Beautiful orchid photo courtesy of


 Poets and writers be alert!

 Your  poetry  is  wanted!  Poetry contests beckon. Try  not to let  your  dream of being  published overrule your good judgment.    Learn about  the perceived  scams.   Then you  can decide whether  or not  you want to participate.

 Scams,  predators,  rip-off artists.  Whatever  the label, their  goal  is  to  charm you  into  spending  money  . .  . as much of it as you  possibly  can,  and  as  many  times as they can.   Know that some contests don't  care  at  all about  the real quality  of  your  work.   They care about  making  money.

 How many of us have been burned?   Share  what you've learned  with  others.  Let's help evaporate  these cesspools.  Learn which  are reputable  and which  are not. (Often they change their names)

 If  you don't  buy anything,  it's  a cheap  easy  way to get  publishing  credits.   What does being  included amongst  thousands really mean?

 Some  anthologies include  thousands of poems, many of questionable quality.  People  have  proven it by submitting obviously  substandard work.   Will that be good enough for  you?   Does your work deserve  to  be  lost  like  that?

 Does  it  make  sense to pay  to  have  your  work  published  in  a book with a  gazillion others?   If you  want  to  pay to display  your  poetry, why  not go for  a lovely small  anthology,  where your poetry doesn't  get lost?   The  Internet  offers  a variety  of  options.    Or

 The 'honourable mention sections' in  certain anthologies include over two hundred poems!  Imagine that.  One  contest with two hundred honourable mentions?  Of course there are costly  'rewards' of their merit to buy.  Proof of their "awards"  is important.  Think about what the award really is.

 After a person purchases one of their products, there will be more fabulous  letters to you selling you more ways to display your poetry.

         Wind Magazine is a literary journal that has been thriving for over a quarter century!  They also have a very informative  website.   View their list of the worst  poetry contests .

 Don't feel badly  if  you've  fallen  prey  to these  professional  moneymakers.
Just don't do it again!

Let's work together.  Put poetry scam  artists out of business.  Don't waste your  money!  Know what you want.

© Sienna's Poetry Suite

  Ripped off - His story:

 The publication asked if I wanted to have a small, special edition book.   My poem would be featured on page one.   What a gift idea!  I called to make sure they were  still taking orders.  They said yes.  I sent  over $35 for one book.  That was about  two years ago.

 After almost a year, I called the contest publisher.  (You'd recognize their name but they've since changed it.) They said they were sold before the date that they cashed my payment.  They had taken my money and wouldn't give it back. They even said that the book would not be coming.

 I contacted the 'new' owners of the contest scam.  They asked  for a number on my communications that, of course, did not exist.  How could it?  I  have the original paperwork.

 Naturally,  they have never bothered to reply.  ~

contributed by  D.W. ~   

 Feel  taken?   Were you  surprised  by  a poetry contest?  Know  someone who  has been?   Submit  your  story.   We'll  put condensed  versions below .

   You could print your own work or have it printed for you.   I received a fabulous  gift . . . a calendar with  personal photos and poetry.   I matted and framed two  pages of the work . . . after getting it signed by the artist, of course! back to  article


SFWA Writers Beware  Contests and Vanity  Anthologies.   Poets would  benefit by remembering the information in the  section  About Vanity Anthologies. This helpful site was voted one of  WRITER'S DIGEST'S 101 Best Websites for Writers 1999 tells us How  to submit your poetry  

Jim Garman's column in entitled "Are You Tired" discusses another good option