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SHARPENING THE GREEN PENCIL HAIKU CONTEST

Sharpening the Green Pencil is an international online haiku competition begun in Romania in 2012 by Corneliu Traian Atanasiu. It is one of the top English-language haiku contests based in Europe and usually attracts about 250 entries from around the globe. Atanasiu continues to coordinate the annual contest with the sponsorship and assistance of the Romanian Kukai Group.


The Sharpening the Green Pencil haiku contest is open to anyone regardless of age or nationality. Submissions are accepted during the month of February and should consist of one haiku in English not previously published in any form print or electronic nor under consideration in any other contest. Poets are asked to submit a version in their haiku in their native language as well.

There is no prescribed theme. The recommended style is contemporary: three lines within the 5–7–5–syllable pattern but no strict syllable count.

There is no charge to enter the contest. An entry form is available on the contest website.

The contest’s name is taken from a haiku of Elena Manta Ciubotariu’s that won an award in the 1995 Hawai’i Education Association Contest:

Spring
The child sharpens
The green pencil

Contest results are announced each year on April 1 on the Sharpening the Green Pencil website and the contest entries are gathered and published by Calameo in an e-book in English, Romanian, and the original language. The books are also accessible from the website.

Prizes are books and diplomas for the top winners and diplomas for the recipients of commendations (normally 10 poets).

10th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2021

JudgesÐurđa Vukelić-Rozić, Croatia, Pre-selector
Julie Warther Schwerin, U.S.A., Final Judge + Comments
Conference administrationCezar-Florin Ciobîcă, Romania, Coordinator
Ana Drobot, Romania, Secretary
Number of entriesNot stated
Results & comments publishedSharpening the Green Pencil website
1st PrizeSeren Fargo,
Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.
monarch migration—
the grandparents
I never knew
2nd PrizeSandra Simpson,
Tauranga, New Zealand
longest night —
the clay bowl’s
whorls and ridges
3rd PrizeMarilyn Ashbaugh,
Edwardsburg, Michigan, U.S.A.
blueberry dusk
a fresh crop of fireflies
in the farm field
1st Honorable MentionDarrell Lindsey,
Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.A.
marquee pigeons
the tale of the town
in missing letters
2nd Honorable MentionValorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff,
Dubuque, Iowa, U.S.A.
dark pond
a lone skater slices the ice
into moons
3rd Honorable MentionMarietta McGregor,
Canberra, Australia
whipsnap wind …
another day’s worries
hung out to dry
1st CommendedBilly Antonio,
Laoac, Philippines
war veteran’s tale
bonfire embers reach
the Milky Way
2nd CommendedAljoša Vuković,
Šibenik, Croatia
summer breeze—
new lovers
on an old bench
3rd CommendedKimberley Sansonrabbit ear iris
the texture
of the morning dew

9th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2020

JudgesMichael Dylan Welch, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă, Dan Doman, and
Cristina Young, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationCezar-Florin Ciobîcă, Coordinator
Ana Drobot, Secretary
Number of entries176 from 44 countries
Results & comments publishedSharpening the Green Pencil website
1st PrizeSanela Pliško,
Pula, Croatia
diagnosis …
how easily we become
autumn leaves
2nd PrizeTracy Davidson,
Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K.
bitter frost
nothing left to offer
the homeless man
3rd PrizeAgus Maulana Sunjaya,
Tangerang, Java, Indonesia
hunger moon
the long shadow
of this world
1st Honorable MentionJoanne van Helvoort,
Beerta, The Netherlands
four years now
the pink fairy dress
she would have worn
2nd Honorable MentionAntonio Martínez Rubio,
Villarrobledo,
Albacete, Spain
no names …
on the common grave
spring wildflowers
3rd Honorable MentionOlivier Schopfer,
Geneva, Switzerland
adding milk to my tea …
the many shapes
of morning clouds
1st CommendedLouise Hopewell,
Melbourne, Australia
asked to give
yet another eulogy
biting wind
2nd CommendedRodica Stefan,
Bucharest, Romania
snowdrops
bowed with the dew—
morning prayer
3rd CommendedRadostina Dragostinova,
Sofia, Bulgaria
evening chill
under the pear tree
the smile of a strange woman

