Terzanelle is a poem of five triplets (five stanzas of three lines) and a quatrain (one stanza of four lines). It follows the rhyming scheme aba/bcb*/cdc*/ded*/efe*/faf*a*; the lines in asterisks are the lines that are repeated in the stanza. Though terzanelle does not require a specific syllable count, for this contest, the lines of your poem must be between 6-12 syllables.

Check this example by Bianca Boonstra via
December nights, feeling cold as ice (a)
I’m listening to the rhythm of your heartbeat (b)
Cozy and warm…my bed is a little paradise (a)

You’re pulling the blanket off my feet (b)
I have an extra blanket, so I’ll be fine (c)
still listening to the rhythm of your heartbeat (b)*

Counting the stars, a sight so divine (c)
The moon shines brightly in my room (d)
I have an extra blanket, so I’ll be fine. (c)*

Half asleep I hear an irritating zoom (d)
yeah right…the alarm clock, time to get out… (e)
while the moon shines brightly in my room. (d)*

I try to wake him up…he’s asleep with no doubt (e)
I’m trying to be as gentle as can be (f)
“Yeah right…the alarm clock, time to get out!” (e)*

I’m preparing his breakfast, from work he isn’t free (f)
I’ll help him… then go back to bed, the weather is not nice (a)
I’m trying to be as gentle as can be… (f)*
cozy and warm…my bed is a little paradise (a)*

  • Send in your entries to as an attachment in a word document (.doc/.docx, any other file will not be published) along with a 2-3 line bio (not required if previously sent).
  • The subject of your mail should be “Entry for #PenMuse30 (compulsory).
  • Along with your entry please send a suggested cover for your poem. (please send it as a separate attachment. Make sure it is a stock photo and of high resolution –800 pixels and above). The elves at Penmancy are mighty pleased if a story is accompanied by a cover.


  1. Considering the above guidelines, write a terzanelle in any topic of your choice. Use this link if you want to count your syllables:
  2. The submitted poem must have a title (Keep it simple with no punctuation marks; all words more than 3 letters must be capitalized)
  3. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit –though only the first submitted poem will be qualified for contention.
  4. Previously published or plagiarised works will not be considered for contention.
  5. Poems found to have been shared on another platform or blog before the declaration of results stand disqualified from the event, and the writer of such content stands to be disqualified for the next Penmancy event.
  6. In case a poem is received after the submission deadline, it shall be considered as a guest entry and shall not qualify for the event.
  7. Entries that don’t follow rules will be published and shared on the page and group but are disqualified for winning.

Winning criteria:

The winner will be chosen on the basis of poll results from the readers/writers and the judges’ scores (out of 10), in the ratio 20:80

  • Submitted entries to be adjudged based on the
    • creativity/content and originality, [12 points]
    • coherence of form and structure (harmony of words, presentation), [12 points]
    • clarity of imagery and language/grammar, [10 points]
    • emotional impact, [10 points]
    • topic/relevance to the theme, [6 points]
  • The voting process for the readers:
    • A day after the submission close of the event, we shall post a poll on our writing community on Facebook
    • The poll closes in a week’s time and total votes would be sourced for all entires
    • The votes would be calculated on the basis of the number of writers submitting for the event
    • 20% of this score will contribute to the total score of the poem.
  • The entries adjudged by a panel of judges and event organisers shall be binding. Judges’ scores to be deemed final and may not be contested.
  • All writers are required to read and comment on 5 poems other than their own and encourage their fellow writers with valuable and constructive inputs. Comments like “nice”, “good work”, “brilliant piece”, etc. do not provide the necessary critique and are not helpful for anyone.
  • Only stories that garnered an average score/rating of 7.5 and above from the panel of judges shall be eligible for winning.   
  • Timelines-
    • The last date of submission is May 20, 2021 (Thursday).
    • Voting concludes on May 27, 2021 (Thursday).
    • Winners shall be announced on May 28, 2021 (Friday).

The announcement of winners may be postponed or preponed depending on the number of entries received.

The winners of the event shall receive the book “Myriad of Dreams” by Nisha Tandon.

For questions related to the rules and criteria, please write to us at or through the Contact Us section on the website.


Here are the submitted poems:


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