3 Month Poetry Manuscript Course

Finish Your Poetry Manuscript in 3 Months

Now enrolling Winter 2023

January 18–April 8, 2023

Get your manuscript publisher-ready in time for spring deadlines. This hands-on course guides you through the essential steps to create your book.  

Are you eager to create a standout manuscript but not sure where to start, what to do next, or when to call it done? Whether you’re working on a first book or a subsequent collection, the Complete Poetry Manuscript Course breaks the process into an approachable framework and guides you through the entire process—from selecting poems to structuring the book to creating a memorable first impression with publishers.

Includes: 3 Months Instruction + Bi-weekly 2-hour Group Coaching Sessions (Saturdays)

Course participant limit: 10 

Where: Asynchronous Video Instruction + Bi-weekly Live Coaching Sessions (Zoom)

Cost: $675 early bird ($995 after 11/30)

Complete your book with clarity and confidence.

+ Find focus—know exactly which poems belong

+ Gain confidence in your book’s structure and poem sequence

+ Nail your title and other details that make/break a first impression

+ Polish your manuscript so that it’s 100% ready for publishers

+ Delight in that jewel-like thing—writerly community! (Cohort limited to 10 participants.)

Busy schedule? This course is built for you. Here’s how it works.


Every other week, you’ll receive a new course module. Watch, listen, read at your own pace. Stop in the middle to apply an insight to your work.


Build your book step by step, at ideal times for your schedule and creative flow. Apply learning at a rhythm that works for you—and for your book.


On weeks between course modules we’ll meet (live Zoom) to celebrate your progress, ask questions, and receive helpful feedback.

Member Discount

Poet to Poet Community Members are eligible for a 10% discount on this course.

Radha’s feedback has been invaluable, allowing me to see new ways of organizing the work, as well as new ways of looking at each individual piece. It’s a much better manuscript—and I’m a much better writer—for the work we’ve done together.


I took your poetry manuscript course when I was trying so hard to figure out how to order the sequences in my book I|I. I loved your practical advice, and it really made publication possible for me. Thank you!


2022 Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize Winner

This [manuscript class] was one of the best and most helpful classes I have taken. It was well organized, with helpful details and great examples. Filled me with ideas and spurred me on. Thank you, Radha.


Prone to overthinking, procrastinating, or endlessly revising?

This course is especially for you.

  • Feel grounded in the process. Make decisions based on your book’s unique qualities.
  • See clearly what to do next, no overthinking it. (Who me, overthink? I get it!)
  • Increase focus and build confidence in your book with guided group feedback.
  • Stop procrastinating—or procrasta-learning, ahem, like I’m so prone to….

Small group coaching sessions* plus private email ensures your questions are answered and your manuscript gets the attention it deserves.

*This cohort is limited to 10 people.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the live coaching dates?

Live Coaching + Q&A takes place every other Saturday 9-11am MT (8-10 PT, 10-12 CT, 11-1 ET) on 1/21, 2/4, 2/18, 3/4, 3/18, 4/8. 

Are there any prerequisites?

Not formally, but I do recommend having:

  • Prior workshop experience
  • Between 30-60 poems that you consider close to done
  • 3-5 hours to dedicate to the process, weekly
  • A serious desire to complete and publish your book

What if my poems aren’t “done”—or I have more poems to add? Do poems need to have been published in journals?

Great! This is ideal….you want to start the process when you have a good number of individual works to consider including but while you also can edit and play. Publishing poems in journals can help show publishers your seriousness, but it is not a requirement. 

What if I’m working full time or have other responsibilities?

Poetry is rarely the sole focus of our lives. I wrote and completed my first book while working full time in media and marketing, in addition to writing poetry and teaching. I know how hard it can be to complete a manuscript under time constraints. That’s why the course is designed with flexibility. Complete the work at times that ideal for you. You can do it—and with relative ease—because the process has been broken into steps that can be accomplished in 2-week increments.

Do poems need to have been produced recently? Can I include poems I wrote a long time ago? 

Poems don’t need to be recent. Yes, you can include poems you wrote ages ago. We’ll talk about how to know which poems belong in your manuscript. But everything is on the table to start!

Does this course cover chapbooks?

The course is generally designed for full-length collections (50-80 word-processing pages); however, the principles are exactly the same and can be applied to shorter manuscripts, absolutely.

I’ve got a lot of poems, but how do I know when I’m really ready to work on a book?

Generally you need between 30 to 60 poems that you consider reasonably ready for publication. That’s it. There’s no reason to wait. If you feel that you’re still developing as a writer, wonderful! We are constantly evolving as writers and that will never change. It’s almost always the case that we wait too long to start the process of developing a book. Finishing a collection puts you on track for what’s next.

Can I work with poems previously organized in a chapbook? 

Yes! In fact, many poets have chapbooks that later get absorbed into full-length collections. 

What if I can’t make a session. Will there be recordings?

Yes. No problem. Sessions will be recorded.

Will this course be offered again this year?

Possibly, but I cannot guarantee when—or that it will be at the same price.

About Course Instructor Radha Marcum

I’m an award-winning poet who has taught poetry for over 20 years. I get more questions from my students about manuscript development than about any other topic, and yet there aren’t many resources that illuminate the process of manuscript development. I started the Poet to Poet newsletter and community to fill that gap.

My collection Bloodline won the New Mexico Book Award for Poetry in 2018, and my poems appear in many journals, such as FIELD, West Branch, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Notre Dame Review, Bennington Review, The Bellingham Review, and Poetry Northwest, among many others. I have taught writing and literature at universities and colleges, community writing centers, conferences, and privately since 1999.