Annual Tanka Contest 2020

Welcome to the Annual Tanka Contest 2020 at Mandy's Pages. Tanka is a poetic genre that has its roots 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'.

This year, it gives me immense pleasure to invite Neal Whitman to judge this contest.  It is my honor to introduce him to you, as he takes on this daunting task of studying each and every tanka to choose the best from the best. However, before that, here is an outline of the contest details. I welcome each of you to this event and wish you an inspiring month.


Contest Details

Contest Duration: June 01, 2020 to June 30, 2020

Entry: First submission FREE.  Every subsequent tanka submission by participant is 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. .  Please cover the cost of PayPal fees for the same.

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

Content: Original tanka that has been 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 the screen)

Tanka Judge: Neal Whitman

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 your email)


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

Subject: ATC 2020 tanka entry (your name)


(Body of the email)


Place / Country:

Number of tanka submissions:

Tanka Entry:



First Prize : USD 100.00 + e-Certificate

Second Prize: USD 50 + e-Certificate

Third Prize: e-Certificate

(Cash Prizes sponsored by Mandy's Pages)


About the Judge

Contest Judge 2020
             Neal Whitman

Neal Whitman took up the writing of general poetry in 2005, haiku in 2008, and tanka in 2011. In contests sponsored by Diogen Pro Kultura Magazin in Bosnia-Herzegovina, his tanka won the summer 2013 1st prize and spring 2014 2nd prize, as well as the 2013 Autumn Best Tanka Pentaptych. In 2013, his tanka in issue 15 Eucalypt was selected for its “Distinctive Scribbler” award. In addition, his tanka won the United Haiku and Tanka Society 2014 “Pen the Painting” award and 2015 1st honorable mention, Fleeting Word Tanka Competition. Now, as UHTS Vice President, his days of competition in this organization are over. In 2016, The Japan Tanka Society awarded him a Certificate of Merit in the 8th annual International Tanka Festival. From 2016 - 2019 served on the editorial board of the Romanian tanka and haiku journal, Revista Magazine, and in 2018 co-judged the Tanka Society of America’s Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Contest.

Neal says that when he reads tanka, he also recites it out loud because hearing it, as well as seeing it, is important to him. This signals the importance of lyricism for him in tanka. He aims to look and listen to the story within each tanka in which the poet shows the personal in a way that translates into the universal. He is not bound by structure and exceptions are always welcome, but often he appreciates the short/long/short/long/long traditional structure of tanka. He would sum up his respect for the history of tanka by saying that as a reader and writer of it he feels inspired by the welcome sign at a local outdoor quilt festival: COME: LEARN SOMETHING OLD.



Enriching Your Tanka Writing Experience: It's All About Quality: