2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Okay, here are the next steps for this challenge. Before you dive into them, click here to read the original guidelines for the challenge.

Step One: Write the Poems

We accomplished this step during the month of November. We have 30 prompts to prove it.

Step Two: Revise the Poems

This step is optional, though I highly encourage taking a look over your first drafts and playing around with them in December.


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In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.


Step Three: Collect the Poems

I’m looking for 10-20 pages of poems. Not more than one poem per page, though it’s okay to have more than one page per poem. If you wrote every day in the challenge, this means you’re going to have to make tough decisions about which poems to include.

A couple recommendations:

  • Look for quality first. That’s what I’ll be looking for first.
  • Search for a theme. It might be a storyline, common subjects, a voice, a mood, etc. Not necessary, but this can make a collection stronger.

Step Four: Format the Manuscript

I’m really not too picky here, but I do want all the poems in the same file. There are few things that irk me more than receiving 20 individual files.

Here are a few guidelines:

  • 10- to 12-point font like Arial or Times New Roman (or something simple like that) is preferred. In other words, nothing too fancy.
  • 1″ margins–give or take.
  • .doc, .docx, .txt files are my favorites. But if you’re unable to do those, .pdf can work too.
  • Please include your name and contact information.
  • Please include a title for the manuscript.
  • Table of Contents is not mandatory, but it’s a nice touch.
  • Feel free to include a bio–but I’ve never used a bio to guide my judging.
  • Please no images.

Also, I won’t accept/consider manuscripts that include more than 20 poems with instructions that I pick my favorites. That’s not how this challenge works. You’re the poet; you need to make the artistic decisions.

Step Five: Submit the Manuscript

Submit manuscripts to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: 2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I have a very busy inbox–so the e-mail subject line is very, very important. Very. Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Step Six: Wait for Judging

My goal is to make a decision by spring. March 20, 2017. If I hit that goal, we should be ready to jump into the 2017 April PAD Challenge with some excitement.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He will try to make a post or two this month with strategies for collecting poems into a chapbook-sized manuscript.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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12 thoughts on “2016 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

  1. James Von Hendy

    Hey all, sorry for the late notice, but if you are participating in the November 2016 PAD Chapbook Challenge and submitted your entry recently to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com, you may also want to submit it to him at his new address: robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. It seems, according to Robert, that they’ve changed their email servers and addresses recently. I don’t know when this happened. Robert didn’t say when I contacted him because I got a bounce back at the old address. At the very least you might want to contact Robert at the new address to ask if he got your entry.

    Good luck to all of this year’s participants. I look forward to reading the results in March!


  2. BDP

    Thank you, Robert, for this November’s PAD and for giving us a welcoming forum to hone our craft. I enjoyed reading your poems every morning as well as other participants’ poems. What a fine group of poets!

  3. tripoet

    Thank you, Robert, for November and the other 11 months too. Also, I liked your touch of William Carlos
    Williams in your last poem very much. I’m aiming to write a “plum” poem myself. 🙂

    1. tripoet

      Oops, De Jackson, so you are the William Carlos Williams fan. I’m sorry for the confusion. I shouldn’t leave my computer behind “the red wheelbarrow” where I can miss the full posting!. I liked your poem very much. It was authentic to his (WCW) work. I think that he would have been impressed. Blessings

  4. De Jackson

    {With apologies to William Carlos Willams.}

    This is Just to Say

    I do not
    feel like
    pondering plums,

    or playing
    with poems

    Whew. We made it. Again. Congrats to all who wrote. Thank you to all who commented. Good luck to all who enter. My mess of words shall have to wait at least a few days to be wrangled. I have neglected much this past month. 😉

    THANK YOU, Robert, always, for your dedication to this amazing place. Wishing you all a very happy holiday season. <3

    1. PSC in CT

      Ditto what barbara_y said re needing the boost. Thanks SO much for engineering this train, Robert, and getting us uninspired poets back on track! 🙂 Best wishes for some great holidays and happy poetry reading.


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