Poetry Chapbook Lab

What Is Poetry Chapbook Lab?

Charlotte Lit’s Poetry Chapbook Lab is a year-long low-residency program designed to help you produce a cohesive, well-crafted chapbook manuscript of 12-20 poems (approximately 28 pages). The program combines monthly online workshopping with quarterly weekend intensives and one-to-one mentorship by one of four award-winning poet faculty members.

Why Chapbook Lab?

Photo by Amy Hart Studios

The step between crafting individual poems and assembling a collection for publication is a big one, even for experienced writers. Not only does each poem have to sing, but selected pieces must also speak to one another in a cohesive way. Chapbook Lab is designed to address both goals, assuring you finish the program year with a polished manuscript you can feel good about. Additionally, you’ll receive helpful guidance about sending individual poems to journals and your manuscript to contests and book publishers (including Charlotte Lit Press). Most important, however, is the opportunity to build long-term relationships with members of the Chapbook Lab cohort, that group of 12-16 poets who support and celebrate one another throughout the year—and beyond.

How Does It Work?

Photo by Amy Hart Studios

Our three-part program:

  • Weekend Intensives: Each quarter, you’ll attend a weekend intensive that includes a master class with one of our four Chapbook Lab mentors, facilitated workshopping sessions, and a faculty reading/reception. Dates: September 9-10 and December 9-10, 2023; March 16-17 and June 8-9, 2024.
  • Monthly Workshopping: During months without an in-person meeting (October, November, January, February, April, and May), you’ll give and receive feedback, including expert facilitator feedback, on poems in progress through the WetInk online workshopping platform.
  • Poet Mentorship: You’ll be matched for quarterly one-to-one mentorship with an award-winning poet. Each quarter, you’ll submit a packet of work to your mentor for extensive written feedback, followed by a brief phone or Zoom meeting.

Our Award-Winning Faculty

The monthly workshopping sessions (four in-person, eight online) are led by Dannye Romine Powell. Our mentors for the 2023-24 cohort are Nickole Brown, Stuart Dischell, Lola Haskins, and AE Hines. [Click here to learn more.]

Information Sessions

We want to learn about you and your project. Join Charlotte Lit Co-founder/Chapbook Lab Director Kathie Collins and other potential applicants for one of four information sessions (Zoom and in-person options available). These informal sessions give you a chance to introduce yourself, meet our program director, and ask questions that will help you decide whether this year’s Chapbook Lab is right for you. (All applicants are required to attend one information session as part of the application process.)

Register here for one of the dates below.

  • 12pm on 6/15/23 via Zoom
  • 5 pm on 6/19/23 via Zoom
  • 5 pm on 6/29 in-person
  • 12 pm on 7/12/23 via Zoom
  • 12 pm on 7/18/23 via Zoom
  • 5 pm on 7/26/23 via Zoom

Your Investment

Photo by Page Leggett

The base fee for the 2023-24 program year is $3600, payable in monthly installments of $300. In addition, students must be Charlotte Lit members. (Memberships begin at $75 per year.)

Chapbook Lab is also time intensive. Cohort members are expected to attend a minimum of three of the four in-person weekend intensives, to actively participate in the WetInk online community (including timely completion of monthly workshop feedback), and on-time submission of quarterly mentor packets.

Scholarships: Charlotte Lit has limited funds available for need-based scholarships. Accepted applicants can apply online. Scholarship decisions will be confirmed in early August.

How to Appy

Applications for the upcoming program year, which runs from September 2023 to August 2024, open June 15 and close August 1. The cohort is limited to 16 members; admission is competitive. While previous publication credits are not required, Chapbook Lab is designed to support intermediate and advanced writers. Strong candidates will be avid readers of contemporary poetry, have previous craft class and workshopping experience, and have created a body of work that includes both finished and in-progress poems. We welcome applications from poets of all backgrounds and cultural communities throughout the U.S.