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Poetry Competition Scam

Summary:
Victims are required to buy a copy of a poetry anthology in order to view their own "winning" entry (Full commentary below).



A typical example:
[abridged]
It is my pleasure to inform you that after reading and discussing your poem, our Selection Committee has certified your poem as a semi-finalist in our Open Poetry Contest.Your poem will automatically be entered into the final competition held in Spring. As a semi-finalist, you have an excellent chance of winning one of 70 cash or gift prizes--you may even win the $1,000,000 Grand Prize.

Full example and more details.



Commentary:
If you, or others you know are aspiring poets, this scam is one to watch out for.

You happen to visit a website that is supposedly running a poetry "competition". You decide to have a go and enter a poem you have written via a form on the website. A little while later, you receive a congratulatory email informing you that you have submitted a winning entry and that your poem will be included in an anthology of poetry to be published in the near future.

Sounds great doesn't it? The problem is, in order to view your published poem, you are expected to buy the anthology from the website at a quite high price. Even so, you might be willing to pay the price because you are excited about having your work published. So what's the scam? EVERY entry in the competition will be deemed a finalist and included in the anthology. The inclusion of the poem has nothing to do with the writer's talent. On the contrary, it is just an underhand method to get you to pay an inflated price for a poorly published collection of often quite abysmal poetry. That is if you even receive the anthology you purchased at all.

More information on this sort of scam is available via the links below:
Todays-Woman - Writers Warnings!
Winning Writers - Warning Signs of a Bad Poetry Contest
Poetry scams? - Writing.org


Write-up by Brett M. Christensen