8th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2019

JudgesJim Kacian, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă, Dan Doman, and
Lavana Kray, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, Secretary
Ana Drobot, Translator
Number of entries224 from 41 countries
1st PrizeMartha Magenta,
Bristol, U.K.
sea breeze …
I breathe in
your accent
2nd PrizeKanchan Chatterjee,
Jamshedpur, India
evening chill …
a paper plane stuck
on barbed wire
3rd PrizeEufemia Griffo,
Settimo Milanese, Italy
white butterflies
thinking about
everything I lost
Honorable Mention (3)Pragya Vishnoi,
Kanpur, India
war anniversary
her daughter knows
each star by name
Aparna Pathak,
Gurugram, India
planetarium …
one by one
his teeth shine
Zoran Doderović,
Novi Sad, Serbia
morning light
dripping from the wet leaves
a cuckoo’s call
Commended (5)Miljenko Šimunović,
Ivanić-Grad, Croatia
last chemo session—
the snow-snakes pouring tears
from magnolia tree
Deborah Karl-Brandt,
Bonn, Germany
First snow of the year
The telephone starts
to shrill
Chirag Tulsiani,
Kolkata, India
family reunion—
we spit out seeds 
like before …
Wilfredo R. Bongcaron,
Manila, Philippines
waning moon—
the cicadas’
sudden silence
Cynthia Rowe,
Sydney, Australia
receding shore—
the refugee’s doll 
trailing kelp

7th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2018

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary
Cristina Oprea and Ana Drobot, Translators
Number of entries269 from 50 countries
1st PrizeDebbie Strange, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
2nd Prize (tie)Zuzanna Truchlewska, Łaziska Górne, Poland
Cristina Apetrei, Botoșani, Romania
3rd PrizeRamlawt Dinpuia, Aizawl, India
Commended (11)Angelo B. Ancheta, Rizal, Philippines
Pris Campbell, Lake Worth, Florida, U.S.A.
Kanchan Chatterjee, Jamshedpur, India
Ivan Gaćina, Zadar, Croatia
Goran Gatalica, Zagreb, Croatia
Letitia Lucia Iubu, Craiova, Romania
Carole MacRury, Point Roberts, Washington, U.S.A.
David McMurray, Kagoshima, Japan
Dan Norea, Constanța, Romania
Dragutin Pasarić, Kutina, Croatia
Valentina Rinaldi Adams, Fairlawn, Ohio, U.S.A.
Selected Poems (13)Theresa A. Cancro, Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.
Erin Castaldi, Mays Landing, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Cherese Cobb, Maryville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Anne Curran, Hamilton, New Zealand
Małgorzata Formanowska, Wrocław, Poland
John Hawkhead, Bradford-on-Avon, U.K.
Marilyn Humbert, Sydney, Australia
Ron C. Moss, Lesley Vale, Australia
Pravat Kumar Padhy, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Slavica Sarkotić, Lekenik, Croatia
Olivier Schopfer, Geneva, Switzerland
Mariana Tănase, Brăila, Romania
Maria Laura Valente, Cesena, Italy

6th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2017

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary; Cristina Oprea and Ana Drobot, Translators
Number of entries275 from 45 countries
1st PrizeStella Pierides, Neusäß, Germany
2nd PrizeRodica P. Calotă, Târgu Jiu, Romania
3rd Prize (tie)Ioana Brînzei, Botoșani, Romania
Vitali Khomin, Mukachevo, Ukraine
Commended (10)Raj Bose, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Anna Goluba, Warsaw, Poland
Anita Guenin, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
Jonathan Humphrey, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Marcela Ignătescu, Drajna de Jos, Romania
Chen-ou Liu, Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Dan Norea, Constanța, Romania
Cristina Pârvu, Ploiești, Romania
Gregory Piko, Yass, New South Wales, Australia
Ali Znaidi, Redeyef, Tunisia
Selected Poems (10)Billy Antonio, Laoac, Philippines
Marta Chociłowska, Warsaw, Poland
Nadin Ghileschi, Botoșani, Romania
Nikolay Grankin, Krasnodar, Russia
Natalia Kuznetsova, Moscow, Russia
Neha R. Krishna, Mumbai, India
David Milovanović, Lapovo, Serbia
Carl Seguiban, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Keith A. Simmonds, Rodez, France
Gergana Yaninska, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

