So I sent out a manuscript titled Most Likely to Drown to the two first book awards I've already mentioned this fall, but as I've also mentioned, I've been thinking about chapbook contests/calls for submissions, too.
I decided this weekend that I should take a look at some older poetry files, and at newer poems that aren't in my current manuscript. I realized I have enough work to compile a chapbook manuscript that\"s completely unique from the full-length manuscript.
I spent Saturday morning whittling a list of about 45 poems down to the 28 strongest works, and I am pretty satisfied with the result. To be honest, I've made the short list twice in chapbook competitions with a manuscript that was not as strong as this new one. I titled the collection Kill Jars, after a poem that is included, but I'm contemplating Swallows and Hares as a better title.
I didn't debate--I sent the collection out already to three publishers: The American Poetry Journal's chapbook series, Beloit Poetry Journal's Chad Walsh Chapbook Series, and Black Lawrence Press open reading period for chapbooks. All three of these opportunities are calls for submissions, not contests. However, the Chad Walsh Chapbook Series selects only one collection--and that author receives a $2500 prize (NEW for 2020), 50 author copies (perfect bound, full-color cover), and an in-depth editorial consultation, so it seems a bit more like a contest in that I'd receive more than the publication and distribution of the resulting book.
I also received a rejection letter from the online publication Sixth Finch this week, and in that rejection letter, they mentioned submitting to their open chapbook call, so I'll likely send to them, as well. For whatever reason, they do not have their chapbook call published on Submittable, so I am hoping there might be only a small pool of manuscripts there.
It's hard to know what editors are receiving--are they just overwhelmed with a ton of manuscripts and original work, since so many people are spending more time at home during the pandemic, or are writers preoccupied with other facets of their life right now and therefore are not sending out work like they might in a usual year? I'm not sure . . . so I just keep stacking the deck in my favor as frequently as I can.
This week, I also sent a selection of four poems to Stonecrop Magazine, out of the College of Western Idaho.