To participate in National Haiku Writing Month, please visit the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page (you will need to have a Facebook account) and join the discussion and sharing there. The primary page is English, but you’ll find NaHaiWriMo pages in French, Spanish, and Bulgarian, too. There’s no registration or other means to confirm your participation—it’s completely on the honour system. Likewise, we offer no prizes except the satisfaction of writing one good haiku each day, if you can manage it. You are free to share some of your haiku (please, not all of them!) on the NaHaiWriMo Facebook page. If you’re not on Facebook, please email Michael Dylan Welch to share your commitment to writing one haiku a day in February (in your email message, please indicate your name, where you live, and whether you’re a member of any haiku groups). On Twitter, you can also use the #nahaiwrimo hashtag.
Note: Participation on the Facebook page has continued without stopping since NaHaiWriMo started in February of 2011. Daily writing prompts have been provided by guest prompters every month since the site started, and many hundreds of people post their poems and comments. The community that has resulted is warm, supportive, and enthusiastic. You can read more about this enthusiasm on the Comments page. Because NaHaiWriMo now lasts all year, perhaps it should be called NaHaiWriYear. And because it has attracted participants from around the world, it's hardly just national, either! So how about IntHaiWriMo or IntHaiWriYear? Come join us!
How to Participate
  1. Get a notebook and start jotting down your haiku poems each day, based on things you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch (generally avoiding analysis and judgment). Haiku are poems of experience that create an emotional effect, first in you, and then, if you craft the poem effectively, in the reader. On the Facebook page, a daily haiku writing prompt will help to inspire your creative muse—and sometimes have a little fun.
  2. Share your poems with others to get feedback and see which ones work best. Sometimes just sharing is enough, without seeking feedback, but pay attention if your readers particularly like certain poems but not others, and try to figure out why.
  3. Share selections of your haiku on the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook and on your own blog or website.
  4. Consider collecting the haiku you write throughout the month in a handmade book or trifold (such as “Traces of Snow on Michael Dylan Welchs Trifolds page—scroll down to find it, then click to view or download).
  5. Keep writing, even after February ends! Read the books mentioned below for further inspiration.
  6. Consider joining a haiku society or regional haiku organization, and explore haiku online. Watch out for pseudo-haiku, or poems that merely count syllables and pay no attention to concrete sensory images, seasonal reference, juxtaposition, and other valuable techniques.
Will you join us? The biggest benefit from participation is that you may just get into the haiku habit, and continue writing haiku on a daily basis throughout the year. Haiku can help you improve your awareness of the world around you as you capture moments of personal experience in your haiku—poems worth sharing with others. As William J. Higginson wrote in The Haiku Handbook, “The primary purpose of reading and writing haiku is sharing moments of our lives that have moved us, pieces of experience and perception that we offer or receive as gifts.” The haiku community is a colourful and supportive one, too, so if you’re new to haiku, becoming part of the community is a wonderful benefit too.

Please visit the Occasionally Asked Questions page. To gain some inspiration for different ways to write haiku, please read How Do You Write Haiku? and “Becoming a Haiku Poet.” For more in-depth exploration, I also recommend reading William J. Higginsons Haiku Handbook (25th anniversary edition, from Kodansha International, 2010), Cor van den Heuvels The Haiku Anthology (third edition, from Norton, 1999), and Jim Kacians Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years. Now grab your haiku notebook and start writing!