Black Lawrence Press

Mixed Genre/ Hybrid Consultations with Jenny Drai

During the month of December, Black Lawrence Press authors TJ Beitelman, Elizabeth J. Colen, and Jenny Drai are on board to critique mixed genre and hybrid manuscripts; and they are accepting everything from short 2-page pieces of work to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:

  • Short pieces, up to 2 pages in length, $15
  • Medium piece, up to 10 pages in length, $30
  • Long pieces, up to 20 pages in length, $45
  • Extended pieces/chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $150
  • Short manuscripts, up to 90 pages in length, $250
  • Long manuscripts, up to 200 pages in length, $500

All manuscripts should be double-spaced and formatted in 12-point font.

The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is December 31, 2017. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by January 31, 2018.

Space in this program is limited, so please be sure to submit your work soon!

Note: Please do not send manuscripts that promote hate speech, are intended to harass or bully a specific person or group of persons, or include glorified sexual violence.

Click Here to Submit

Statement of Purpose

As an editor, I begin by trusting the writing. I view each poem or mixed-genre piece as a world-building exercise in and of itself. When consulting on your manuscript, I’ll step into the world you’ve created and work within the given parameters to strengthen the building blocks of that world, from the ground level up. When necessary, I’ll gently encourage you to broaden the horizons of this world and I’ll offer concrete advice on how to accomplish this.

(Please note: I am especially interested in reading poetry, prose poetry, and mixed-genre pieces that lean towards poetry. If your manuscript leans more heavily towards prose, you might wish to work with another consultant.)

Some questions I’ll ask as I consult on your manuscript:

Does the writing grab and hold my attention? (I’ll draw on my experience as a reader for a chapbook contest and as an editor for a literary journal here.) In cases where the writing doesn’t grab my attention, where can the writer push gently to get more out of the language?

Is there an overall arc to the collection? Do the poems or mixed-genre pieces talk to each other and create compelling connections as they are ordered in the manuscript? (Ordering a manuscript is one of my specialties.)

How well are line breaks working in individual poems, or in the case of prose poetry and mixed-genre pieces, is there enough tension in the language to create energy as one sentence flows into another?

Is the imagery specific and evocative, or are there instances where the writing may be too abstract?

How does form help to create meaning in the individual poems or mixed-genre pieces and within the overall scope of the manuscript? Are there instances when slight alterations in form might serve to clarify what the poem or mixed-genre piece is trying to say?

And more…

As I consult on your manuscript, I’ll offer line edits as well as overall feedback, all the while holding your vision for your writing close to hand. Please feel free to address any specific concerns or questions in your cover letter.

By Jenny Drai

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

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Upcoming Consultations

We’ve got big plans in the works for our 2018 consultation program. Stay tuned!

Jenny Drai

Jenny Drai is the author of three collections of poetry, including Wine Dark (Black Lawrence Press) and [the door] (Trembling Pillow Press). Two poetry chapbooks have also been published. They are The New Sorrow Is Less Than The Old Sorrow (Black Lawrence Press) and :Body Wolf: (Horse Less Press). A novella, Letters to Quince, was awarded the Deerbird Novella Prize and published by Artistically Declined Press. Her work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, including American Letters and Commentary, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, and The Volta, among others. In addition, she was recently awarded the 2017 Gail B. Crump Prize in Experimental Fiction from Pleiades Magazine. She studied literature and foreign languages at Beloit College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. She blogs about her current project (a novel about Beowulf, bees, and queens), neurodivergence, and transatlantic life, and posts photos from her travels at She lives in Bonn, Germany.  

Drai Author page