Deadline TONIGHT at midnight!

31 October, 2021

Today’s your last chance to submit your haiku on the theme of Ghostlight by Troi David Loy!

Deadline for submissions is midnight (UK Time) TONIGHT!

Please read ALL the guidelines before submitting your haiku!

What I’m looking for in a haiku

22 October, 2021

Pure Haiku is OPEN to submissions of traditional haiku on the theme of Ghostlight by Troi David Loy until midnight, 31st October 2021.

I am looking for haiku that capture a single, vivid image in words.

I like snapshots frozen in time, conjuring something visual or audible or tactile that can be conveyed to the reader in just 17 syllables.

I like haiku that use the English language in an interesting way and that include juxtaposition and/or contrasts, looking at objects in a new, refreshing way.

I am looking for haiku that stand alone and say what they need to say by themselves without the need of a picture. I want the words themselves to convey a picture.

I prefer haiku that aren’t titled (but you won’t be rejected if you do provide titles!)

I also prefer haiku that are composed using three separate yet linked lines.

I tend not to post preachy or political haiku or haiku that reflect someone’s personal opinion.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, each haiku will be considered individually on its own merits. Please check your haiku contains the correct amount of syllables on each line before you email them to me. For more information, please visit How To and Selection.

Please note that I do not post your photographs as it slows the blog down. I am unlikely to post haiku portraying negative views of politics or religion. Don’t TELL me, SHOW me!

How I select haiku

15 October, 2021

Pure Haiku is currently OPEN to submissions of haiku on the theme of Ghostlight by Troi David Loy until midnight 31st October 2021.

The process of selection is simple and unbiased. I have learnt much over the years, and continue to learn, about writing haiku. This page is updated as and when I set new challenges for myself in composing haiku and may not reflect previously published haiku on this site.


At the end of the reading period I assign a number to each person who has submitted haiku.

I then cut and paste all haiku submissions into one document, assigning the correct number to each person’s submission – this means I can look at each haiku in an unbiased fashion.

Please note that if you send more than 5 haiku in one email, your submission is automatically rejected. And if you send your 5 haiku in separate emails, only the first email will be considered.

First Round

I check the number of syllables are correct in each haiku – if they’re not, they are rejected.

Second Round

This is the technical test.

Does each haiku make sense? Is the use of English good or have the words been put together in an unnatural way? Any haiku that does not make sense or is awkward to read, is discarded.

Does each haiku consist of 3 separate but complete lines? (The lines needs to be linked in some way). Haiku with lines that run into each other are excluded at this point.

How many words are there in each haiku that end in -ing? Any haiku with two or more words ending in -ing is rejected.

Third Round

This is the real test of theme, contrast and imagery.

Does each haiku reflect the current theme?

This is why I do so many readings before I get to this stage – to discover the haiku that are subtle in their use of the current theme.

Any haiku that does not speak about the current theme in some way is dismissed.

I then look for haiku that present a vivid image, have a contrast/juxtaposition and provide an ah-ha moment. Any haiku that don’t contain at least one of these things is set aside.

Short List

It’s at this point I see how many entries have 5 haiku that are left in the running. These are the ones that are short-listed for the Featured Haiku Writer slot. This short list is then sent to the artist who has provided the image for the theme and they then pick their favourite submission for the Featured Haiku Writer.

I then make the final selection from the rest of the short list and those haiku that have made it through to the end of Third Round.


Once I have determined which haiku will be published, I send out acceptance or rejection emails to everyone who has submitted work.

To ensure your haiku make it through to this final stage, please read how to and follow all the relevant links. It may also help if you read through last season’s haiku to see the kind of writing I enjoy and like to post on this site.

Pure Haiku – how it works

8 February, 2021

Pure Haiku is OPEN to traditional haiku on the theme of UNFURLING (see below) until 28th February 2021 at midnight, UK time!

So, you’ve found Pure Haiku, a site that publishes classical haiku.

But, how does it work?

As of 2021 and into the future, I will be running either one or two themes each year.

The submission periods from now on will last a maximum of 28 days, usually from the 1st – 28th of the selected month.

A post will appear on the 1st of the submission month announcing the new theme, and the same details will also be made available on the SUBMIT page.

During the submission month people can submit up to a maximum of 5 haiku on the current theme by email.

At the end of the submission period a post will appear on this site announcing that submissions are now closed and the same message will appear on the SUBMIT page.

I then have 2 months to read through all the haiku submitted and to choose which ones I want to appear on Pure Haiku.

If two or more writers are short-listed for the Featured Haiku Writer slot, I will usually ask the artist who produced the image for the theme to choose the Featured Haiku Writer.

Once that’s all confirmed, I then start scheduling haiku to appear every other day over a period of 3 months. Once everything’s scheduled, I contact everyone who has submitted their haiku for the theme and let them know that either their haiku has been accepted and when their haiku will appear, or let them know their haiku have been rejected and encourage them to submit again when the next theme is announced.

For instance, the current theme is UNFURLING and the deadline is 28th February. I will choose selected haiku in March and schedule the posts in April to appear between 1st May and 31st July. All contributors will be notified by 30th April whether or not they’ve been successful.

This is a free site and I don’t earn any money from it, so I can’t pay haiku writers anything. However, I do know from personal experience how valuable free exposure is to writers, and this is my way of offering something back to the writing community.

%d bloggers like this: