Poetry Chapel – Write a Poetry Collection with David Tensen

Welcome! There is a good chance you’re here because you interested in writing a poetry book with me. There is a bit to read here but by the end, I do hope you should have most of your questions answered. If not, you can always reach out to me ~ Dave

It was June 2020 when I put out a small post on social media asking if anyone wants to write and publish a poetry book with me. To my surprise, lots of people loved the idea and completed the expression of interest form. I was thinking I’d get 5 responses. I got close to 50 within a few days. I chose 14 people from different backgrounds and parts of the world and offered them a spot. They all said yes and spent the next 6 months writing, gathering and publishing a poetry collection together. It was so much better than I expected – which is why I want to do it again (and again)


THE QUICK FACTS

Here’s what we do together over 5-6 months:

  • Create a supportive, encouraging and healing community.
  • Gather via Zoom 10 times.
  • Share and submit poems for feedback.
  • Write poems cover themes / prompts.
  • Publishing a collection of poems in a softcover and eBook that will be available worldwide.

I’d like to serve you by:

  • Creating a safe space for you to explore and improve your gift.
  • Pointing you towards voices and resources to help you discover your own style and story.
  • Coach you through the self-publishing process using major print-on-demand services.
  • Being available to answer your questions.
  • Getting your name out there by leveraging my network and influence.

Cost: $2,100 Australian Dollars (AUD)
which is currently $1570 US Dollars (USD). 

Still interested? Read on… application button at bottom of page.


THE LONGER FACTS, DATES AND TIMES

I have several goals for our time together. Firstly, to gather and share our collective life experiences using poetry as a common language. Secondly, to show you how to self-publish a book.  Thirdly, to give you the opportunity to have several your poems featured in a collection which we’ll print and release in time for midyear or Chrismas.  I’ll elaborate some more and hopefully answer some questions along the way.

Gathering and Stretching:
Poetry can move us in ways that prose and instruction cannot.  One of my highest priorities will be to foster psychological safety, which is why I will be selecting participants as best possible and modelling vulnerability and inclusion.  This is not a Uni course or lecture on poetry, but we will certainly discuss some of the practical aspects of writing poetry for private and public spaces. You will receive constructive feedback on your poems, but there are no marks or grading. It will be an immersive and diverse experience aimed towards healing and discovery of the genius in you.  As mentioned earlier, you’ll be given homework most weeks which may include things like writing poems for others or writing from prompts.  I hope to be a coach or mentor for you in this space.

Self-publishing know-how:
Throughout the course, I’ll be sharing the tools, services, and methods I used to release my two last books.  My hope is, by the time we’ve finished, you’ll be empowered to perhaps publish books of your own.  No, you don’t need a big-name publisher to endorse and promote you anymore. You don’t need thousands of dollars and room under your bed for boxes of unsold books. Print-on-demand has disrupted the book market and you’ll be given insight into the whole process as we write and publish a book together. In our first course, one of the new poets, Franki, published his own collection, with my help and encouragement.

Creating a collection together:
I envisage a collection of around 70 poems available in soft-cover and eBook on the market for midyear or Christmas – (depending which intake you sign up for). The first half of the book will be poems I have written, the second half will be a collection of poems from participants. This will mean, for example, you’ll have a single author profile page with a little about you (socials, other books, background) followed by 2-4 poems you have written during or before the course.   I’ll be vetting these poems for suitability and quality to make sure they suit the feel, length and genre of the collection.  Here is where you may have several questions so I’ll answer what I can below in the FAQs

COST

$2,100 Australian Dollars (AUD)
which is currently $1570 US Dollars (USD). 

This amount will be payable 100% up-front
or 50% up-front ($1050) and the remainder over 13 weeks ($90 p/w) total $2220.

* Because demand is high and spots are limited, a holding/booking fee of AUD$180 will be required if you are accepted. This can be deducted from the upfront fee or 2 of the weekly fees.
If you cancel your spot this holding fee is non-refundable.
If the course is cancelled, holding fee money will be refunded.

This price includes:

  • Access to all ZOOM sessions.
  • 5 softcover books shipped to you.
  • Cost price + shipping + 15% on further book buys (min order 5) for 12 months.

If you decide to sign-up, you’ll be issued an invoice for payment.

GATHERING TIMES

I hold two gathering on Tuesdays. This is to allow for work and timezone commitments. All ZOOMS are recorded and posted to the private Facebook Group. You are encouraged to attend


WEEKLY SESSION 1

BRISBANE, Australia. 10:00am – 11:30am Tues
MELBOURNE, Australia. 11:00am- 12:30am Tues
PST/PDT, Pacific Standard Time (US). 4:00pm-5:30pm Mon
BERLIN, Germany. 1:00am-2:30am Tues


WEEKLY SESSION 2

BRISBANE, Australia. 6:30pm-8:00pm Tues
MELBOURNE, Australia. 7:30pm-9:00pm Tues
PST/PDT, Pacific Standard Time (US). 12:30am-2:00am Tues
BERLIN, Germany. 9:30am-11:00am Tues

