I sent a book, a manuscript of a book, to a first book contest today. My chances are slim to nil but I did it anyway. I see flashes of brilliance in my work but that quality is uneven. I am too careless and hurried with the work. I think what I sent is publishable poetry; in fact 29 of the 51 poems in the collection have been published. My main concern is that my work falls below the standards which must be upheld in a national, prominent competition.
With that said, I will say that I am happy to have sent a check to the sponsor of the competition, to be able to support poetry that way. I am going to proceed with the realization of my first book. I plan to research more markets for it and submit it widely. I think that should be the course I take.