5th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2016

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary; Cristina Oprea and Ana Drobot, Translators
Number of entries250 from 45 countries
1st PrizeArchana Kapoor Nagpal, Bangalore, India
2nd PrizeMarta Chociłowska, Warsaw, Poland
3rd PrizeMarek Kozubek, Bangkok, Thailand
Commended (10)Stephanie Viaya Bose, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
Petru-Ioan Gârda, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Rajandeep Garg, Sangrur, Punjab, India
Jacek Margolak, Kielce, Poland
Anna Maris, Överaby, Sweden
Dan Norea, Constanța, Romania
Rita Odeh, Haifa, Israel
Minh Triêt Pham, Paris, France
Vladimir Šuk, Oroslavje, Croatia
Michael Dylan Welch, Sammamish, Washington, U.S.A.
Selected Poems (10)Magdalena Banaszkiewicz, Krosno Odrzańskie, Poland
Cherese Cobb, Maryville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Nadin Ghileschi, Botoșani, Romania
Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, Birmingham, U.K.
Ajaya Mahala, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Dragan J. Ristić, Niš, Serbia
Ernesto P. Santiago, Solano, Philippines
Ken Sawitri, Blora, Central Java, Indonesia
Silva Trstenjak, Strigova, Croatia
Agnieszka Żądło, Zielonka, Poland

4th Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2015

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary
Number of entries286 from 40 countries
1st PrizeRoberta Beary, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.
2nd PrizePetru-Ioan Gârda, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3rd PrizeChase Gagnon, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Commended (10)Gabriel Alexe, Botoșani, Romania
Francesco de Sabata, Pescantina, Italy
Marilyn Humbert, Sydney, Australia
Nina Kovačić, Zagreb, Croatia
Andrius Luneckas, Vilnius, Lithuania
Boris Nazansky, Zagreb, Croatia
Minh-Triêt Pham, Paris, France
Shloka Shankar, Bangalore, India
Debbie Strange, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Božena Zernec, Krapina, Croatia

3rd Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2014

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary
Number of entries264 from 47 countries
1st PrizeDorota Pyra, Gdańsk, Poland
2nd PrizeChase Gagnon, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
3rd PrizeMinh-Triêt Pham, Paris, France
Commended (10)Margaret Beverland, Katikati, New Zealand
Bouwe Brouwer, Sneek, The Netherlands
Frank Dietrich, Düsseldorf, Germany
Jan Dobb, Canberra, Australia
Anna Goluba, Warsaw, Poland
Devin Harrison, Vancouver, Canada
Krzysztof Kokot, Nowy Targ, Poland
Angelica Seithe, Wettenberg, Germany
Keith A. Simmonds, Rodez, France
Vania Stefanova, Sliven, Bulgaria

2nd Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2013

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary
Number of entries199 from 38 countries
1st PrizeAsni Amin, Singapore
2nd PrizeÐurđa Vukelić Rožić, Ivanić-Grad, Croatia
3rd PrizeRita Odeh, Nazareth, Israel
Commended (10)Billy Antonio, Laoac, Philippines
Ellen Compton, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Nikola Ðuretić, Zagreb, Croatia
Vitali Khomin, Mukachevo, Ukraine
Brian Robertson, Toronto, Canada
Borivoje Sekulić, Lakarak, Serbia
Artūras Šilanskas, Vilnius, Lithuania
Sandra Simpson, Tauranga, New Zealand
Anna Świtalska Jopek, Gdańsk, Poland
Kate Yaroshyna, Minsk, Belarus

1st Sharpening the Green Pencil Haiku Contest, 2012

JudgesCorneliu Traian Atanasiu, President of the Jury
Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă and Dan Doman, Members of the Jury
Conference administrationEduard Țară, Secretary
Number of entries280 poems by 140 participants from 31 countries
1st PrizeArtūras Šilanskas, Vilnius, Lithuania
2nd PrizeAndrea Cecon, Cividale del Friuli, Italy
3rd PrizeKaren O’Leary, West Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.A.
Commended (7)Ljubomir Dragović, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Darrell Lindsey, Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.A.
Ljubomir Radovančević, Zagreb, Croatia
Bruce Ross, Bangor, Maine, U.S.A.
Sandra Simpson, Tauranga, New Zealand
Dietmar Tauchner, Puchberg, Austria
Herwig Verleyen, Bruges, Belgium

COMPILED BY: The Haikupedia editors

SOURCE: Corneliu Traian Atanasiu, Sharpening the Green Pencil website: http://sharpeningthegreenpencil.blogspot.com

Updated on May 30, 2021