As the deadlines approach, I've been asking myself this. In February, both Floating Bridge Press and Tupelo Press have deadlines for their chapbook contest. (If you know of others, can you pass that information along?)
My current manuscript began as a chapbook. It then evolved into a full-length project. I've come to think of it as a full-length project. But I keep wondering whether I should limit those early poems within the context of a larger book, or whether I should send them out on their own.
I keep imagining Lorna Dee Cervantes asking, "What's at stake?" She posed that question when asking about poems during last year's LitFuse master class. But I think it's a valid question for a group of poems: What's at stake? Why did I write them? Is it more important to get them out into the world, or to have a full-length book?
Well, when you put it that way...
And then here I am, again, questioning why I fuss so much. Entering a contest is a far, far cry from winning and publication.
So I think I've convinced myself. But I wonder: Do you ever encounter this question? What do you say?