The announcement of the 2018 November PAD Chapbook Challenge results (or lack thereof), a brief note on a challenging 2019, and what to expect for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
First off, I don't want to beat about the bush: For the first time since I started the challenge in 2008, there will be no winners announced for the 2018 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. This has nothing to do with the quality or quantity of the poetry I received.
As usual, I received around 100 chapbook manuscripts from poets around the globe. And while I had not read every manuscript, I read enough to know there were some great manuscripts in there. Unfortunately, I've lost those email submissions as a result of F+W Media's bankruptcy earlier this year.
I don't think I've addressed the topic on Poetic Asides—mostly because I wasn't allowed to at the time—but F+W Media filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year in order to auction off various pieces of the business to pay down debts. The Writer's Digest community that hosts Poetic Asides was acquired by Active Interest Media earlier this year as a result.
Overall, it's been a good process. We're excited about being owned by a media company that is able to support its employees and keep the lights on. But it's come with a lot of quick and uneven transition, including the loss of some old email. Unfortunately, that includes the 2018 November PAD Chapbook Challenge submissions.
I apologize for this; it definitely makes me sad that I can't highlight a winning manuscript this year. I thought about asking people to re-submit, but I realize that would be unfair to everyone who did it in the moment—and it would be nearly impossible for me to read through them all again and pick a winner before the 2019 November PAD Chapbook Challenge.
Yes, I do plan on hosting the 12th annual 2019 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. The official announcement will go up later this week. I've already got a month's worth of prompts ready to go; so it'll be fun.
Now that I can talk about it, I will say this: 2019 has been a challenging year—the first 8 months especially—but the nice thing about a challenge is that there's new perspective on the other side, and I like where we're headed. November should be a blast, and we have big plans for 2020 and beyond.
When times get tough, poets get poeming. It's what we do.