. To be eligible for prizes, the poems must come from the student’s own mind, with no outside input from family, friends, or teachers.
  4. The poems must be accompanied by the student’s first name, age, state/province of residence, and shipping address. (The address should be accompanied by a first and last name, but only the student’s first name, age and state will be listed next to his or her entry.)

Submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. CDT on April 9, 2018.

Submit Your Student’s Poems »

Live Webinar

The webinar will be Tuesday, April 17, at 7:00 p.m. CDT. It will be roughly 45 minutes long. Mr. S. and his daughter will read many of their favorite entries aloud, award prizes to the winners, and revel in the joy of a well-crafted poem.

NOTE: You do NOT have to be present at the webinar to win your prize. But it will be fun, so don’t miss it!

> Tuesday, April 17, 2018
> 7:00 p.m. CDT

When it’s time to join the webinar, click on this link to the Webinar Room. The online “room” will be open a few minutes early—generally within 15 minutes before start time—so that you can connect and be ready before it starts.

Parents/family members: Only students are eligible to receive giveaway items. Again, please make sure that poems credited to students originated with the students themselves without input from the parent or other outside sources.

PLEASE NOTE:  We will only share your student’s submissions using their first name, age, and state/province of residence. No last names will be mentioned.

Contest Guidelines

Both of these poems have a 5 – 7 – 5 syllable structure, like so:

This is a haiku
I am writing it right now
For the newsletter

(As one of our clever students pointed a few years ago, this is closer to a senryu than a haiku, but it is still a functional example of the syllable count and formatting!)

Haiku are themed around nature or the seasons.

Senryu are identical in form, but are themed around people or events and often end in a twist that makes them humorous or gives them a point.

Students have some leeway with these syllable guidelines, meaning that a 4 – 7 – 5 haiku will not be automatically disqualified from entry. However, we recommend following the intended rhythmic and syllabic structures, as form is one of the criteria we consider when judging. Deviation from the 5 – 7 – 5 syllable structure should be done if and when it makes the rhythm of the poem sound more natural, not just because it is easier. We reserve the right to take form into account and to give precedence to poems that do follow the 5 – 7 – 5 structure.