The summer season is often a great time to submit a short collection of poems for chapbook contests and so I urge those of you who are interested to start gathering your poems together and forming a collection or two.
Poetry chapbook guidelines vary but a good range of poems to have on hand that are similar enough to make a sensible collection would be 15-37 poems.
As for outfitting a manuscript, you will want a title page, of course. Then an author’s contact information page followed by an acknowledgements page for any poems previously published elsewhere. Prepare a brief biography for those who request one, then begin setting up a table of contents and inserting one poem per page afterwards. This will give you a basic manuscript to work from until you can read the more specific guidelines of a particular press or journal.
Once June approaches you can check into this blog or do on-line searches for poetry chapbook open submissions and you’ll be well prepared to refine/adjust your manuscript for the press who you choose to send to.
Good luck to all who prepare poetry chapbooks, please drop in again next week…