Berry Blue Haiku

Berry Blue Haiku is a quarterly digital magazine focusing on haiku for young readers up to age 13. In each issue, we will bring you contests, articles, lessons, as well as puzzles with haiku/senryu related-fun.

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If you are a writer or an illustrator, please familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines before submitting. We accept submissions from students and adults.

If you still have questions after reviewing our guidelines, please contact us at berrybluehaiku (at) gmail (dot) com (email must be formatted properly to function).

**The next submission period is open until February 15th. We are currently accepting material for our March 2011 issue. Also, please note that guidelines may change without notice.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 2010 Issue available at

Our new online store at is ready! Please check out our best reviews website If you are a subscriber and haven't received the information on how to access the December issue, please send me an email. 

Our December issue is now available. Click on the cover for details.


Contributor copies should be out by Friday (Dec 17th) at the latest and payments will go out over the course of the next few days. Thank you.

Gisele LeBlanc
Executive Editor, Berry Blue Haiku
Cobalt Crow Productions

Friday, November 26, 2010

9th Annual Ukiahaiku Competition

A message from: Roberta Werdinger

Dear haiku lovers,

The California town of Ukiah ("haiku" spelled backwards) continues its auspicious association with the venerable tradition of haiku by holding its 9th annual writing competition and festival. Guidelines for submissions to the Jane Reichhold International Prize are attached (see below). Entries can be made between January 1 and March 18, 2011, and a festival for winning poems takes place May 1, 2011. Please disseminate this information widely.

For the Ukiahaiku festival and Ukiah Poet Laureates Committee,

Roberta Werdinger
Writer, Publicist, Editor
[email protected]

(707) 462-5642

ukiaHaiku festival and competition listing

second hand book
a place still kept
by the lacewing

--John Parsons, United Kingdom, 2010 Honorable Mention

Ukiah is a northern California town whose name, backwards, spells “haiku.” In 2011 the City of Ukiah will hold its ninth annual competition and festival.

The competition encourages local, national, and international submissions to the Jane Reichhold International Prize category.

Website Address:.....................
Fee:..........................................$5 for up to three haiku
Limit:........................................Maximum 3 haiku per person
(only 1 haiku/person/category may win an award)
Eligibility:..................................Age 19 and over
Start date for submissions:........Saturday, January 1, 2011
Postmark Deadline:..................Friday, March 18, 2011
Festival Ceremony:...................Sunday, May 1, 2011 (announcement of winners)

Submission Guidelines

If submitting via the online form:
  1. On or after January 1, 2011, go to, click on "submit your haiku" and then "the online form." Follow instructions on the form
  2. If our PayPal payment form is live by then, you can send your payment electronically. Otherwise, send the fee (US check or international money order) by snail mail to ukiaHaiku festival, PO Box 865, Ukiah, CA 95482. Clearly indicate the author's name of the haiku submission for which the payment is intended.
If submitting via snail mail:
  1. On or after January 1, 2011, go to, click on "submit your haiku" and then "the printed form (pdf)"; download the form. Follow instructions on the form. Mail along with your fee.
Deadline: Friday, March 11, 2011 (postmark or email date)

Judging: Jane Reichhold will judge the Jane Reichhold International Prize category.

Awards: $100 first place, $50 second place, $25 third place, plus a small booklet of winning poems and publication in that booklet.

Festival and Awards Ceremony: Sunday, May 1, 2011, 2 p.m. Winners are strongly encouraged to attend the festival to read their poems (winners will be contacted in advance of the festival date). Out-of-towners might consider visiting the many world-class tourist destinations surrounding Ukiah--inland wine country and redwood forests, or the Mendocino Coast (a 1-1/2 hour drive from Ukiah) before or after the festival.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Submission Update

We are still reviewing October submissions but should be caught up within the next couple of weeks. If anyone sent in anything prior to October and has not heard back from us, please send a status query to berrybluehaiku(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Current Needs for our December 2010 Issue

We are still in need of concept, riddle, and winter-themed haiku for our December issue. Also, we have a few spots left for autumn and spring-themed haiku, and we are always in need of nonfiction.

Please view our Author Guidelines for complete submission details.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Photo-Haiku Contest

Traditional haiga originated in Japan in the seventeenth century. It combined brush and ink artwork with haiku penned in elegant calligraphy. Today, many modern forms of haiga exist, such as photo-haiku.

For this challenge, we ask readers to create their own haiga by writing a haiku to accompany the photo displayed above.

The winning entry will be posted on our blog and the winner will receive a one-year subscription to Berry Blue Haiku.

We encourage parents and children to team up and send in their entries. This contest is open to everyone.

Student and Adult Submission Details:

Students and adults may include up to five haiku per entry, but please send only one entry per person.

**Students, if submitting on your own, a parent's permission is required. Make sure to include your parent or guardian's name and an email address where he or she can be contacted. Include your name, country, and age.  (Any haiku published from students will list only age, country, first name, and a last initial, unless otherwise requested.)

Also note that all contact info and email addresses are kept strictly confidential.

Teacher/Class Submissions:

Teachers, for class entries, please limit haiku to one per student. As stated above, each student needs to have a parent's or guardian's permission before entering. Each student must also include a parent's or guardian's email address and name.

