In one month, we’ll begin another November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. While I've always considered the April challenge as a free-for-all; November is when I try (though don’t always succeed) to write around a specific theme.
It's not a requirement for other poets, but that's how I usually roll with it. By the way, I have to give credit to years of completing this chapbook challenges for helping me finally put together my first book of poems, Solving the World's Problems, which was published last year by Press 53. So even when you're not a "winner," you can still be a winner in terms of development.
The November challenge is a little different than the one in April. The guidelines in this post should help guide you through the month.
Here are the basics of the November PAD Chapbook Challenge:
- Beginning on November 1 (Atlanta, Georgia time), I will share a prompt and poem each day of November on this blog.
- Poets are then challenged to write a poem each day (no matter where you live on the planet) within 24 hours (or so) from when the prompt is posted. Don’t worry: If you fall behind or start late, you CAN play catch up.
- Poets do NOT have to register anywhere to participate. In fact, poets don’t even need to post to this blog to be considered participants.
- The Challenge will unofficially conclude around 24 hours after the final prompt is posted. That said…
- This Challenge is unique, because I expect poets to take all the material they’ve written in November and create a chapbook manuscript during the month of December. (Yes, you can revise material, and yes, the chapbook should be composed mostly of poems written for the challenge–I’m using the honor system.)
- Poets have until 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on January 7, 2015, to submit a manuscript that can be 10-20 pages in length (not including table of contents, title page, etc.) with no more than one poem per page. So if you wrote 50 poems in November, you have to narrow them down to the best 20 (or even fewer). Submit manuscripts to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. (The subject line is very important, because I have a very busy inbox.)
- The goal will be to announce a winning manuscript by Groundhog Day 2015. February 2, 2015, for those of you unfamiliar with that particular holiday.
Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!
Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25 poems.
The deadline is October 31.
What do poets get out of this challenge?
If nothing else, they get several new poems, but I’ve heard plenty of success stories over the years from poets who have gone on to publish individual poems from these challenges and even complete collections (mostly inspired by the challenges).
Plus, the winner gets recognized on this blog, along with many honorable mentions. That’s a good thing.
Regarding comments, this blog has a history with commenting problems, which why I don’t make it mandatory for poets to post on the blog to participate. However, I think poets who do comment get a lot out of it by sharing their work and creating a community on the blog. Just make sure you save all your work elsewhere too–like in a notebook or Word doc. It’s good to have backups.
If you have any additional questions, shoot them to me in the comments.
I can’t wait to see everyone in November.
Robert 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, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.
This will be his seventh year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. As much as he loves the hustle and bustle of the April PAD Challenges, November is nice for a few reasons, including the focus on creating a chapbook and just the laid back feel. Some of his favorite poems have come out of the November challenges, and he can't wait to get started again.
Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.