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.



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?



GUSTS 10th anniversary – postcards wrapper


gustsforweb2coversIMG_2663To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the contemporary tanka journal GUSTS, editor Kozue Uzawa produced a series of five postcards featuring her favorite covers and asked me to design a wrapper for the postcards.


The front design shows a frog serenading another frog by reciting a  tanka.

gusts-mini-promo-front.largejpgThe back of the postcard wrapper shows a glimpse into the future (parents and kids are playing in the pond).

gusts-mini-promo-backLARGEMy goal was to feature some of the recurring in the tanka journal (love, relationships, family, children, aging, death), which was challenging to do in only two panels.

The concept is simple: two frogs fall in love, they have children, they age, meanwhile their children grow up, fall in love, have children, age, etc. The cycle repeats to infinity (from front to back).


The postcards were recently delivered with GUSTS No. 20 Fall/Winter 2014 (10th anniversary issue). Enjoy!

gustscuwrapIMG_2679   guststableIMG_2674