Submission Deadline: December 31st, 2010

Please write, "Photo-Haiku Contest Entry," in your email subject field. Paste your entry into the email body and send to:

Michele Pizarro Harman:
Gisele LeBlanc:

**Emails must be formatted correctly to function.

Also, all student entries/submissions will be entered into our annual random drawing. The first drawing will be held in December 2010. Please check our blog regularly for the most up-to-date prize details.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our June 2010 Haiku Picks

After the publication of the first issue of Berry Blue Haiku, it was time for the editors to pick their three favorite haiku. It was not a simple task, but after some reflection and discussion, we are pleased to present our winning choices. Here they are, in no particular order:

starless night
tucked in
under a cloud

by Helen Buckingham

GL: This haiku effectively demonstrates how a few simple words can evoke powerful imagery. The idea of the night itself being tucked in under a cloud offers an element of whimsy, while the visual of an endless ebony sky wraps itself around the reader like a warm blanket. To me, it effectively symbolizes the very act of falling asleep.

I also find that the haiku draws our awareness to what lies beyond: the stars and the endless universe. A wonderfully compelling haiku.


early morning—
robin's song blossoms
in the apple tree

by Andrea Vlahakis

GL: We were captivated by this haiku for its serene imagery and its play on words in reference to the robin's song "blossoming" in the tree. As I read it, I feel the cool morning air and can see the robin nestled in the branches of the apple tree welcoming the day with his song. I imagine buds and blossoms dotting the landscape, announcing spring's arrival. I want to linger there and soak it all in.

MPH: I love the way "blossoms" works as a pivot point and can be read as a verb, with the entire phrase that is line 2, and also as a noun by reading it as the first word of the final phrase, beginning with the word "blossoms" and ending with the entire last line.


For our final spot, we had two haiku that we simply couldn't decide between, both by the same poet. So, we are deeming both of them winners.

wing over cherry petals --
shadows embracing

by Chen-ou Liu

MPH: We love this haiku for so many reasons. First, we admire the use of “wing” as a verb, since the actual butterfly wing, a noun, and its shape are essential to the themes and imagery of the poem: the shape of the wing and its shadow and of the petal and its shadow are shown by the poet to be so similar, akin, as the shadows meet under the cherry tree in a sweet embrace. And, in the same way that the shadows match and embrace, so, too, the letters and sounds of the poem do in an aural and visual alliteration.

The relationship between things and their shadows becomes an interchangeable metaphor for letters and their sounds: the r's and s's in all three lines, and the ing's and long o's in lines two and three. Of course, the theme of the essential one-ness of all things is another layer in the poem, the plant and insect here shown by the poet as one in that fleeting moment in which their identities cannot be separated, in that moment when the two merge on the broad face of Spring's renewed earth.


on maple leaves
glittering raindrops gather --
floating worlds

by Chen-ou Liu

GL: We were all enchanted by the imagery of this haiku. The idea of mini floating worlds sent our imaginations soaring. Upon reading it, I visualize the calm moment after rain has subsided, with sunshine reflecting off raindrops which have gathered on leaves.

At first I imagined this as a summer haiku, with the leaves still in the trees, but the floating worlds could also be interpreted to mean the leaves are falling gently to the ground, or perhaps the raindrops are gathering on the newly-fallen leaves. Autumn colors also add vibrancy to the image. An outstanding haiku.

Honorable Mentions

We also wanted to mention a few more of our favorites. In no particular order, here they are:

horizontal rain
she waits for the bus
with inside-out umbrella

by Marie Elena Good

The visual surprise of the last line made this one stand out. Excellent imagery.


will I be chosen?
heart races, palms sweat
line dwindles

by Marie Elena Good

This one grabs you by the heart. A poignant moment many can identify with. Very nicely done.


ten toes dipped
in sand and water
sandals float away

by Christine Villa

This haiku, with the added visual of sandals bobbing gently in the water, evokes a peaceful feeling—a perfect summer haiku.


We'd like to thank all our contributors and readers for their kind support.

Currently, we are accepting submissions for our December 2010 and March 2011 issues and look forward to reading everyone's submissions. Full submission details can be found here.

Our September issue is also now available. 


Gisele LeBlanc, Executive Editor
Michele Pizarro Harman, Senior Editor

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Berry Blue Haiku September 2010 Issue

Our September Issue is now available for purchase.

This issue's amazing cover artwork was created by Cynthia Narcisi. You can see more of Cynthia's work at her website

In this issue you will find haiku by such poets as Jane Reichhold, Diane Mayr, Craig W. Steele, Jan Cornebise, Sally Clark, and Ann Rousseau Smith among others.

You'll learn how to use images and senses to write haiku and how to create your own Haiku Menu. You'll also find printable bookmarks, a hidden picture page, and more!

To purchase our September digital issue ($1.95), or a one year subscription ($4.95) visit our ONLINE STORE

Also, be sure to check out Robyn Hood Black's review of Berry Blue Haiku at her blog. Robyn has a haiku appearing in this issue. You can read her review here.

Thank you.

The Berry Blue Haiku Team