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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.

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.

Submission deadline: 11:59pm Central Time on April 10, 2024.


Prizes include specially designed certificates for 1st-3rd place. The winner will also receive a copy of Shel Silverstein’s poetry collection, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Live Webinar

On Wednesday, April 24, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time, staff members Sarah and Rosey will host a special live webinar for you and your Cover Story student. We’ll read many haiku and senryu poems aloud, award prizes to the winners, and revel in the beauty of poetry.

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!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024
10:00 a.m. Central Time

You are not required to sign up in advance for this webinar, and we will send out a reminder email before April 20.

Join the Webinar

The online “room” will be open a few minutes early—generally within 15 minutes of start time—so that you can connect and be ready before it starts. If it will be your first time watching one of our webinars, we recommend joining early so you have time to install Zoom if you need to (the webinar service we use).

** We will send out a link to watch a recording, if you have to miss it. **


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

Contest Guidelines

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

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

Haiku are themed around
nature or the seasons.

In the autumn breeze,
leaves curl up at the edges,
shiver, drift away.

Themed around people or events, often ending in a twist that makes them humorous or gives them a point.

My sister stampedes
downstairs, calls “We’re late!” and trips
over a stray shoe.

NOTE: 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 only if 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.

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