Annual Tanka Contest 2017


Welcome to the Annual Tanka Contest 2017 at Mandy's Pages. Tanka is a poetic genre that has its origins in Japanese poetry. It is made up of five lines and has a unique poetic style that is short and lyrical, making it a 'little song'.

We have an excellent judge presiding over this contest, who is remarkable for her contributions to tanka and related Japanese poetry, and is the first place winner of last year's Annual Tanka Contest here at Mandy's Pages. 

Contest Details 

Contest Duration: June 01, 2017 to June 30, 2017

Entry: First submission FREE. Subsequent tanka submissions by participant at an entry fee of USD 2.00 each.

Submission: One to many tanka as per entry fee criteria.

Entry fee payment by Paypal only, sent in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Theme: Open Theme.  You may submit tanka of your choice that have not been published before. No plagiarism allowed. 

Content: Original tanka written specifically for this contest with no prior submissions or publications elsewhere either in print or online, which includes public posts on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. 

(Please Note: Mandy's Pages is a family-friendly site. Therefore content should not be overly adult, profane, explicit, abusive, or sexual in nature.)


Additional Reading: Contestants are encouraged to read 'Enriching Your Tanka-Writing Experience: It's All About Quality' before you submit your tanka. (Click the title here or check link within the right side panel of screen)

Tanka Judge: Debbie Strange

Announcement of Winners: Judging will take place for a period of two to four weeks after the close of the contest. This duration is based on the amount of tanka we receive during the submission period.


Submission Procedure: (Copy and Paste into email)


Addressed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Subject: ATC 2017 tanka entry (your name)


(Body of the email)


Place / Country: 

Number of tanka submissions: 

Tanka Entry:




First Prize : USD 100.00 + Books + Certificate + a tanka bag 

Second Prize: USD 50 + Certificate

Third Prize: Certificate 

(Cash Prizes sponsored by Mandy's Pages)


Debbie Strange donates copies of the following books ... 

- Warp and Weft : Tanka Threads, Debbie Strange

- More Grows in a Crooked Row - Tanka Conversations of Angela Leuck with 15 Poets

- Bright Stars 1 Tanka Anthology, edited by M. Kei


Poet Pamela A. Babusci awards the first prize winner a copy of A Solitary Woman.

Blue Butterfly Bags sponsors a  tanka bag for the first prize winner.



About the Judge 

Tanka Judge Debbie StrangeDebbie Strange (Winnipeg, Canada) is a maker of poems, music, photographs, and art. She has an affinity for birds and water, and feels most at peace when immersed in nature. Debbie's creative passions help her deal with chronic illness, and connect her more closely to the world and to herself. She is the author of Warp and Weft: Tanka Threads (Keibooks 2015), and the haiku collection, A Year Unfolding (Folded Word 2017). Debbie was thrilled and honoured to receive five 1st place awards for tanka in 2016/17. Her work has been widely published and anthologized, and was showcased by the United Haiku and Tanka Society in 2013 and the Mann Library in 2016. Several galleries of Debbie's tanka art and haiga will be featured by The Haiku Foundation in the coming months. You are welcome to follow her on Twitter @Debbie_Strange and to visit an archive of published work at:

Debbie is seeking tanka entries that have been well-crafted, and that exhibit a thorough knowledge of the form. Distinctive language and original themes, as well as musicality and unique use of poetic devices, will be some of the deciding factors when it comes down to selecting the winning works. Debbie's preference is for tanka that have been tightly constructed, using approximately 20 words or syllables, although these are merely guidelines! She gently reminds you that her decisions will be purely subjective, and thanks you for inviting her into the privacy of your "dreaming room". Debbie is excited by the prospect of discovering tanka stones that have been tumbled smooth, and polished until nothing is left but the shine! 

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away" (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).


Image Credit: 

Writing from Wikimedia Commons

Tanka Judge: Debbie Strange 



How to Discern Quality in Tanka: 

Blue Butterfly Bags: