About NaHaiWriMo on Facebook

Learn about NaHaiWriMo on Facebook here (but please note that because the Facebook interface often changes, some of these descriptions may be outdated). You can also learn more about NaHaiWriMo and more about haiku.

How do I find NaHaiWriMo on Facebook?

If you have a Facebook account, just open up Facebook and search for NaHaiWriMo. Or click to visit the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook directly. You can also look for separate NaHaiWriMo pages for haiku in French, Bulgarian, and Spanish (the Spanish page was closed for many years but resurrected in 2020). You’re welcome to peruse the postings and comments, which are all public. Or click the Like button and start participating by posting a daily haiku (whether written in response to the prompts or not). While most poems are not critiqued, please come with an open mind and be prepared to learn something about haiku, and sometimes about your individual haiku postings. It’s a warm and welcoming community! To learn more about how inspirational NaHaiWriMo is on Facebook, please see the Comments page.

 How do I use the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook?

If you’re new to Facebook, or new to the difference between how groups and pages work on Facebook, the following graphic should help. It points out the most important parts of the interface, with key elements that you should take a moment to learn. Click the image to see an enlarged version. Please note that the interface may have some differences depending on whether you access the page via a regular computer connection or if you’re using a smartphone or tablet (where some features are not available).

Note: Facebook has changed its interface several times since this description was written, and probably again since this note was written, but some of the basic ideas still apply. The Timeline is no longer split by having posts on either side of a central line, but you still need to look for Posts to Page to view postings made by participants (otherwise, you see just the postings made by NaHaiWriMo itself, posted by the site administrator. We’ll update this description and screen shot with current interface processes in due course.

How do I see everyone’s daily postings on the Facebook page?

Enough people ask this question that it’s worth answering here rather than sending you to Facebook’s Help page to learn how to use Facebook. Quite simply, the NaHaiWriMo page defaults to showing posts only by NaHaiWriMo (made by site owner, Michael Dylan Welch, posting as NaHaiWriMo) and selected highlights. At the top of the NaHaiWriMo Timeline is a button labeled as Highlights. Click this button to switch to showing Posts by Page (meaning just by NaHaiWriMo) or Posts by Others (meaning everyone else). Then you can see everyone’s posts. The preceding image shows these options at the bottom (in the middle). I wish there were an option to show both at once, but for now Facebook hasn’t implemented such an option. If you have additional questions about how to use Facebook, please contact Facebook Help (click the down arrow near the top-right corner of any Facebook page to go to the Facebook Help Center). If you can’t find the help you need, post your question to the NaHaiWriMo wall. Facebook behavior is occasionally unpredictable, so sometimes the best solution is just to be patient for a day.

Where do I find the daily writing prompts?

A new writing prompt is posted to the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook every day, year round (not just in February). Guest prompters post their prompts on the NaHaiWriMo wall, and also in a Notes file. Look for the Notes section near the top of the page (as shown in the following image), open the current month, and then view all the comments to see the prompts (once you’re there, it helps to change the view from Top Comments to Recent Activity). You can also see prompts for past months on the Daily Prompts page.

This is what the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook used to look like around 2011. Time flies, and Facebook keeps changing!

How can I become a daily writing prompter?

If you’re interested in being a daily prompter for NaHaiWriMo on Facebook, first read A Dozen Tips for NaHaiWriMo Prompting. Being a prompter requires a regular daily commitment for an entire month. If you’re up to the challenge, it would be great to have your help in this volunteer capacity. Please contact Michael Dylan Welch to express your interest. Most prompters are scheduled about six to nine months ahead of time. If I can schedule you, I’ll send you a list of available months and you’ll be able to choose from what’s available. In addition to the fun of coming up with prompts, it’s rewarding to see how NaHaiWriMo participants from around the world respond to your prompts.

Are the poems I post judged or critiqued?

Everyone participating in NaHaiWriMo on Facebook is free to offer comments, including appreciations and suggestions for improvement. Many NaHaiWriMo participants are highly experienced poets, so their comments are worth listening to. However, most haiku posted to the Facebook page are not critiqued or judged. If someone “likes” your poem, though, be wary of believing that the poem is successful as a haiku, as there’s no way to tell why someone liked your posting without asking. Please don’t be hesitant to share your poems, and feel free to ask for comments or suggestions if that’s what you want. The main purpose of NaHaiWriMo is to encourage people to write haiku daily, whether you post or not. A secondary purpose is to share your poems in a friendly and supportive atmosphere, and perhaps to learn something in the process. Everyone should feel free and welcome to join the conversation.

What happens to the haiku we post on Facebook?

