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The Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial
Haiku and Senryu Competition for Grades 7-12

Founded by the Sacred Heart Church in Camden, NJ, and sponsored by the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association in memory of Nicholas A. Virgilio, a charter member of the Haiku Society of America, who died in 1989. The Haiku Society of America co-sponsors the contest, provides judges, and publishes the results in Frogpond and on the HSA Web site.

See our online collection of Previous Winners


Judging: The 2017 entries are currently being reviewed by the judges with the resulting award winners to be announced in the summer of 2017.

Deadline: In hand by March 25, 2017. Entries received after that date will not be accepted.

NOTE: submissions have closed for 2017.

Eligibility: Any student in grades 7 through 12 enrolled in school as of September 2017 may enter.

Regulations: Submit up to three haiku per student.

All haiku or senryu must be previously unpublished, original work, and not entered in any other contest or submitted elsewhere for publication. Please follow the guidelines carefully. Publication is defined as an appearance in a printed book, magazine, or journal (sold or given away), or in any online journal that presents edited periodic content. The appearance of poems in online discussion lists or personal websites is not considered publication. Judges will be asked to disqualify any haiku that they have seen before.


By entering the contest, you are granting permission for the Nicholas A. Virgilio Haiku Association and Haiku Society of America to print the award haiku and/or senryu on the Web.

ALSO, by entering the contest you are granting permission for the Nicholas A. Virgilio Haiku Association to print your poem in any possible future haiku anthologies sponsored by NVHA. Contestants may opt out of publication by emailing <NickVirgilioHaiku@gmail.com>.


New Online Submissions:

The NVHA & HSA have implemented a new online web submission process to simplify entries in the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition. We STRONGLY encourage all submissions online but will still accept paper submissions this year during the transition.

NOTE: submissions have closed for 2017.

Entry fee: None.

Although there is NO Entry fee, DONATIONS ARE WELCOME! 

A donation of at least $1 per entry is strongly encouraged, to allow NVHA to increase the scholarship awards. Thank you for your support.


MAIL SUBMISSIONS (use ONLY if you are unable to submit online):

NOTE: submissions have closed for 2017.

Please follow the submission directions below exactly. Submissions that do not follow these guidelines cannot be judged.

Submit each haiku on three 3” x 5” index cards. Here’s how:

1. Write your haiku on the front of the first 3” x 5” card.

2. Write your name, address, age, grade level, school, school address, phone number and email address (if you have one) on the back of that same card so we can contact you if you win.

3. Write the same haiku on the front of two more cards. Leave the backs of these two cards blank. (They will go to our judges.)

4. Do not use any staples.

If you have additional poems to submit, follow the directions above again for each one. Please do not send self-addressed stamped envelopes with your entries. All winners will be notified. Winning haiku and commentaries will appear in Frogpond.

Failure to follow this format will make it impossible to judge an entry and will result in the disqualification of a submission without notification.

submission card example

Submit mail entries to:

NVHA Haiku Contest
c/o George Vallianos
16 Sandringham Terrace
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Adjudication: Judges will be named by the HSA.

Awards: Six poems will be selected and each awarded $50 — Awards will be higher if donations permit. The winning haiku/senryu and list of winners will be published in Frogpond and on the HSA web site. The high school of each student winner will receive a one-year subscription to Frogpond.

Rights: All rights revert to the authors after publication.

Correspondence: Please keep a copy of your haiku; entries cannot be returned.


To see an anthology of past winners, visit the Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu Competition Collection.


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