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I would just like to pose a few questions referring to

Do you feel/know if holds legitimate contests?

Does everyone get the semifinalist letter in the mail?

Are their books ever sold to anyone other than the respective poets inside? (i.e. book stores)

Can you attest to the credibility -or lack of credibility- of this site or?

Question Context:
I received one of their "your-a-semifinalist" letters in the mail the other day, and through the the heaps and heaps of impersonal flattery, I felt an odd notion that it was all just a sham. I'm just questioning whether or not this should be viewed as a real achievement. Has this happened to you?

"You're so great, we're gonna publish you. Your now a 'Published' writer. By the way, wanna buy a copy of the book?" nudge nudge. -Sticky Car Salesmen Grin

Comments Appreciated. Nudge Nudge.

--By Daniel O'Brien


The following comments are for "ATTENTION all Poets!!"
by dao05

Poetry Scams

I have done alot of research into these sort of on-line scams. Here is a good site to start with.


( Posted by: dareva [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

There's one born every minute!
Attention all needy would be poets desperately coveting phoney encouragment...lavish praise...hearty atta boys...and all for just the price of the priviledge of seeing your lack luster work in print so you can brag to all the unsupecting friends and relatives...who know nothing about legitimate talent in writing...poetry or otherwise.

For 6 or 7 hundred hard earned dollars, you can even be fortunate enough to attend their semi-annual seminars complete with banquet...a silver cup engraved with your name on it and poetry readings with several hundred other vain souls seeking validation. And if you're REAL good...they might even publish your poem on a cd (for which you pay dearly of course) but the time you're through...a couple of thousand dollars later...if they've really found a willing pigeon in will have been published in a book that will never see the light of day in any book store (you have to order it from them).

Ok. if you're still not about a 60 minutes expose` and a few other investigations that warned people of the scam that they are...just put the word Poetry Scams on the web and see how many times their name comes up...oh yes...they word their pitch just inside the legal lines but trust me...poems have been submitted under baby's and dogs names...guess what...they got that letter too!

Have a nice day!

( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )
It's good for posting instantly and e-carding (free of charge) your poem. Don't give them money to attend a dog and pony show. Harmless, unless you buy into the hype.

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

From personal experience...
I also had received one of those letters in which I was so excited about until I talked to my friend who had also gotten one. None of the contests that I had ever been in from that site were legitimate. Supposedly they put one of my poems in a book too, yet I hadn't heard anything of the book. That's what happened to me with them, otherwise, I don't know.

( Posted by: MenPrefrBrunets [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

Crick of shot
I've been a semi-finalist for the last two years. At first I was like 'whahoo' goodbye job, hello getting up at lunch time. However, I don't live in America and so getting to their 'conventions' is a problem. and unfortunately I don't have enough money for the 'lovely coffee table poetry book.' Not to worry though I've only submitted one poem and it seems to have done well this year as well so it seems there's no hurry. Look at the small print that gives you the opportunatity to 'unsubscribe'.

( Posted by: Emlyn [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

Keep well away! is a very well-documented scam (do a google search on their name, and you'll soon see what I mean). The only service they offer is to stroke the egos of beginner poets who are willing to buy over-expensive books to see their name in print. And no, you'll never see their books on sale in reputable book stores.

Since they already have your address, you're going to have to put up with their junk mail for the next few years, but the best advice I can give you is to forget you ever heard of them, and keep well away from them.

All I can add is to say well done for questioning their motives *before* you paid them any money. :)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

re: scams
It's funny, I was just about to post an announcement about scams too. The google ads on some of our pages run ads for "related" sites and some of the scams keep getting through. Daniela has pointed out that despite my banning their urls, they keep getting through. These crafty people keep adding new fake domains to slip through, so if you follow a link and end up on one of the "famous poets" ( it's been widely reported as a scam.

( Posted by: Chrispian [Admin] On: February 3, 2005 )

scams give leg contests a bad name
It's sad. Scams like, famouspoets, and others give legitimate contests a bad rap. A lot of small presses and publishers run legitimate contests to encourage writers, but unfortunately people get burned by these scams and then stop entering contests entirely. Considering how sue-happy people are, you'd think there would be a class-action lawsuit against these scams. They really hurt small presses.

( Posted by: Cyberwolfe [Member] On: February 3, 2005 )

$10,000. Prize Money!
The previous posters speaketh the truth.

Also, you need to know that there isn't any big money in poetry, even if you work at it for a life time, except in rare circumstances. Many of the most well-known and highly respected poets struggle financially and usually hold another job to pay their bills. There are very, very few poets who make a living strictly on what they write.

Most of the big time publishing houses that print books of poetry do so as a break-even or money-losing proposition. They do it for the enhancement of their own literary reputation, and because they can afford it.

Regarding that poetry contest outfit out of Owings Mills, Md.: A few years ago I went to a poetry reading at a local library. I read that the woman would be reading from her two published books of poetry.

Only about 10 people showed up. The woman poet wore jeans and a buckskin fringed jacket, had long flowing hair and looked like what you would expect a real poet to look like.

Her poems, though very sincere, were pretty awful.

After the reading, it was obvious she expected the audience to purchase some of her books.

I spoke with her and she told me how she had entered the big Owings Mills contest and was a finalist and attended the big convention at a motel where all the other contestants were invited to attend.

She told me all the finalists would read their poem over and over about 50 times as people wandered room to room (or something close to that).

She never did win any money and the two books she had published by them cost her about $400. - $600. each, if I recall correctly. She also had to pay to travel there and paid for her own room.

I tried to gently and tactfully explain to her that she was being taken advantage of. I also told her the contest people probably had a deal with the motel and got a cut from all the rooms that were rented for the event, as she told me there was about 200 in attendance.

She then told me she was going to another one of their conventions because, yes, she made the finals again!

In short, what I had told her went in one ear and out the other.

It was very sad and depressing because she was a very sincere and likeable person. I hope she eventually wised up.

The act of writing is it's own reward. If you can make a few bucks here and there, and a few people like your stuff, then you're really doing well.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: February 4, 2005 )

poetry scams
I too have been down this same road. I submitted a poem to poetry .com and was told that it had been accepted for publication. I was thrilled that at last I would see my work in print.

Then a reply came that I was required to purchase the book. So at the end of the day I still have not seen it inprint. Obviously one cannot be taken in with such garbage. I must say now I have seen others have similar experiences I do not feel quite the dummy I did feel.

( Posted by: annefreemana [Member] On: February 4, 2005 )

I too asked the same questions when announced my submissions as SEMI-FINALISTS. I thought it was fair, but later I realised they would publish only such persons who would ultimately buy their publications. In fact they do everything to virtually force you to buy a copy of the book or cassette etc that features your work.I never found they ever honored their decisions. They just arouse your expectations and make you feel 'big' for a while, but the truth is, they simply bluff you.
I also felt cheated more than once by The International Library of Poetry, MD, USA that declared my poems semifinalists but never published them(?).
I am convinced most of the poets are gullible by nature and anyone can lure them to deceptive honors and prizes. --R K

( Posted by: R.K.Singh [Member] On: March 10, 2005 )

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