For glory and prizes / share your word thoughts on Twitter / hashtag #GrammarDay

The seventh-annual National Grammar Day Haiku Contest is filling Twitter with poetry about words, usage, editing and peeves. Sponsored by ACES and Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips, the contest each year supplies us with mini lessons and plenty of puns and snark.

Entering is easy: just post on Twitter a three-line poem in the haiku (or senryu) form of five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables, with the hashtag #GrammarDay added on. The haiku must be about grammar, usage, or language in some way.

HAIKUHaiku must be posted by midnight PST March 2 (hurry), and many entries are already posted on Storify.

#GrammarDay is March 4

The winners will be announced March 4, National Grammar Day (the date was selected because in saying it aloud we get the command, “march forth.”)

Prizes, other than glory, include:

• A copy of Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students by Mignon Fogarty

• A copy of Things That Make Us (Sic) by National Grammar Day founder Martha Brockenbrough

• A One-Year Membership to ACES (the American Copy Editors Society) and a certificate to an ACES one-day training event.

• A “Be Explicit” tote bag courtesy of Mark Allen (@EditorMark)

Judging the haiku all day March 3 in an undisclosed location will be:

• Emily Brewster (@eabrewster), an associate editor and lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, Inc. As a general definer, she’s covered all kinds of vocabulary, from grammar to finance to slang. Her videos for Merriam-Webster’s website tackle such vexing issues as lie vs. lay and its vs. it’s. She’s also worked as a poetry editor.

• Laura M. Browning (@ellembee), co-editor-in-chief of The A.V. Club and a board member of the American Copy Editors Society. She once won a poetry award in high school.

• Amorak Huey (@amorak), a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in poetry, is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbooks The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly, 2016). He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University, before which he spent 14 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Florida, Kentucky, and Michigan.

• Tom Freeman (@SnoozeInBrief), an editor at the Wellcome Trust, a London-based foundation that supports health-related research and publishes long-form science stories at He is the winner of the 2016 ACES National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest.

• Paula Froke (@PaulaFroke) is the AP’s special liaison editor with MSN/Microsoft and lead editor of the AP Stylebook. Her 30-plus years with the AP has included jobs as news editor in Minnesota and Michigan, deputy national editor at headquarters and assistant managing editor/nights on the AP Nerve Center in New York.  She worked on the editing desk at four Olympics.

If you’re an ACES board member or contractor, a Macmillan Publishers employee, or a close relative of the organizers or one of the judges, you can enter, but forces will conspire against your actually winning a prize of any value.


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