Hi Everyone, and WELCOME to The Writing Fairy website. I'm Dorothea Helms, freelance writer, poet, book author, fiction dabbler, writing instructor, keynote speaker, humorist, wife, mother and slave to my English Bulldog, Margaret. My website is undergoing a facelift, boob lift, liposuction, weight loss program ... wait a minute - those are things I need personally. Sheesh. But my website IS in transition after being neglected for a LONG time. My goal is to inspire writers; my method humour (or humor in the U.S.). Enjoy!

Coaxing closet writers to emerge and make their magic known!

Archive for August, 2008

The Writing Fairy® Senryu, or Humorous Haiku, Contest
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 11:59 p.m. EST, Monday, September 15, 2008

For my third Writing Fairy Humour-Writing Contest, I’m exploringe something a little different. THIS TIME, your challenge is to write a senryu – the Japanese term for a humorous poem that is similar to haiku, but rather than being focused on nature, showcases human nature – often involving irony or satire.

Write a poem of 17 syllables in total, formatted in three lines:
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

Here are some senryu examples:

Seventeen seems long
Until you try to enter
Then it is too short

Fairies light and lithe
Populate my dreams at night
Where the hell’s Tom Cruise?

Children are so cute
Make our memories complete
Do they ever leave?

Words come quick and fun
Crossword puzzle lures me in
Takes over my life

Writing is my thing
Keeps me busy day and night
Sheesh, my right hand hurts

The nature of haiku is nature.
The nature of senryu is human nature.
This is NOT haiku or senryu


The opportunity to become an award-winning, published poet
The opportunity to win cash prizes
$100 First Place, $50 Second Place, $25 Third Place

Click for complete Rules and Regulations

Ruth E. Walker
Ruth E. Walker is a poet, writer, playwright, and editor. A writer and editor for the provincial government, she teaches creative writing in workshops, retreats, and community programs, and maintains a freelance editing and writing service.

Ruth especially enjoys working with new and developing writers of all ages. Since 2002, she has facilitated an ongoing writers’ workshop for the Oshawa Senior Citizen’s Centre. In 2007, Ruth was named one of four artists in residence to the Durham District School Board. She is working on pilot project with Durham Alternative Secondary School (DASS) funded by the Ontario Arts Council. An ArtsSmarts participant in 2006/07, Ruth worked with two Grade 11/12 English classes at DASS on a collaborative art and poetry project. Inside Out Minds was published spring 2007, anthologizing students’ poetry and artwork, and was selected for display at the National ArtsSmarts Exhibition in P.E.I..

Selected publications include: Contemporary Verse 2, River King Poetry Supplement (US), Rain Dog (UK) Canadian Children’s Literature, Canadian Architecture and Design, Canadian Living, The Toronto Sun, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, Oshawa/Whitby This Week; online at UBC’s Terry and Creative Science Journal, Words on Paper, and Regina Weese; several poetry and fiction anthologies; and one-act plays produced at Whitby Courthouse Theatre and StoneCircle Theatre, Ajax.

Ruth won the 1996 Canadian Living Short Story prize; the 1998 & 2005 Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Contest; 1999 semi-finalist Chapters-Robertson Davies Competition; 2001 winner Ghost Story Contest, Trent University Writers and Readers Fair; 2003 2nd place Larry Turner Award for Non-fiction; 2007 two entries tied for 2nd place in The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region Short Story Contest.

A founding editor for LICHEN Arts & Letters Preview, Ruth is a past president of The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region and helped to found Words in Whitby, an annual reading series. Married and the mother of four, Ruth writes and lives in Whitby, Ontario.

Tim Bete
Tim Bete (pronounced “beet”) is a former newspaper columnist and author of two books, In The Beginning…There Were No Diapers (2005, Sorin Books) and Guide to Pirate Parenting (2007, Cold Tree Press).

Tim’s parenting advice has been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web sites, including The Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Parent, Big Apple Parent, Northwest Family, FathersWorld.com and ParentingHumor.com.

He is married with four children and has 19 combined years as a dad — 133 in dog years — which makes him an expert at answering the questions, “Are we there yet?” “Why?” and “What’s that smell?”

Formerly the editor of Early Childhood News magazine, Tim has written advertising copy for General Mills, IBM, Rayovac and Worldbook. He is currently the director of the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Tim’s hobbies include pushing his luck, skating on thin ice and fishing his kids’ toys out of the toilet.