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Author Topic: Poetry.com Scam
Protagonist
Deck the Malls


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I'm sure most of you have heard of Poetry.com, the poetry contests they hold, and the money the proportedly dispense yearly in prizes to hopeful poets. However, when a friend recieved a letter informing her that she was a "semi-finalist" and asking her to purchase an anthology, as well as to buy tickets to their yearly convention, I began to get suspicious.

Why would a "semi-finalist" have to pay for the anthology her poem was supposed to be in? I myself am pretty sure it is a SCAM, though I can't be sure what they're doing is illegal.

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"I'm so awesome, you don't even know I'm awesome!"

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anue
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I've gotten several of those emails, and NO, I won't buy the book, and NO, I won't attend the convention, I'm pretty sure that it's not a scam, per se, but that they do overcharge people, taking advantage of pride.

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om mani padme hum

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My daughter and I both submited poems just to see what it was all about. And guess what? We were both semi-finalist. "Get out of here?" you say? No way! Isn't that unbelievable?
Scamcity

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Strawberries 'n Sugar
Deck the Malls


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I submitted a poem there once, and I got the same thing. My mom was very weary on the subject of flying out to NY, so I did a little research online about the place and I found out that everyone won. [flame] Fortunately I didn't spend any money on it, though. I did a search again, but I cannot find the same page I was on before. Basically it gave you a step-by-step analysis by someone who went of what happens on the trip, and it is a huge scam.

Strawberries "hissssss" 'n Sugar

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I made it!
-Me

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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These sort of scams have been around since there was a term for the phenomenon. I used to see those "Do you like poems?" ads in my Teen magazines. I did like poems, but pretty much just my poems, and I had free copies of all those anyway. [Wink]

I saw this scam on the cartoon, "King of the Hill" recently. The character Peggy insists that she is a genius, and her son finds a test online that she can take to rate her IQ. Sure enough, she ranks among the Mensas! So she pays an ungodly amount to go to a "Genius Seminar" and once there she's given a motivational speach and implored to dip deep out of her savings to pay for a "Life Knowledge Degree." (Sounds like a similar thread we had a while back.) Anyway, the rest of the show focused on Peggy conning the con man to get the money back.

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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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Nothing new; Here's a rant from 2000.

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--Tootsie

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Elbe
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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For the hell of it I once submitted a piece of dribble called "Ross loves Ross" to see what would happen. I wrote it as an inside joke to playfully annoy a friend of mine.

Now I just wish I remembered what name I used to register it with.

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Nobody loves Elbe...
-The Adventure of the Avatar Tutorials (3/29)

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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My daughter's poem was written when she was 10 or 12. It was about this fish statue that she kept by her bed. The fish's name was Ed. (Ed + ed = real high brow stuff, huh?)
Kim

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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As I recall, buying the anthology isn't the only thing you have to read the fine print for. In many cases they claim ownership to all submitted work, whether published in the anthology or not! [Eek!] $40 US for a stupid book is nothing compared to someone claiming all rights to your personal art!

guruwan2b is on the right track... Considering most amature poems are a page long or less, and most contest have a max word rule, the'd have to have an awful lot of finalists to publish a sizable book! I wonder if the only differnce between semi finalists and finalists is the willingness to purchase the anthology.

Let's see how it evens out in the end...

Contest Holders:

Rights to your poem, whether published or not.
40 some dollars for a book they didn't have to write.
Your mailing information and telephone number, email address, etc. to sell to whomever they choose.

Contestants:

The knowlegde that their own personal art is now sandwiched between the art of countless others in a spendy book they'll have to pay to see.

resE"No wonder why I'd end up deciding not to enter."Lution

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Schizm
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Actually, this goes back to before comoputers. I think another agent is the National Poetry Contest or something like that. Anyway, you submit your poem, you win, and then they offer you the anthology for ONLY $50 or so. I told them no thanks, I'll just wait for the library to get it. But now someone just mentioned the small print. Ack!! I plan on being published legitiately one day! Well, it's not like anyone ever reads those anthologies anyway, except for their own poems.
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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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It's no longer just would-be poets who are the target of these scams, but also would-be photographers!

I uploaded some of my digital photos to Snapfish.com so that I could get photographic prints of them. They also mentioned a photo contest on the site, so just for the hell of it I submitted one of my photos that I'd taken in New Orleans.

