What is a chapbook?
The chapbook, literally "cheap book," has been around for hundreds of years. It has always been a way for writers to get published in the least expensive way. Today, a chapbook is usually printed on 81/2 x 11 paper, folded and saddle stitched [stapled] to 81/2 x 51/2. Chapbooks may be as short as a few pages to as long as 50 pages, but they are limited in length by the ability of the paper to fold easily. The visual quality of chapbooks varies considerably. At the least expensive, they are laser printed or photocopied onto low grade paper. At the most expensive they can be printed by letter press on hand made paper in a very limited edition.
WECSPress poetry chapbooks find a middle ground--offset printing on high quality commercial laid or linen paper that draws attention to itself and to the poetry as an art object. For fiction chapbooks we go to a slightly less expensive recycled paper that will not distract from the text. For covers we commission wrap-around art work that can stand on its own while representing the text.
How can I see the work you do?
Order a copy of one or more of our chapbooks. They are not expensive--only $6.95, including postage--the writing is excellent and the production quality is high. Order more than one book and receive a discount. To read about some of our books go to Published Books.
How should I submit a manuscript for a contest?
Always make it look professional and easy to read. That means no unusual typefaces--Arial and Times New Roman have become standard. Use 12 pt . type double spaced for fiction, single space for poetry. Do not bind or staple the MS pages. Always number pages in order. For a poetry collection always include a paginated table of contents. Include an SASE--a Self-Addressed and Stamped #10 Envelope for notification. MSS can not be returned. They are recycled. Finally, always keep your name off the MS, so it can be judged blind.
How should the manuscript be sent?
Mail it through the US Post Office, First Class Mail, or foreign equivalent. Do not use a 2nd or 3rd class postage; that mail can take several weeks and often arrives damaged. Do not use UPS or other private carriers because they can not deliver to a P.O. Box. Registered Mail is costly and unnecessary. Mail it in an envelope that is large enough to hold the pages without bending them.
What about electronic submissions?
A few contests are accepting electronic submissions w/ electronic entry fee payment. We do that with The Scent of an Ending Contest™, in which entries are very short. There are some problems with e-submissions. 1) E-submissions are almost impossible with poetry, since the exact look of the poem is critical and will usually not survive any kind of software change. 2) The cost of printing all the Long Story Contest submissions is prohibitive (not to mention the fact that we've found it impossible to get writers to submit entries in a standard software format). 3) In the past, a few disgruntled writers have deliberately e-mailed malware to get even for not being published. We don't have the time or energy or nerve to counter that risk.
What else should I include to get my MS accepted?
In a contest the manuscript is coded and read blind, so there isn't anything you can do except write well, which is really the whole idea. Even if your MS is not being sent to a contest, it's never a good idea to try to overwhelm the reader. A simple cover letter with some publishing credentials and a little Bio is fine. But, don't include photos, certificates of merit, or other personal items intended to influence the reader. These almost always work against the writer.
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GENERAL GUIDELINES, SUBMISSIONS, QUESTIONS/ANSWERS, ADVICE TO WRITERS