Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a haiku contest, alternative income

The ITO EN Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest is now open and accepting submissions. The company sponsoring the contest makes tea, and some of the winning haiku will be printed on their packages. (In addition to the prize money, of course!) You can submit up to 6 unpublished haiku by postcard or online, but read the guidelines carefully before submitting... one page says haiku do not have to follow the 5/7/5 syllable count, but the next page contradicts that. There's no entry fee, so I think I'll send in some non-5/7/5 haiku and see what happens. The contest deadline is February 28th, 2009, and the winning poems will be published in a contest anthology.

For those of you (like me) who are looking for extra ways to make ends meet this holiday season, there are plenty of alternative ways for you to turn your skill with words into cold hard cash.

Greeting card and slogan companies are always looking for new material and new contributors. Here are a couple of companies to check into:

- Kalan LP: Kalan produces a wide variety of products, the sort of thing you'd find in a Spencer's Gifts or novelty store. They have a nice contributor site where you can submit ideas online, see chosen submissions, and view their current needs list. Pays $75-100 for ideas.

- Oatmeal Studios: A humorous greeting card company. The guidelines don't list payment, but if I remember correctly, they pay $50-100 for greeting card ideas.

If you know any little superheroes, Chicken Soup for the Soul is working on a new "Superhero" anthology, about children acting heroic or thinking they are superheroes. I don't see any guidelines on the Chicken Soup website, but you can read the guidelines here, courtesy of

If you have a great speculative story (published or not) sitting around collecting dust, send it off to Pseudopod, Escape Pod, or Podcastle (for horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories, respectively). If they accept your story, they'll pay you nicely for non-exclusive audio rights to it.

Here's a powerful haiku by Wendy Visser. Happy holidays!


Charles Gramlich said...

Once upon a time I sold some t-shirt slogans. Haven't submitted anything in a long time.

Greg Schwartz said...

funny stuff? i've been submitting a lot of slogans and greeting cards, but no sales yet.

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