A B O U T    S U B M I S S I O N S

We invite you to submit your cherita to the cherita.

Please send us your cherita gems.
Send all your submissions to ai li at aili@thecherita.com

If you are new to the cherita genre, and you would like to familiarise yourself with our storytelling form before writing or submitting cherita, you may first like to visit our DNA section, sub-heading ARTICLES  where you will find ten fine examples of cherita to start with.

You will also find one strong example of cherita from each edition of the cherita featured in the BOOKSHOP section of our website,  for you to further explore the form.

In Atlas Poetica 27, which was its special cherita edition, there are nearly 400 cherita poems to inspire you to write the form

Atlas Poetica 27

Furthermore, I edited a special 25 Cherita feature prior to the launch of the cherita for Atlas Poetica. This special feature of 25 heartfelt cherita can be read on Atlas Poetica’s website :-

25 Cherita


Having said all the above, the best way to be inspired by cherita is to read one or several of our editions available in our BOOKSHOP or on Amazon. I have selected and showcased cherita to show how flexible this form really is within all of the books.




The Original Guidelines

CHERITA [1 — 2 — 3]
[pronounced CHAIR-rita]

Cherita is the Malay word for story or tale. A cherita consists of a single stanza of a one-line verse, followed by a two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse. It can be written solo or with up to three partners.

The cherita tells a story. It was created by ai li on the 22 June 1997 in memory of her grandparents who were raconteurs extraordinaire. It was also inspired by Larry Kimmel’s sensitive recognition of a shorter form contained within the opening three-verse stanza of ai li’s LUNENGA, which had been created on the 27 May 1997.



CHERITA  TERBALIK – inverted cherita
[3–2–1], [2–1–3], [1–3–2], [2–3–1] and [3–1–2]
[pronounced CHAIR-rita tur-bar-lake]

The Cherita Terbalik can be written in the above stanza formats. Examples of formats [3–2–1] and [2–1–3] will be featured in forthcoming editions of the cherita. Terbalik is the Malay word for reversal or upside down.

Cherita Terbalik also tells a story and can be written with up to three partners.




ai li, the editor and creator of the cherita will read, select and edit all cherita submissions for the journal.

The cherita is a monthly journal and the deadlines for all editions are the end of each preceding calendar month.

You can now submit for the following editions below :-

#2:8 Jan 2019 – deadline 31 December 2018
#2:9 February 2019 – deadline 31 January 2019
#2:10 March 2019 – deadline 28 February 2019
#2:11 April 2019 – deadline 31 March 2019
#2:12 May 2019 – deadline 30 April 2019

which then takes us into our third publishing year of the cherita :-

#3:1 June 2019 – deadline 31 May 2019
#3:2 July 2019 – deadline 30 June 2019
#3:3 August 2019 – deadline 31 July 2019
#3:4 September 2019 – deadline 31 August 2019
#3:5 October 2019 – deadline 30 September 2019
#3:6 November 2019 – deadline 31 October 2019
#3:7 December 2019 – deadline 30 November 2019

and into 2020 with

#3:8 January 2020 – deadline 31 December 2019


and so forth . . .





Please submit up to 30 cherita [to include cherita terbalik or inverted cheita] to the editor for each edition of the journal in the body of a single email

In the subject line enter in all capital letters  followed by your full name
SUBMISSION – [your full name]’.

Please include your city, state, and country, full name, and email address, in the body of the email and make no attachments, and submit only cherita poems or the editor will not read your work, and your work will be returned.

You may send your submissions at any time and we will publish accepted poems in the next available edition, or at our discretion, in a future edition. You must be at least 18 years old to submit.

Send your submissions to ai li at aili@thecherita.com

Include your city, state, and country, full name, and email address, in the body of the email and make no attachments, or the editor will not read your work, and your work will be returned.

All poems must be the author’s original work. We prefer previously unpublished poems, whether in print or online. We will consider previously published cherita from print or online journals, Facebook, twitter, blogs, social networking sites, personal websites, etc., only if you include appropriate acknowledgments and credits with these submissions.

We will disqualify all previously unpublished submissions which are under consideration elsewhere, or entered into competitions.




G E N E R A L   C O N D I T I O N S

Once we notify you that we have accepted your poems for publication, in the print, e-book, and/or online versions, please do not share or submit your work elsewhere until we have published your work, or the editor will withdraw your work from publication.

We also ask that you refrain from republishing your work in any medium for 90 days from publication in the cherita.

the cherita does not pay its contributors nor does it offer contributors’ copies, although they will be available for purchase. Copyright reverts to the author or artist upon publication.

the cherita reserves the right to reprint contents from its publications on its website and in future print anthologies without having to seek further permission from its submitters, and all submissions to the cherita constitutes acceptance of this condition.

the cherita reserves the right to print online or in print journals and anthologies, in whole or in part, in its sole discretion, all letters and comments to the editor without having to seek further permission from the author, and submission of comments or letters to the editor of the cherita constitutes acceptance of this condition.




a note from ai li to inspire your cherita writing

• I created the form way back in 1997. It is 20 years old in June this year, and the cherita has grown up in the most delightful and special way. Numerous writers and poets have kept storytelling alive by writing and publishing their stories in the cherita form for the last two decades.

• Storytelling is an age-old tradition as we all know. Our ancestors shared their stories over warming fires in smoke filled caves. Cave drawings were left by early man for us to remember. Many other tales were also passed down as bedtime stories, an oral tradition that still exists today in many parts of the world.

• I would like you to find your inner storyteller.

Send us your story or stories about life : births, deaths, anniversaries, betrayals, disappointments, abortions, bankruptcies, joblessness, vendettas, suicides et al; and also about travel, work, hobbies, light and dark passions, eating disorders, night shifts, cross dressing, the erotic and any other subject matter that I may have missed or forgotten. The list is endless.




Further notes from Larry Kimmel
godfather of the cherita


How to Treat a Cherita

I’ve recently been asked a number of questions about the cherita. One concerns the use of titles. In a back and forth with ai li, the creator of the form, she had this to say: “…they [titles] defeat the whole point of the cherita which is to lead you into a story or tale. A title tells you upfront what the rest of the 6 lines is all about. What would the point of writing a cherita be then?” In short, no titles, just as in tanka.

The other concerns how to refer to the cherita in its singular or its plural form. It is always ‘cherita,’ whether singular or plural. An easy way to remember is to treat it as you would ‘haiku’ or ‘tanka.’

On my website, I treat some of the aspects of the cherita, toward the end of an essay titled: “Flexible Forms: a personal speculation,” to be found on the link below :


I hope this helps further the understanding of how to treat a cherita.



copyright © the cherita 2018