NEW! Poetry Chapbook Lab

What is Poetry Chapbook Lab?

Charlotte Lit’s Poetry Chapbook Lab is an intensive year-long program designed to guide you through the process of writing, revising, and preparing a chapbook-length selection of poems for publication.

When you join Poetry Chapbook Lab, you join a community of poets, instructors, and mentors dedicated to helping you develop and strengthen craft skills and discover a distinct poetic voice.

Applications for the upcoming program year, which runs September 2021 to August 2022, open June 15 and close on August 1. Entrance is competitive; we expect to receive more applications than available spaces. An application, which includes submission of 12 completed poems, is required for admission. (Application link and instructions are at the bottom of this page.)

The Chapbook Lab Experience

Monthly Workshopping

Workshopping SessionYou will participate in monthly workshopping, led by award-winning poet Dannye Romine Powell, in which you’ll give and receiveextensive feedback on poems in progress. You will also receive knowledgeable advice on submitting individual poems to journals and contests.

Workshop Dates for 2021-22: Thursdays, September 16, October 21, November 18, December 16, 2021; and January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, 2022. Meeting time: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Poet Mentorship

Work one-on-one with a second award-winning poet mentor for additional feedback, brainstorming, and advice on revising and assembling of a selection of your work into a coherent, compelling collection.

You’ll be matched for quarterly mentorship with one of four award-winning poets. In advance of each meeting, you’ll submit between six and eight poems to your mentor for extensive written feedback. After receiving the feedback, you’ll have the opportunity for a virtual (phone or Zoom) meeting with your mentor for the purpose of clarifying questions about feedback, brainstorming ideas for new poems, receiving reading suggestions and guidance on improving craft, and selecting and arranging poems for final project.

Quarterly Master Classes

Once a quarter, you’ll participate in a master class with one of the program’s four poet mentors, covering essential chapbook topics like: vision and establishing voice; revision; assembling your manuscript; reading your work.

Chapbook Publication

See your finished chapbook published! Qualified cohort members may opt to have their chapbooks edited, formatted and published by Charlotte Lit’s Writers/South Press.

Additional Features

  • Poetry Chapbook Lab membership entitles you to take two single-session electives from Charlotte Lit’s public class calendar at no extra charge.
  • Open Studio. As a member of Charlotte Lit, you’ll have access to our lovely and quiet writing studio in Plaza Midwood.

Your Investment

  • Your time and energy. To be successful in Poetry Chapbook Lab, you must be dedicated to your writing and to your cohort. This means: writing consistently; attending at least ten of twelve workshop meetings; attending elective classes; preparing for and meeting quarterly with your mentor— an average investment of 7-10 hours per week.
  • Base fee. The base fee for 2021-22 is $3,000 per year, payable in monthly installments of $250 per month, plus the Charlotte Lit annual membership fee. (Memberships begin at $75 per year.)


Charlotte Lit has limited scholarship funds available. You can make a preliminary application here. Poets making it to the final round may be asked for income verification in the form of IRS filings.

Applying to Chapbook Lab

Applications for the upcoming program year, which runs September 2021 to August 2022, open June 15 and close on August 1. The cohort is limited to 12 members; entrance is competitive. An application, artist statement, and work sample of 12 poems is required.

What makes a strong application?

  • Previous workshopping experience. (Ability to give and receive constructive feedback with a positive attitude is essential.)
  • A work sample demonstrating understanding and use of established craft principles.
  • Examples of active participation in the poetry community.