Manuscript Revision Lab

closes June 30, 2022


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"Every good poem begins in language awake to its own connections..." —Jane Hirschfield


Dear poets,

There can be great pleasure or catharsis in writing, but it is revision that reveals the true essence of a poem, and revision that ultimately carries a writer from a handful of poems to a cohesive manuscript. I'm delighted to invite you to our inaugural manuscript revision lab, designed specifically for poets who, like Hirschfield, are ready to parse out the connections between their poems and assemble their bones into an agile body. Assembling a successful manuscript can feel like a lonely and daunting process, but our manuscript revision lab provides practical tools, community support, and professional feedback to help you refine your manuscript into a book ready for submission.

This is an entirely online, asynchronous opportunity to have your manuscript draft read and edited by editors at renowned presses. Our editor-partners at Sundress Publications, Milkweed Editions, and Alice James Books have selected and supported manuscripts that have gone on to win national awards and receive critical acclaim. They will apply their expertise—both as poets and experienced editors—to provide extensive developmental feedback that will help you take your manuscript to the next level. A significant portion of the lab fee goes directly to the editors.

I know personally how much love and labor goes into pruning your manuscript and transforming it into a someday-soon book—I spent much of the last two years agonizing over my own manuscript, Theophanies, without the structure of a workshop or critique group. The isolation that the pandemic required of me proved fruitful to my creative process, and now Theophanies is forthcoming from Alice James Books in 2024! I'm eager to connect writers in the same boat with editors who are eager to help, and to share what I've learned on my own journey to publication as well. I hope you'll join us!

in community,

Sarah Ghazal Ali


participants receive:

  • a 2-4 page editorial letter from an editor with specific suggestions and developmental edits, as well as targeted line edits within the manuscript itself
  • 30-40 pages of self-guided supplementary materials including craft essays, revision tools, and personal editorial insights from the Palette editor-in-chief
  • free submission in a forthcoming Palette Poetry contest
  • personalized suggestions for presses and publishing houses that would be a good home for your manuscript
  • Palette-organized critique partners/critique groups based on where you are in the manuscript process, vision/goals, thematic concerns, etc...
  • All writers will receive feedback no later than September 30. Early submissions may yield earlier feedback.

submission guidelines:

  • please submit a complete draft (between 40-60 pages) of your poetry manuscript (to give us a sense of what you're working on)
  • please submit a cover letter to give us a sense of you, your manuscript, and your goals.
  • all styles of poetry are welcome—we only ask that you have a manuscript ready for review, no matter how rough or polished it may be!
  • $697 submission fee
  • 2 scholarships will be reserved for BIPOC poets with financial need.


How much interaction will I have with the editors?
  • Each participant will be assigned one editor who receives their manuscript. For accessibility and ease, we've designed this program to be completely asynchronous and digital—you will submit your manuscript, and the editors will read it, write their feedback, and send it back. After that, any continued conversation is at the editor's personal discretion.

How much interaction will I have with the other participants?
  • This is entirely up to you! The Lab is designed with folks who want community and folks who want to work independently both in mind. After receiving your resources, you'll be asked if you'd like to join a critique group or find a critique partner to work through them together. The Palette team will help facilitate the groups or pairings according to level of experience, goals/vision, and other factors, and then it'll be entirely up to the participants after that to figure out a working schedule and style that makes sense to the group. We want to help foster community long after the lab itself has ended!

Will this help me publish my book?
  • We certainly hope so, though the goal is to give you the tools you need to take your manuscript and your revision practice overall to the next level.

Will I have to use zoom or talk to anyone on the phone?
  • Nope! This will be handled entirely through Submittable. We will send you your packet of lab material soon after the lab closes. The timing of the feedback depends on the editor's availability, but it should not take longer than 8-12 weeks for you to receive your feedback.

Can I purchase a spot for a friend?
  • Yes, please feel more than welcome. Just make sure to make clear in your cover letter what you're doing and put us in contact with that poet.