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 Published, unpublished, American, Canadian, Australian, Brazilian, Russian, etc.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 email@example.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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John Drury covers everything from abecedarium to Welsh poetic forms in The Poetry Dictionary, one of the most useful poetic resources on my desk. Poet Molly Peacock says, “Among the myriad poetry handbooks, this one is The One,” and I tend to agree.