#TankaTuesday Poetry Challenge Rules

For the #TankaTuesday Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in the forms defined on the Poetry Challenge Cheat Sheet below, and/or any other syllabic form you’d like to try.

Poetry Challenge Cheat Sheet

Not Sure Where to Start?

READ this FIRST: How to Start Crafting Syllabic Poetry

Word Craft: Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry

Here are some impressive sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables


This site even has a link so you can install the extension on Google Chrome.


For Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.


After careful consideration of all your wonderful prompt suggestions, I’ve compiled the weekly challenge prompts for 2022. Feel free to copy the prompt images from this page to use on your own blogs, if you wish. Please do not use the prompt images from prior year’s challenges as they do not reflect the current information.

Please note:

On most of the prompts, I’ve left the selection of the syllabic forms open to the poet. This is to give you a chance to practice new or old forms on your own terms. It also gives you more say in what you want to write and learn. Remember, Japanese poetry has stricter rules than most of the other forms.

The challenge runs from Tuesday through Sunday at noon (Detroit, USA time). I’ll continue to create a Monday Recap. Remember to add your poems to Mr. Linky. That way, we have all the poetry submitted in one place. All I have to do is cut and paste into the recap.

A new rule this year: NO “ing” endings on words to make the syllable count work. Go that step further to find a better word.

I’m a purest with Japanese poetry, and for the #TankaTuesday challenges, please follow the rules of the specific form. Pay attention to what forms get titles and which ones don’t.

A haibun is always “at least one prose paragraph and a haiku” – not a haibun and a haiku. Tanka Prose is always at least one prose paragraph and a tanka. Remember the difference between haiku and senryu. If you create a haiga, the photo cannot complete the poem. Tanka poetry in photos does not make it a haiga. We should place only haiku and senryu in photos. Remember, that’s why we call this a CHALLENGE. It’s important to follow the rules of the forms. <3

We’re going back to our roots this year as we feature syllabic poetry only. All submitted poetry must have a syllable structure from the Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet, or the syllabic forms on the PoetsCollective.org. Be careful… not all the forms listed in the Poets Collective are syllabic forms. If in doubt, stick to the forms on the Tanka Tuesday Cheat sheet below:

Tanka Tuesday Cheat Sheet

I’ll start us off by choosing the prompts in January 2022. The poets take over in February 2022 with their selections.

First Week of the Month: Taste the Rainbow

Starting in January, I’ll select someone to pick a color and the syllabic form for the next month’s prompt. If the poem is from the #TankaTuesday Cheat sheet, let us know so we know where to look for directions. If the form is something new, include how to write the form. Also include an example of how to write the poem. If you don’t want to select a form and leave it open to the participants, let me know that. Email your choice to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com.

Second Week of the Month: Colleen’s #SpecificForm

In the second week of the month, I’ll select a syllabic form for us to write. I’ll also give examples of how to write the form and tell you what I can find out about the form’s history. As a bonus, I’ll provide a song or another piece of poetry to inspire your own poetry creation. Occasionally, I’ll include information about a literary poet who also writes this form.

Third Week of the Month: #Photo Prompt

In the third week of the month, we will receive our poetic inspiration from a photo or Ekphrastic prompt chosen by one of our poets. In January, I’ll pick someone to select a photo or a piece of art to inspire a syllabic poem of our choice. Email your choice to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com.

Fourth Week of the Month: #ThemePrompt

In the fourth week of the month, we will receive our poetic inspiration from a theme prompt chosen by one of our poets. In January, I’ll pick someone to select a theme to inspire a syllabic poem of our choice. Email your choice to tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com.

Fifth Week of the Month: #ShareYourDay – Take a Photo & Write a Syllabic Poem

There are only four times in 2022 that we get a fifth week with a Tuesday: March 29, May 31, August 30, and November 29. I thought it would be fun to try something different. For this #TankaTuesday challenge, share your day with us. Take a photo to share and write a syllabic poem of your choice.

I’m excited about this exceptional year of poetry! Do you know that if you take part in each challenge, you will have 52 poems! How cool is that? Sounds like a delightful book of poetry!

WELCOME to #TankaTuesday


  • Write your poem using a syllabic form of your choice found on the cheatsheet OR from the Poetscollective.org. Watch your word choice. Do not use words that end in “ing.” Use imagery. BE creative and try alternative forms. Make sure you follow the directions on how to write the form. It’s always fun to share how to write the write the form so we can all learn together.
  • Post it on your blog.
  • Include a link back to the challenge in your post. (copy the https:// address of this post into your post).
  • Copy your link into the Mr. Linky below (underlined with a hyperlink).
  • Please click the small checkbox on Mr. Linky about data protection.

Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.

The screenshot below shows what Mr. Linky looks like inside. Add your name and the URL of your post. Click the box about the privacy policy (It’s blue). As everyone adds their links to Mr. Linky, you can view the other submissions by clicking on the Mr. Linky link on the challenge post. All the links will show in the order of posting.

Here are my thoughts about sharing posts on Twitter: If you like it, do it. However, we are all friends here. I know we’re all pressed for time. If I share your poetry, you do not have to waste the time sending me a reply to thank me for sharing your post. I spend over two hours a day thanking everyone for sharing my posts. I’d rather spend that time writing poetry. So, for our challenge, let’s share, but we don’t have to say thank you to tweets or retweets. Your retweet already shows you care. ❤


This challenge runs from Tuesday through Sunday. Each Monday, I’ll share the Weekly Poetry Challenge Stars with links to all the poems and poets.

Now, have fun and write some syllabic poetry!

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