Contest: Hunter Pet Haiku

So it happens that I have a couple of months of free game time to give away.*

I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate contest — something interesting but also easy. I wanted something creative, but I didn’t want it to be a huge hassle for anyone, including me. And honestly, I don’t want to have to judge anything creative because I know how creative you people are and I know I can’t choose between a whole bunch of great entries.

But last night as I was falling asleep I hit on the perfect thing: haiku.

A haiku is essentially a short poem, three lines long, with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, and 5 syllables in the last line. (I was going to link to Wikipedia, but it turns out English haiku is all over the board these days.)

For example, I might write the following haiku. See the 5-7-5 pattern?

Gondria again
Lies dead on the frozen ground.
I weep frustration.

So anyway, here’s the contest rules:

  1. Your entry must be in a 5-7-5 format, as described above. (No limericks!)
  2. Your entry must be in English, or you must provide a translation and a recording of you speaking the haiku so I can verify the syllable count.
  3. Your entry must involve a World of Warcraft hunter pet in some fashion. (I’m sorry, but no non-combat pets will be allowed.)
  4. You must e-mail me your entry at with the subject “Haiku”. Entries submitted in the comments will not be accepted for this contest (although we may still appreciate them for their intrinsic beauty.)
  5. I must receive your entry in e-mail before 12:01am EDT on Tuesday, March 23rd. (For reference, that’s 4:01am GMT, and 9:01pm PDT on Monday.)
  6. [edit] You can submit multiple entries, but you can only win once in each ‘category’: one game time code and/or one forum title. (See below for details.)
  7. I reserve the right to throw out your entry for obscene or derogatory language, or bad taste. (No limericks!)

I decided to do a random drawing for the winners of the free game time because, as I noted above, I know I won’t be able to choose between the entries otherwise. But I also wanted to give some recognition for the best haiku writers.

So here’s the plan:

  1. I’ll post all the valid entries on this blog here early Tuesday morning.
  2. In order to choose game time winners, I will make a list of all the entries and use a random number generator to pick three list indices.
    • These winners will receive a game time code for one month of WoW time.
    • [edit] The codes I have are definitely valid for US accounts. I am investigating whether or not they are valid for EU accounts. If they are not, I will provide valid EU game time codes for EU-based winners instead. Other regions may be more problematic, so please contact me if you are outside the US/EU regions and would like to participate.
    • If there are a ton of entries, I may choose more than three game code winners.
    • If you win, I’ll e-mail the code to the e-mail address that you used to send me your entry. E-mails should go out sometime on Tuesday.
  3. In order to choose the most popular entries, I will post one or more polls (depending on how many entries there are) on the WoW Petopia forums.
    • Forum members will vote for their favorite entries, with a run-off vote if we need more than one poll.
    • If you are not a forum member, and would rather not sign up, that’s fine. Just e-mail me your votes and I’ll add them to the total.
    • The polls will run for about three days, until midnight EDT on Thursday, March 25th. If there needs to be a run-off poll, that will run until midnight EDT on Sunday, March 28th.
    • When all the votes have been tallied, I will post the three most popular entries on this blog with excessive praise and laudatory text.
    • If the winners of the popular vote are members of the WoW Petopia forums, they will also receive a special forum title of “Haiku Master” in some interesting color.

And that’s the plan. Now send me some haiku!

* I own a WoW Visa card, which rewards me with 1% of my purchases in free game time. I route all my bills through that card, and then pay it off every month. This is actually fairly effective.

The free game time isn’t linked to my WoW account — it’s delivered via game time codes, like you would get on a game time card. So I can send it to any e-mail address, and that person can use it for any account.

17 thoughts on “Contest: Hunter Pet Haiku

  1. Mania Post author

    Ah, good question. You can send in multiple entries, but you can only win with one of them. (You only get one chance at the random drawing, and if two or more of your entries are voted most popular I’ll take the people below you as the other winners for that.)

    I’ll add a note to the rules about that.

  2. Mania Post author

    Another very good question. Unfortunately, I don’t know. I am trying to find out now. (I’m e-mailing Blizzard — there’s a 45 minute queue on Billing phone calls right now. 45 minutes!)

    But if the codes I can get from my card are not valid for EU servers, then I will purchase a game card for the EU and send it to you if you win. It may take a little longer, though.

  3. Nimizar

    I don’t think the English definition of haiku really captures the subtleties of the original Japanese word. It’s just about the syllable structure.

  4. Nimizar

    After more reading… huh, I see what you mean Mania. The name seems to have been applied to enough different things to have most of the meaning stripped from it.

  5. Mania Post author

    Yeah, I decided to go with the name haiku rather than something more accurate mostly because I think haiku is a more recognizable word to most English-speakers. But there are an awful lot of subtleties, and many of them seem to have been lost in English works anyway.

  6. Hironakamura

    The only problem I see with multiple entries is people looking up Haikus (or Senryus) that are already written, and just substituting one word with a pet’s name and submitting a bunch of copy & pasted material, as a contestant I see that as a possibility, but as much as I’m working on all the different Haikus I’m writing I’d hate to see anyone win gametime by just mass copy & paste. Maybe to avoid that you could use a plagiarism checker website before you hand out the gametime code just to make sure that the person is the author of the Haiku/Senryu. Or you can just google them : )

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