Where Tanka Prose Grows :2015

Welcome to the second round of Where Tanka Prose Grows  here at Mandy's Pages. Susan Burch and I welcome you to this friendly challenge.  The aim of this challenge is to create awareness about the beauty and intricacies of tanka prose, with the hopes that tanka poets may take that next step to blending tanka with prose / literature. 

First Place: USD 20.00 + Certificate

Second & Third Place: Certificates

Contest starts on September 01, 2015 and ends on September 30, 2015


Foreword by Hazel Hall

It is an honour to be asked to write this foreword and to judge the Tanka Prose on Mandy's Pages. Thank you, Mandy and Susan, for asking me. While I do not consider myself to be an expert at tanka prose, I do look for certain characteristics in a successful piece. I hope these will help you as you create your submission.

1. The title of the tanka prose relates to the theme. It also attracts our attention so that we want to read on.

2. The theme is original, not one that has been explored so many times it has grown stale in the telling. 

3. The tanka prose has a strong beginning and conclusion. We should be left with that Ah-ha moment. 

4. It expresses the writer's intention, simply and eloquently. In Japanese forms, less is more.  

5. It has a powerful metaphor underpinning the theme. The strongest work will suggest, never preach to us.

6. The prose and the tanka are equal partners. 

7. The tanka introduces new material. It does not repeat what was already said in the prose. Kala Ramesh said it beautifully on this same site last year:

The poem should not be a continuation of the prose passage, but should link yet shift away from the prose. This creates the juxtaposition and a certain void between the two. It is this space between the prose and the poem -- that creates the spark, that connection, which makes the tanka prose a rich experience for your reader.

8. The submitted work has not been published (all or in part) in print or in an open group on social media. A closed group is fine. 

I wish you all every joy in crafting your tanka prose for this competition! 

Hazel Hall

(Tanka Poet & Judge) 


 Potential participants new to tanka prose are urged to read the essays (specific to form, style and composition) by Jeffrey Woodward (the leading expert on English language tanka prose) that are readily available online. 


 Guidelines for Submission 

  1. Theme: None / Poet's Choice
  2. Form: Tanka Prose
  3. Entry: Each participant is allowed to submit ONLY ONE entry to 'Where Tanka Prose Grows :2015' starting September 01, 2015. 'The challenge will end on September 30, 2015. 
  4. Submissions have to be original and unpublished tanka prose . (Tanka prose shared via social media will not be accepted.)
  5. There will be no entry fee for 'Where Tanka Prose Grows :2015' participation.
  6. Email your entries to Susan Burch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We start accepting submissions from September 01, to September 30, 2015. 
  7. Subject for the email will be: Where Tanka Prose Grows 2015: Tanka Prose Title (eg: Where Tanka Prose Grows 2015: A Winter's Night) 
  8. You will add details such as name and location below your tanka prose in the body of the email.
  9. Please do not send any attachments along with your email. Each tanka prose entry should  have a unique title, and  be neatly spaced in the body of the email.
  10. We request that you do not disclose your submissions online at public discussions prior to judging. 

Judging Procedure 

'Where Tanka Prose Grows: 2015' runs from September 01, 2015 – September 30,2015. Judging will take place after the challenge ends.Another Garden: Tanka Writings by Jeffrey Woodward

Entries will be anonymous.

Tanka poet Hazel Hall, second place winner of Where Tanka Prose Grows 2014, will judge the challenge. 

The results of 'Where Tanka Prose Grows: 2015' will be announced during the first week of October.

The top three entries will be posted on the website.

Each winning entry will receive a ‘Certificate of Merit’ from Mandy’s Pages.