All postings remain on the Facebook page, but eventually scroll off into near oblivion. While it remains possible to look through past postings, it is cumbersome to do so, and they are apparently not searchable, so old postings effectively just fade away. Perhaps this is not unlike the ephemeral nature of haiku moments themselves. It is easier to see just your own old postings through the Activity Log on your own page, but that too can be cumbersome. In practical terms, posting to the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook is like pinning a poem to telephone pole or a college notice board. Eventually it degrades in the weather and disappears, or blows away or is taken down. Because the content eventually becomes nearly impossible to discover again, it has essentially disappeared. This is one reason why some journals do not consider Facebook postings to be “published” (even though other journals still do).

Can I post previously published or previously written haiku?

NaHaiWriMo encourages you to write at least one new haiku each day. In that spirit, posting previously written poems isn’t really fitting, is it? You might make an exception if you wish to raise a discussion question about haiku techniques, or if there’s some other irresistible reason. But generally, please post poems only if they’ve been written in response to the current or very recent writing prompt, or other haiku that you’ve written very recently as part of your daily haiku writing practice.

Why are participants limited to one posting per day?

One reason is to keep things fair, so no one person overwhelms or dominates the conversation. Another reason is to keep the site manageable. Because so many people are involved, especially in February, posts scroll off the page quickly. If everyone posted frequently, there would be less chance of seeing everyone’s posts easily and equally. In months other than February, the rule to generally post a new poem no more than once per 24-hour period is a little relaxed, but it’s important to follow this rule in February when many more people are actively involved than during the rest of the year. Please note that this rule applies to the posting of new poems. You are welcome to comment more frequently in response to other people’s posts, but again, please be courteous and avoid overwhelming the conversation. You don’t want to be like a person at a party who talks too much.

Are there any special rules or other advice for posting to the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook?

Everyone is welcome to post haiku and senryu to the NaHaiWriMo page, preferably newly written (don’t post previously published poems unless you have a pressing question to ask about them or it’s strongly relevant to a discussion). The poems you post can be written in response to the prompts or not, but especially encouraged are poems you’ve written that day or the day before. You are also welcome to post haiga or photo-haiga (a haiku integrated into a painting or photograph).

In February, please post no more than once each 24-hour period (occasionally twice, but not often). Outside of February, when fewer people are participating, it’s okay to post more than once per day, but please keep posts to a minimum (participants don’t want to feel dominated by any one particular person). If you miss a few days, you can make a single posting that includes several poems (don’t post each poem separately). Do not do this in February, though, because there are too many postings, and the point is to write each day, regardless of whether you post or not.

It is also acceptable to post photographs if you also post a haiku to go with it, or to post haiga or photo-haiga, where the poem is integrated into the image. If the poem might be difficult to read on the image, please also consider typing the poem into your posting to go with the image. Haiga is discussed in more detail in a separate question.

Haiku and senryu are always welcome, but do not post tanka or any other poems (even if short). Rare exceptions are acceptable if a longer poem is about haiku, or if you wish to raise a discussion question that relates to haiku. In addition to posting poems, you are also welcome to ask questions about haiku techniques, raise discussion questions, or occasionally to share links to helpful haiku-related articles or resources.

When posting, do not include the following: a) copyright notices (they’re annoying and unnecessary, and won’t actually protect you—such notices are usually the sign of a someone who’s inexperienced with poetry); b) self-promoting links to your blog or website (okay to do this once or twice, or if you have new content to share, but not with every post); c) off-topic posts; d) anything that might be considered rude, offensive, goading, or divisive (fortunately, NaHaiWriMo has had very little of this).

Please note that the preceding summary refers chiefly to original posts. When you respond to or comment on other people’s posts, especially discussion questions, comments can be a little more wide-ranging. Please keep your comments courteous, respectful, and relevant, and be careful not to highjack a thread for your own purposes, but to respect the topic of the original posting. Above all, have fun, and hopefully NaHaiWriMo will be an endless source of creative inspiration and informative instruction for everyone’s haiku poetry.

Are poems posted to the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook considered published?

Technically, yes, because they’ve been made public. However, some journals do not consider the appearance of poems on Facebook to be “published” (not in the sense that they’ve been selected by an editor and collected into a “publication”). As a result of discussions about this topic, the Haiku Society of America’s Frogpond journal changed its policy to allow the submission of poems that had originally been shared on Facebook, and several other journals follow this policy. However, many other publications (and especially haiku contests) do not share this point of view, and prohibit the submission of poems posted on Facebook. If in doubt, please contact the editors of particular journals to inquire. Please note that the NaHaiWriMo page on Facebook is a fully public page, and not a private group. This means that anyone can see the postings. Even though they quickly scroll out of view as new postings appear, and are hard to find afterwards, postings are still public.

Learn more about NaHaiWriMo and more about haiku.