Timezone converter here

DateEvent
Tuesday, February 1, 2022ZOOM Gathering 1
Tuesday, February 8, 2022ZOOM Gathering 2
Tuesday, February 15, 2022ZOOM Gathering 3
Tuesday, February 22, 2022ZOOM Gathering 4
Tuesday, March 1, 2022ZOOM Gathering 5
Tuesday, March 8, 2022ZOOM Gathering 6
Tuesday, March 15, 2022ZOOM Gathering 7
Tuesday, March 22, 2022ZOOM Gathering 8
Tuesday, March 29, 2022ZOOM Gathering 9
Tuesday, April 19, 2022ZOOM Gathering 10
Friday, April 29, 2022FINAL DRAFT OF ALL POEMS DUE
Wednesday, May 18, 2022BOOK LAUNCH TEAM START
Wednesday, June 15, 2022BOOK LAUNCH DAY

FAQs TO READ


1.  Will I get any books at the end?
As part of the course, you’ll be shipped 5 copies of the book for free.  Do with them as you please.

2. Will I get royalties from the book sale?
No book sale royalties will be given to those who offer their poems for the collection. You will retain copyright to the poems you put in the collection, but you’ll be given a rights release form to sign – giving me the right to publish them in the book with no monetary recourse.  If you ever have a poem published in a book or magazine, you will understand this is common practice. My poems appear throughout around 10 books, of which the value is in the exposure and collective influence of the other authors.  If you do not want a poem in the book, you’ll be under no pressure to do so. It’s a ‘get too’ not a ‘have too’.

3. What if I want more book copies?  And can I sell them?
What I can offer those who want more than the 5 copies included, is an opportunity to order more to be printed and shipped at a price of cost (which you’ll discover) plus 15% admin.  This means for example you may want to buy 20 copies as gifts. Let’s say they cost $7 each wholesale plus $20 shipping. The cost will be $160 plus 15% ($24) admin fee for me to arrange the print and ship.  Selling the books in person (at your church or among friends) is OK but you will not be allowed to sell them online via a website etc.  That will be reserved for myself and the retailers the book goes out too. This wholesale cost will be available to you for 12 months after the publication date.

4.  Where will the book be available to buy?
Wherever you can find my books, The Wrestle and So I Wrote You A Poem and Poetry Chapel Vol 1. is a great indication. Basically, all over the world via Amazon etc.   Bookshops are another story. E.g  Even though I have sold several thousand copies of The Wrestle, in the past 9 months, bookshops usually only sell books distributed by the big labels. I’ll explain more about this in the course, including ways to get around it.

5.  Will my name appear on the book cover?
Yes, you’ll be listed as a contributor to the collection with your name appearing on the back cover and in the description of the book sold by online retailers.  David Tensen will remain as the main author and will be featured on the spine. ( If you want to remain anonymous, you may use a suitable pseudonym. )

6.  What sort of poems will be excluded from the book?
For no other reason than personal preference, conviction, and the readership I’ve been establishing over the past 4 years of releasing poems I will not be including poems which read more like a church worship song, violent in nature or over-sexual. In style, most poems in my books are free form and/or contain rhyme but lengthy rhyme-based poems are not the main style I’ll be stretching you to write throughout the course. Having said that, if you are the next William Blake or Wordsworth exceptions can be made.

 Also, this will not be a book of impersonal or generic praise to God.  We’ll be leaning into your personal capacity for lament, love, empathy, and the human experience together.  I came from a church song writing background and had to learn to dig deeper into my own honest experience when it came to writing poetry. People buy my poetry collections for their personal points of resonance and honesty. The poems vetted for the inclusion in the publication will need to carry this same feel.  I must also mention that the collection will most likely include language that may offend some readers or participants. The last book did not, but if it goes against personal ethic or moral standards to participate in this kind of expression, this course may not be for you.  In other words, there will likely be some swear words in the collection (like in my previous books).

7.  What will the book be called?
No idea yet.. Title and theme generally emerge during the writing and collating phase.  Doing this together will be a journey of discovery for us all.  Collective consciousness is a fascinating thing.

8. Do I get a say in the artwork etc?
I hope to include you in the cover artwork process, but the final decision will lie with me. I can’t see 10+ creatives all agreeing on a single cover.  Plus, there is a cover style on my previous books I hope to keep some continuity with.

9. Do I need to identify as a Christian or religious person to participate?
No.  Certainly, many of my poems contain elements of divinity and reference to Christ, but not all of them do… and neither do yours need to be. In fact, I hope you discover a new sense of sacredness and spirituality outside of religious reference and rhetoric.

10.  Do I have to publish a poem in the book?
As mentioned under the royalties FAQ, if you do not want poems in the book, you’ll be under no pressure to do so.  I hope most participants do, though. By the way, there is no change in price for those choosing not to have poems published in the book.

STILL INTERESTED? WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?

If you’ve read everything and this sounds like something you’d love to be part of in the first half of 2022 for the Poetry Chapel Vol. II Collection, this is the form to fill out.