Why trifolds are one of the best freebies to give away at haiku conferences


IMG_8756If you’re a Haiku Canada member you’re familiar with trifolds since there are usually one or two included with the Haiku Canada Review.

A few years back, Michael Dylan Welch started creating his own trifolds to share his haiku with attendees at conferences.

Today, trifolds are one of the most popular freebies at haiku conferences. They’re made of one sheet of paper printed double sided, and folded like a brochure.


Letting Go: haiku & haiga (interior), by Naia

When designing a trifold, pay attention to the cover since it’s the first thing people will see. Make sure the cover has an attractive picture, a title, your name.


Letting Go: haiku & haiga (cover), by Naia

The back of the trifold usually holds bio-bibliographical and contact information.


A Common Touch (back), by Michael Dylan Welch

You can create a trifold using the theme of the conference.


Autumn Haiku, by Barbara Hay ; Autumn Madness, by Beverly Acuff Momoi ( HNA 2015)

Since trifolds are one of the most popular format, you’ll have to make sure your trifold stands out. Here are some examples of creative trifolds.


Here’s a trifold (by Dianne Garcia) folded in a zigzag.  It’s printed on one side only. What’s great about the zigzag fold is that the trifold can stand on a table.


Trifold, by Dianne Garcia


Randy Brooks created a narrow four-folds brochure for HNA 2015.


Haiku with legs (cover), by Randy Brooks (HNA 2015)


Haiku with legs (interior), by Randy Brooks (HNA 2015)


Michael Dylan Welch always have amazing trifolds that he gives away at each haiku conference. On his website Graceguts, you’ll find the files available to download for personal use.

I especially enjoy A Common Touch with its original cut-out triangle.


A Common Touch (cover), by Michael Dylan Welch


A Common Touch (interior), by Michael Dylan Welch

If you haven’t decided what to bring at the next haiku conference, trifolds are an excellent choice since they can be done quickly, and printed at home.

You’ll find brochures templates in most software like Word, InDesign. Insert your haiku, and voilà.

HNA 2017 recently announced the number of registered attendees have reached 200.  Prepare to make at least 200 copies of your brochures (which could cost around $75). If you have them done at the print shop, they can even fold them for you.

Is your freebie ready for HNA and Seabeck? Are you bringing a bookmark, postcard, trifold, something else?




Promote your poetry with a beautiful postcard


Whether you’re a haiku poet, photographer or haiga artist, postcards are amazing promotional items to bring to a conference.


The most common postcard sizes are:

  • 4 x 6 inches
  • 5.5 x 4.25 inches
  • 8.5 x 5.5 inches


You’ll find templates in many software like Word, Publisher, InDesign. Many printers offer templates on their website.


Postcards can be expensive to print.  However, the more you print, the less it costs per unit.

At my local print shop you can get 20 postcards for $15 or 100 postcards for $35. If you want something printed on the back, there’s an extra $10 fee. Shop around to find the best deals.

Make sure to order early as delivery can take some time.


If you’re considering making postcards for your next conference, here are some examples to get you inspired.


Postcard by Frank Carey (HNA 2015)


Postcard by Joyce Clement (HNA 2015)


Postcard by Bill Deegan (HNA 2015)


Postcard by Stevie Strang


Art postcards

This beautiful reversible postcard, handmade by Julie Bloss Kelsey, is one of my favorite freebies of all time.

It has everything I like: great haiku, nice paper, good handwriting, 3D objects. Well done!


Reversible postcard (front) by Julie Bloss Kelsey (HNA 2015)


Reversible postcard (back) by Julie Bloss Kelsey (HNA 2015)

Book postcards

If you’ve published a book, a postcard is an excellent promotional tool. I like this simple postcard by Roberta Beary because it promotes her book The Unworn Necklace simply using a beautiful photo and haiku, instead of the usual book cover, making it a beautiful keepsake.



Postcard by Roberta Beary (HNA 2015)

Photo postcards

These two postcards are actually 4×6 photographs printed via Shutterfly. On the back, photographer David Giacalone printed his contact information.


Photo postcard by David Giacalone. (HNA 2015)


Photo postcard by David Giacalone. (HNA 2015)

Souvenir postcards

At HNA 2015, Terry Ann Carter performed her beautiful Chiyo-ni tribute and distributed these postcards to commemorate her unforgettable performance.


Do-it-yourself postcards

If you’re short on time, or are budget-conscious, you can also print postcards on cardstock at home. Just be prepared to spend lots of time cutting them. In this example, Claude Rodrigue also added a touch of color by hand.


