Small Business: Heart of DC Haiku Contest

April 30, 2021

Home News and Updates Small Business: Heart of DC Haiku Contest

Prior to COVID-19, CNHED and its partners officially welcomed the start of DC Small Business Week with a celebratory kick off event hosted by a local shop or restaurant like the Made in DC Shop in Dupont and Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. Because of the pandemic’s public health restrictions, we decided to find a safer, creative, and poetic way to launch what is now a month long, virtual event with a Small Business: Heart of DC Haiku Contest. 

Originating in Japan, haiku is the shortest form of poetry in the world. In a short descriptive verse, it captures a moment in the poet’s life or simply expresses the beauty of nature.

We invite the public to write and submit original haiku inspired by the Districts small and local businesses. Instead of evoking images of the natural world poems may focus on:

  • Your favorite small local businesses;

  • What you love about the Districts local and small Businesses; or

  • Why you shop local and small

Submissions will be reviewed by DC Small Business Ambassadors. The winner will receive a $150 gift card to the local small business they were inspired by. Two runners up will receive a $50 gift card to the local small business they were inspired by.

The contest will open on May second and the deadline to submit your haiku is Monday May 24th at 11:59pm. The winner will be announced June 11th.

To learn more about how to write a haiku go here, if you have any questions please email

What is a Haiku?

A Haiku is a type of short poetry that dates back to 17th century Japan. Traditional Haiku consist of three lines. The first must have exactly 5 syllables, the second must have 7 and the third must have 5. However, several 5-7-5 stanzas can be strung together to make a longer poem. Haiku do not have to rhyme, and often don’t however authors are free to use repetition of words. Authors may also choose if they use punctuation or not.



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  • You may submit up to three originally crafted Haiku

  • Haiku must follow the traditional 5-7-5 format and may have anywhere from 1 to 5 stanzas.

  • Be creative and have fun!


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