Thanks for your interest in participating in NOPF. Each year we try to offer a festival that presents a wide variety of poetic content, from the local New Orleans and Louisiana poetic community to national and international voices. To this end, every Autumn we solicit event proposals from anyone who would like to submit one. The 14 members of the NOPF Board then review the proposals and rank them, and we accept the highest ranked. We also accept proposals for individual readers with somewhat different acceptance criteria (see below for details). On this page we are presenting instructions for submission and also advice on how to get your proposal to rank highly.
Note that we no longer require proposals for Tables. To order a Table in the Bookfair, click here.
The majority of our content comes from Event Proposals. While we accept proposals from individual readers, be aware that we have very few reading slots and can normally accept only about 10% of those who apply (see below for criteria of selection), whereas we can normally accept 50% or more of Event Proposals.
There are three basic types of events:
- Readings: A group of writers present their work. The group is normally affiliated thematically, literarily, geographically, or otherwise. A press might propose a reading or recent releases, for example. Or a group of poets and/or prose writers might propose a reading based on a theme (e.g. ecology, magic, illness, social or identity issues, etc.) Reading events are normally 50 minutes.
- Roundtables: A group of writers and/or scholars host a presentation and/or discussion on a theme of interest to poets and writers. Themes may range from the very concrete (publishing methods, pedagogy, etc.) to the sublimely aesthetic (tributes, writing styles, etc.). Roundtables events are normally 50 minutes.
- Workshops: Hands-on groups facilitated by one or more leaders focusing on writing practice. Normally generative, one-time workshops, focusing on producing new work (as opposed to critiquing old work.) Workshops are normally 2 hours.
Note: If your proposal seems not to fall conveniently into one of these three categories, submit it under the Reading header.
How to Propose
First, assemble your group. Each Reading or Roundtable should involve a minimum of four participants (readers or panelists). Workshops can have as few as one participant (leader) but may have more (and will likely rank higher if they do). Note that each participant, as well as the proposal author, must be registered on the web site for the proposal to be considered. If you have ever participated in NOPF in the past, you are already registered on the site. If you don't remember your username or password, simply reset it on the Login page. In the past we have allowed proposals to list unregistered participants, but we are not doing so any more. Please do not list participant bios in the body of your proposal. Their bios will be available to the Board from their registration.
Note that participants may be in a maximum of two events. Note also that we normally provide a single microphone and PA for each event; any other technical requirements will need to be specifically requested and arranged. We are a very DIY fest and expect event moderators to be responsible for starting, stopping, timing, etc. We TRY to video every event and will livestream as many as we can.
Criteria: What Makes a Good Proposal
We look at several factors when considering proposals. In approximate order of importance:
Quality of the theme: Is the roundtable topic of high relevance to contemporary poetics and poetry culture? For readings, does the group "make sense"?
Clarity and consideration of the proposal text: Is it expressed in such a way as to interest our audience? Does the description indicate that the proposal was carefully considered, edited, etc.? Remember that your proposal text becomes the event description in our materials when the proposal is accepted. It should give the event's theme and suggest why this theme is important. Spend a bit of time on it; make it sound appealing to our audience.
One good way to see what makes a good proposal is to review some from our archives (see Main Menu, above).
Individual Reader Proposals
After the Board has reviewed the Event Proposals, we accept proposals from individual readers. The number of reader slots is quite limited. To be eligible to apply you must not have read as an Individual Reader at NOPF in the past two years, and you must not be a reader on another accepted event.
Click here to fill out an Individual Reader Proposal (Link will become live when proposal period opens, February 1)