Ideas for concept manuscripts:
1. A manuscript titled Steady Improvement. The first poem is a dirty limerick. It's centered. And it uses a font called Vivaldi. The next poem is an attempt at a sonnet. It's about love and heart and about never giving up. The next one is a trick haiku with "bla bla bla bla bla" as the last line. The next one is an attempt at a ghazal using a line from Night Ranger and is all about giving up. The next one invents a new form known as Seahorsing. And so on. You get the picture. It becomes mediocre, readable but forgettable. Then there are a few sparks. Then it ends with a poem with werewolves and black holes.
2. A manuscript titled Help! I'm Trapped. Each poem is a clue to where the poet is trapped against his/her will. The editor of the press to which this manuscript is sent figures this out, assembles a team of assistant editors who bring in oversized charts and maps to the coffeeshop where the manuscripts are read. After a few weeks or so, the team finds the poet on the brink of starvation deep inside a dark cave behind a fallen boulder and saves his/her life. It is a really good manuscript, but it is only named a finalist.