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Driftwood Seminar Series

Chapbook Creation Seminar

Overview: Over the past few years, the chapbook has had a meteoric rise in popularity among poets. Seasoned veterans and new writers alike are venturing into this bite-sized publication path, and a slew of presses are publishing forward-thinking and exciting chapbooks to wide audiences.


Whether you have a solid idea for a chapbook already or are just starting out, Driftwood Press’ Chapbook Creation Seminar will give you invaluable tools, strategies, and insights to bring your own chapbook to life!


Each week of this five-week course will provide you with video lectures, tailor-made prompts, reading assignments, and exclusive feedback from Driftwood Press’ managing poetry editor Jerrod Schwarz. These lectures will cover the history of the form, outlining tools, writing methodologies, editing techniques, and industry insights into the chapbook publishing world.


You will have the opportunity to dialogue with other course members in a private Facebook group. As part of the course, you will also receive copies of Driftwood Press’ chapbook publications: hell of birds, Village of Knives, and Lily-livered.

Publishing quality chapbooks has been one of our biggest joys as a press, and we are excited to share that enthusiasm with you. We cannot wait to work with each of you to create your very own chapbook!

Application: Driftwood Press will choose up to fifteen students for this seminar on a first come, first served basis. The call for submissions will automatically close when the class fills; once you've paid the fee, your spot is secured. To apply, please provide the following:

  • Statement of Interest: A 200-word statement of interest detailing how this online course would benefit you or why you are interested.

  • Brief Biography: A short, 100-word biographical statement outlining any work history, editorial experience, publications, or upcoming projects you are involved in.

Cost: Cost for the entire five-week course is $200.00 USD. The course-cost includes:

  • Five video lectures available exclusively to students.

  • A weekly Zoom Q&A with the instructor.

  • Tailor-made assignments for those who are coming into the course with a manuscript and for those who are still in the planning phase.

  • Instructor feedback on weekly assignments.

  • Digital reading assignments & access to a Facebook group where students can discuss and share work.

  • Three copies of Driftwood Press chapbooks (Village of Knives, hell of birds, Lily-livered).

Lectures: Most lectures are approximately one-hour. The lecture topics are as follows:

  1. Introduction to the Chapbook Form: Here, we will discuss the history, significance, and prominent writers of the form. We will also delve into the differences between writing a chapbook vs. a full-length collection. 

  2. Outlining Your Chapbook: What are the advantages to outlining a smaller work? What are the differences in planning a chapbook vs. a longer work? We will answer these questions and more with practical steps to give you a strong foundation for your writing.

  3. Writing Your Chapbook: This week will focus on generating the goals and expectations of your work. We will look into exercises that excite and embolden you to work creatively within this form, as well as discussing how chapbooks can become full length collections in the future.

  4. Editing Your Chapbook: Here, we will discuss the tricky landscape of how to trim off and add onto such a short work. We'll also investigate who the audience of your work is and how that informs our editorial decisions.

  5. Your Chapbook & the Publishing World: In this final week, we pull back the curtain on the daunting world of publishing and make use of practical techniques to give your chapbook an edge in this competitive market. We will share our industry insights over our years of successful chapbook publishing to show you what excites editors and presses. 


Timeline: The class timeline is as follows:

  • September 20th - November 8th: Submissions open for application; first come, first served. Payment due upon application.

  • November 8th: First day of Chapbook Creation Seminar!

  • December 10th: Final day of Chapbook Creation Seminar!

About the Instructor: Jerrod Schwarz is the managing poetry editor of Driftwood Press and a creative writing professor at the University of Tampa. His work has appeared in VICE, Pank, Entropy, and many others. His collection No Name Atkins was published by CLASH Books, and his most recent chapbook What the Barn Can't Kill was recently published by The Blasted Tree.

Student Testimonials

"The lectures treated us like serious writers."

- Carole Craig

“Absolutely respected the depth of the seminar and research by the instructor..."


"Critiques were very constructive and highly useful with delicate advice for improvement."


“Prompts were very extensive with choices of a wide range of topics from light hearted to intense."


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