criteria_aYes: If you have a book-length (or chapbook-length) poetry manuscript and you want honest feedback from editors and publishers at established poetry presses.

Yes: If you’ve been working on your collection for months or years, submitting to contests (or to presses directly) without success and you feel you need more feedback and a candid assessment to help guide the revision process. Perhaps you are not sure about the organization, state of completeness, the narrative “arc” (or whether you need one), the strength of individual poems, the opening and closing sections, and so on. Working with workshop leaders who are also current or former editors and then consulting with an established poetry press editor/publisher who is focused on your work enables you to determine the right direction at this point in your manuscript cycle.

Yes: If you have attended a previous Colrain conference and wish to confirm revisions to your manuscript before re-submitting to presses, or if you have a new manuscript you wish to submit for evaluation.

No: If you are looking for workshops that focus on study, line-by-line critiques, and/or hands-on exercises that demonstrate the application of poetic craft. (The conference does include critiques of individual poems only insofar as they further the purpose of the manuscript as a whole, and depending on time).


No: If you are not looking for honest evaluation. This conference is designed to provide poets an opportunity to show their work to top editorial professionals, and to give participants a unique and realistic look “behind the curtain” of the editorial decision-makers, and, most importantly, to give the poet honest–and useful–feedback.

No: If you expect an on-the-spot acquisition decision from an editor. Editors will be doing initial evaluation of your manuscript only, providing candid feedback and a determination as to its suitability for a further, in-depth reading at their press. The editorial session does not constitute an official submission to an editor, nor is the conference a “talent scouting” event. It is a concentrated, post-MFA and/or post-manuscript education.