Whatever style you chose, make sure to order your postcards early if you want to receive them before the conference.

Did you ever a produce a postcard for a conference? Are you considering creating one? Share your tips.

Postcards not for you? Try a bookmark.

My next post will be about trifolds.


Choose your conference freebie carefully



When creating a freebie for your next haiku conference, there are lots of things to consider, but mainly:

  • Cost: how much it will cost
  • Time: how much time it will take to create

You have to make a freebie for every attendee, so the cost and production time will depend on the size of the conference.

No matter what format you will chose, don’t wait till last minute!

See examples of promotional bookmarks.


Bookmarks: design tips and examples for haiku poets


Bookmarks are a great promotional tool for writers and poets. To create a good bookmark for your next haiku conference, you’ll need:

  • image
  • text
  • contact information (name, e-mail, website)
Bookmark by Frank Carey

Bookmark by Frank Carey

This bookmark by Frank C Carey is one of my favorite freebies. On the front, there’s a photo with a haiku. At the back, there’s a red seal, a QR code, and Frank’s contact information. The design is clean and easy to read.

The bookmark is laminated. I like the addition of the twine: the color matches the photo. Not only is the bookmark beautiful, but it is also practical and durable. It’s been, and still is, my favorite bookmark to use.  Every once in a while, I would see the address on the bookmark and visit Frank’s website, so I would say this bookmark was an effective promotional tool for its author.

(Unfortunately, Frank’s website is no longer active. He says he’s been out of the haiku game but continues to write science fiction. Considering I visited his website 3-4 times in 2 years, the bookmark did a good job in promoting him.)

Moon bookmark

I like this bookmark by Jennifer Sutherland. The design is beautiful. However, it doesn’t have the author’s contact information (website, e-mail).


Moon bookmark, by Jennifer Sutherland (HNA 2015)

I like the simplicity of this laminated bookmark, but I don’t know the name of the author.


You can get creative with the photo and text alignment, like Margaret Beverland from New Zealand.


Bookmarks by Margaret Beverland

Why not use a different material, like a tag made of cloth?


Tag by Wanda Cook ; bookmark by an unknown author

You can also add more than one haiku, following this example by Claudia Coutu Radmore


Bookmark by Clauda Coutu Radmore

Kala Ramesh created this beautiful bookmark with haiku, line drawing, and decorative twine.



Stanford Forrester used a printing press to create his bookmarks. This means he selected each font, placed them, and aligned them in a printing press, added the ink and printed the bookmarks one at a time.


Bookmark, by Stanford M Forrester

Tips for designing bookmarks:

  • Make it beautiful so people will keep it.
  • Add a twine so the bookmark won’t get lost in a book.
  • Create them months in advance (it takes time to print them)

Are you thinking about creating  a bookmark as your freebie for the next Haiku North America conference? I hope these examples inspire you.

In the next post, I’ll write about creating postcards.

Freebie: an introduction


Freebie table (HNA 2015)

Freebie table (HNA 2015)

With Haiku North America around the corner, it’s time to think about the freebie you’ll bring to the conference.  A freebie is a promotional item you give to attendees at a conference. A freebie can take different forms: bookmarks, leaflets, postcards, 3D objects.

Whatever format you chose, a freebie must fit certain criteria to be successful.

The best freebies are:

  1. Beautiful
  2. Well written
  3. Good promotional tool for the author
  4. Portable

Now let’s look at each criterion with some examples.


1. Beautiful: does your freebie have a wow factor? A nice cover that will get people to pay attention? Is it printed on good quality paper? Color paper? Is the shape unusual?


Leaf-shaped haiku freebie by Deborah P Kolodji (HNA 2015)


2. Well written: Have you included your best haiku? Is the contents free of typos and grammar mistakes?  Extra points if your contents fit the theme of the conference.

Booklets by Tanya McDonald

Booklets by Tanya McDonald


3. Good promotional tool for the author: have you included your name and contact information? The main goal of a freebie is promotion, so don’t forget these important details. A freebie is your business card.

bookmark frank carey

Bookmark by Frank Carey.


4. Portable: is your freebie small enough to fit in a luggage? Or is it cumbersome? I took a picture of this beautiful rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015). Although I really liked the haiku and the concept, there was no way I could have brought back this massive 1 pound rock in my suitcase.

Haiku Rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015)

Haiku Rock by Jeff Hoagland (HNA 2015)

In the next couple days, I’ll show you more examples of promotional items for writers and share some tips about creating a freebie for your next conference.

Do you know what freebie you’ll bring to your next conference?