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Washington State Ferries’ annual haiku contest returns to Twitter

After receiving more than 170 entries last year, the Washington State Ferries is bringing back their haiku contest March 9-13 for the 2020 spring season.
Credit: Jimmy Bernhard, KING 5
The M/V Wenatchee leaves Seattle as Mount Rainier is seen in the distance on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

Washington State Ferries (WSF) will host its third annual Twitter Haiku contest starting March 9 and running through March 13. 

Users can submit ferry-related poems as a Tweet. WSF said it started the contest as a publicity move to bring more followers to its Twitter account, but haiku writing has morphed into a form of education and creativity amongst the community.

“The biggest change from last year is the addition of a second judge local haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch. Also, there will now be four finalists, instead of three like the last two years – so each judge can nominate two finalists each,” WSF spokesperson Justin Fujioka said in an email.

The Contest:

Poems must be a traditional haiku (5-7-5 syllables) about an experience you've had on a Washington state ferry, the perfect length to tweet! The winning poem will be featured on the cover of the 2020 summer sailing schedule.

Also see | Tour ferry terminal construction at Seattle's Colman Dock

Two judges, Dylan Welch and Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna, will judge the haikus based on creativity, originality, content, and writing.

Just for fun, here are some of our Haikus:

Sammi the intern                                                                                                    Is a diehard transit nerd                                                                                    Send poem, be heard

The tourists are here!                                                                                        They can’t pronounce Puyallup?                                                                       The pew-AWL-up boat

Puzzles on the boat                                                                                         Orcas birdies on the sound                                                                          There’s popcorn afloat!

To enter, make sure you’re following @wsferries on Twitter, then tweet your haiku between Monday, March 9, and Friday, March 13, 2020. Be sure to include the hashtag #WSFHaiku.

All members of the public, except WSDOT employees and contractors, are eligible to participate.

Dylan recommends this guide on becoming a haiku poet if you’re still unsure about entering or just want to practice.

Other Rules:

  • One haiku per tweet.
  • Poem must be the sole, original work of the entrant.
  •  An entry may be disqualified if it has been previously published or won awards or competitions.
  • Each contestant may submit up to three haiku. Any additional haiku received after the first three are not eligible.
  • By entering, all submitters grant WSF the right to use their poems for marketing and communication purposes.
  • Do not send your haiku via direct message on Twitter.

The winner of 2019’s contest was featured on the cover of the 2019 WSF sailing schedule.

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