National Grammar Day is Thursday, March 4. It’s time to get ready for ACES’ annual National Grammar Day Tweeted Poetry contest. This year we are asking you to celebrate by submitting your poems of 280 characters or less.
We have done haiku, limerick, quatrain, and this year we are keeping it open-ended. The caveat: whatever form of poetry you write, it must fit in a tweet. With room for the hashtag.
The contest is officially open, and the deadline to submit is noon EST, Wednesday, March 3. Tweet a grammar-related poem using #GrammarDay to be considered.
Winners will be announced March 4, the date chosen for National Grammar Day because it is a complete and grammatically correct sentence when written “March forth.” As in, “march forth and celebrate National Grammar Day.”
Our celebrity judges might pay attention to meter or rhyme, some might prefer free verse to haiku, but submit in whatever poetry form makes you happy. Entries will be mostly judged on how well they make a point about the language, which can include grammar, usage, typos, writing, and editing.
The winning poem will be read on Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl podcast. The winning poet will receive a one-year membership in ACES: The Society for Editing; complimentary registration to Refine & Refresh: ACES 2021 Online; an AP vs. Chicago “Edit or Die” mug and a Conscious Style Guide “Make Peace with Words” T-shirt from Karen Yin (@KarenYin); a copy of Curtis Honeycutt’s (@curtishoneycutt) new book, “Good Grammar is the Life of the Party”; and a “Let’s Have a Word Chat” coffee mug from organizer Mark Allen (@EditorMark).
Judges for this year’s contest are:
Heather Bonikowski (@paws2rescu), a linguist and lexicographer with a background in education. She documents new words and evolving usage for Dictionary.com, with a particular interest in markers of identity and culture in language.
Ruth Goring (@Ruth_Goring), an editor and poet. Her poetry collections are Soap Is Political and Yellow Doors; her poems have appeared in RHINO, Calyx, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Martín Espada’s anthology What Saves Us. As a senior manuscript editor at University of Chicago Press, she copyedited the grammar and punctuation chapters of the 16th and 17th editions of The Chicago Manual of Style. Recently retired, Ruth also writes and illustrates children’s picture books (Adriana’s Angels / Los ángeles de Adriana; Picturing God; the forthcoming Isaiah and the Worry Pack). Her homes are Chicago and Colombia.
Andy Hollandbeck (@4ndyman), managing editor and copy editor at the Saturday Evening Post, where he also blogs about words. Andy was the winner of last year’s ACES National Grammar Day Tweeted Poetry Contest. He had been a finalist for the honor several times before, including with a semicolon-related haiku in the first contest in 2011. He is author of The Body Politic: A Parable for the Twenty-First Century.
Curtis Honeycutt (@curtishoneycutt), a syndicated humor columnist. He is the author of Good Grammar is the Life of the Party: Tips for a Wildly Successful Life. Honeycutt will be speaking at the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' virtual conference on April 16–17.
Merrill Perlman (@meperl), a member of the ACES executive committee and former president of the ACES Education Fund. She spent 25 years at The New York Times with job titles ranging from copy editor to director of copy desks. Now, she is a freelance editor and an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. And she writes the Language Corner column for The Columbia Journalism Review.