2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge Rules!

I’ve been hearing it from poets since May, “I can’t wait for the November PAD Challenge!” And while I was glad for a little break to re-set my poetic brain and revise some of my April poems, I’ve definitely reached the point at which I’ve joined the chorus: I can’t wait for the November PAD Chapbook Challenge!

Luckily, we’re in October already, so the challenge is just around the corner. The prompts are mostly ready, the pencils are sharpened, and the composition notebooks are opened. Oh yeah!

In the meantime, here are the current official rules for the challenge:

  • No registration is required. You just show up each day, take a look at the prompt, and poem away.
  • Challenge begins on morning of November 1, 2011 (Atlanta, Georgia, time). I’ll post a prompt, my own attempt at a poem, and then you’ll be free to write a poem of your own.
  • Challenge continues until noon on December 1, 2011 (again, ATL time). The last prompt will appear on November 30, but I like to give a little extra poeming time for poets on the other side of the planet.
  • Beginning December 1 (or earlier, I suppose), poets revise and organize their poems into poetry manuscripts of 10-20 pages. The 10-20 pages does not include any TOC, bio info, etc., that a poet may wish to include; that’s all considered “extra stuff.” Manuscripts can only include one poem per page, but one poem can run on multiple pages. More formatting details below.
  • Deadline for submitting manuscripts this is December 31, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, Georgia, time). That’s slightly earlier than in the past, but most poets have submitted by this deadline in previous challenges–so we’ll try it out.
  • Any poet can participate. Published, unpublished, American, Canadian, Australian, Brazilian, Russian, etc. Last year’s winning manuscript, in fact, was written by a citizen of India.
  • Poets do not have to post poems to the blog to participate. However, it does make it more fun to share poems and feedback throughout the month. But it’s totally your call.
  • Winner announced on Groundhog Day 2012. That’s February 2, 2012, for those who are not familiar with the most important holiday of the year (in the Brewer household anyway). As always, manuscripts will be judged by Tammy and myself. It’s a great excuse to break out the hot chocolate and read other poets’ poetry to each other. Thanks!

A few notes on submitting manuscripts:

  • Please submit as a .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .pdf file. If you are unable to provide one of these formats, please send me an e-mail before submitting so that we can find a suitable format.
  • Use 10- or 12- point font. Please don’t significantly shrink or enlarge your text for me.
  • Please use normal fonts. By normal, I mean something like Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, etc. Please no cursive or cute fonts, because they can sometimes be hard to read–and can negatively impact my reading of your poetry. Let the words do the talking.
  • Avoid including images or background graphics. Again, let the words do the poeming. Of course, if you work in experimental or image poetry, I may be able to make an exception. But please contact me via e-mail first to discuss.
  • One poem per page. As mentioned above, place only one poem on each page–even if you’re writing haiku or one-liners.
  • One poem can run across multiple pages. However, if the poem ends anywhere on a page, please remember that the next poem should not appear until the next page. Just one poem per page.
  • Manuscripts should include collection title, poet’s name, poet’s contact information. That way, I know who you are, what you’ve submitted, and how to contact you if you win. Table of contents and bio is optional and won’t sway me one direction or another.

Where do I send the manuscript? Good question. Please send to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: 2011 November PAD Chapbook. The subject line is important, because that’s how I’ll be organizing them in my inbox. I’ve had situations in the past in which entries were overlooked as a result of the wrong subject line.

I’m notoriously good at forgetting a small point or two, so be sure to ask questions in the comments below (or send me an e-mail). Be sure to check back here before November 1 and before submitting your manuscript in December–just to be on the safe side.

All right! The clock is officially running. Bring on the 2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge!


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21 thoughts on “2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge Rules!

  1. Sibella

    My questions are similar to Shannon’s. I’ll add:

    –To what extent can we revise the poems as they originally appeared before submitting them for the challenge?

    –Can we include other poems written during the month that were not directly spurred by a challenge prompt? (This was an issue for me last November, as I was working on a themed chapbook and wanted to include some other poems on the same theme. This year, it might not be an issue for me, but I thought I’d ask anyway, in case the answer is helpful to other poets.)

    –Do you think that having more rather than fewer poems–say, 20 rather than 10–will help a poet’s chances? (Assuming that they’re all very good poems, that is, and not just padding.)

    Thanks–and thanks again for running this challenge.


  2. Shannon Lockard

    A few questions:
    1. Do we need to include which prompt each poem was written for?
    2. Can we include more than one poem written for the same prompt in our manuscript? (I found some prompts really inspired me and I wrote several poems for those prompts.)

    Robert, thank you again for your dedication this month. It was fun to write and read. Immersion into words; one of my favorite things.

  3. RobHalpin

    So the real difference between November and April is that we select 10 to 20 of the poems we write in November and stick ’em into a book and submit them. Do we need to give the chapbook a name?

  4. KathyintheWallowas

    Thought I’d share a couple projects I’ve been working on – both are community writes! (via blog, of course). One is for a poetry byway in Central Oregon’s High Cascades; the other a haiku book review. Please check out and play if you like. one is http://cascadelakespoetrybyway.blogspot.com/. The other is a community book review project http://cogentwordshaikubookreviews.blogspot.com/p/how-to.html – sorry to leave links – I promise there are no adds there and there is a legitimate community aspect. One more, since it’s a place-based community contest with a $50 that will be awarded at the end of July (thanks, Oregon Cultural Trust for letting me do this!) is http://www.zumwaltpoetry.blogspot.com/. As you’ll see, “inspired by” the place works as much as anything (the more you know or learn about the area, the better, of course). I want to be sure you know these are just updates on projects. I’ve been a poet (still seems strange to say that) only 15 months, since retiring. The process for me isn’t yet about precision – I’m still just getting tastes of forms and opportunities – but it IS all about living, observing, and creating. By the way, next year our byway project will likely include plein air writing AND painting. Could life on pension be richer? All this and the 2011 PAD, too!

  5. Mariya Koleva

    Brrr, it’s coming! Hopefully, I’ll pull it through, alongside NaNoWriMo, as I did last time. I believe autumn is a better season for poetry; at the least that is the case with me. I totally failed the April challenge.
    We’ll see…

  6. ceeess

    Ha. Well, I guess I am a bear for punishment cuz right now I am doing the Southeast Review’s 30-day Regimen. That will end just about when this one starts. So far I have never completed November’s challenge, although I have a whack of draft poems from one, and all the prompts from the other…:)

    Maybe this time! YAY!

    Carol A. Stephen

  7. chilo

    I am excited to participate for the first time on the PAD challenge.
    Just to reiterate: we write a poem a day starting November, we may post it for critique, we put the poems together in a 10-20 page chapbook, we submit it WHERE? online or by mail? and if we have questions, we e-mail Robert (where can I find that information?)
    Good luck to everyone!


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