A few months later I received a letter formatted in the EXACT same way that the poetry.com letters are (I put some poems up on the website when I was taking a creative writing course in college so I know what the acceptance letters look like) saying that I was a winner, blah blah blah. Really annoying because snapfish made it seem like it was a genuine photo contest when really it was just another annoying scam trying to get you to pay money for a stupid book your photo was going to be printed in.

I threw it out, too bad I can't remember the name of the website it wound up pointing me to.

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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resELution
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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If I was a person of less moral qualms I would run one of those!

Here's another way they can rip you off:

One time only non-refundable submital fees!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH! [lol]

ResE"Don't forget to include a self addressed stamped emvelope [Wink] Lution

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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Poetry scams
quote:
The International Library of Poetry is one of several organizations of poor repute operating under the internet domains poetry.com and poets.com. Once known as the "National" Library of Poetry, they are now "International."

Exercise caution. Poetry Contest

Serious poets consider the International Library of Poetry contests and their affiliated organizations to be unethical, and their free poetry contests a scam designed for no other purpose than to prey upon trusting and unwary amateur poets by relieving them of their money.

Do not miss the brilliant poem which was also a semifinalist.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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Suiren
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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This is my first post here, but I had to say something about poetry.com. I fell for the same scam. I figured it would be okay to give the rights to them in order to have a chance to get my poem published. So, is there any way I can get the rights back? I thought my poem was pretty good, and I don't want them to do anything with it now that they have it.

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"No, I'm not running a black market out of my trenchcoat! Why would you think that? ... Those are green tea packets... GREEN TEA!"

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ASL
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Nutaro:

And guess what I was a finalist too [Eek!]

CONGRATS!!!

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"Dear Lord, please protect this rockethouse and all who dwell within..."

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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While we're on the subject...

Anybody know of any good, legitimate poetry digests?

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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BrianB
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy B:
Do not miss the brilliant poem which was also a semifinalist.

quote:
My Cat Has Fleas

My cat is chewing on her butt;
It makes me think she is a nut.

I try to drown the fleas in spray;
They jump and shout and just yell "Hey!"

I try to drown the fleas in powder;
they eat it like it's fine clam chowder.

I try to drown the fleas in gas;
that really burned my kitty's ass.

[lol]
Brian

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"Dear Big Foot Smellers: Please don't quote me on some of this information." John F. Winston

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I got involved with poetry.com. They gave me the same semi-finalist junk. I was kind of suspicious about the anthology thing. That's an old scam. They tell a bunch of young poets that their work is publishable then get them to shell out fifty buckaroos just to see their work in print.
They also offered me a trip to Florida to read my poem and get a silver cup.

If they own the rights, well I don't care. I'm posting my poem anyway.
Sideshow



Wrapped like an alien Christmas present,

The perennial Sideshow.

Tied in Barn-red paint and bright brass words:

Amazing! Astounding! Horrifying! Shocking!

Pay a nickel or two or three.

Witness spectacles beyond belief!

Watch the cool, gleaming diamond snake

As it curves the contours of his throat!

From the faraway land of India,

Kamala the Contortionist whose twisted curves defy Logic

And Shock even the most rational of men!

Or come see the girl who feels no pain!

Gasp in Horror! As she steps Barefoot onto Burning Hot Coals!



Step Right Up! Step Right Up!

Come One, Come All!

See the Bizarre! See the Unusual!

See what God Hath Wrought!


[flame] [flame] [flame]

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"You see? The mysteries of the Universe are revealed when you break stuff." Coop from MegasXLR

"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I once got 12 pence (UK) royalties for my poem in a book of verse. A company in the UK ran this scam for a while ("Arrival Press"). I used it a couple of times as "vanity publishing" and gave the books to friends as glurgy gifts. They also tried to get you to subscribe to their newsletter so you could take advantage of their forthcoming anthologies or join a correspondence course in poetry.

Somewhere, I have a letter in print in one of the magazines/newspapers they advertised in; I warned people that the books are never seen in bookstores (I couldn't say "scam" due to libel laws). Oddly enough, I haven't seen them advertising lately.

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

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Alexina
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Someone should write a poem about Poetry Scams and see if *that* becomes a semi-finalist. [Eek!]
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defaultcrush
Jingle Bell Hock


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A few years ago, I saw an article about this contest. I just cut it out of a free magazine somewhere, otherwise I'd link to it. They published two poems they had written and had gotten "semi-finalist" notifications for- one was about having sex with a pig and the other was about necrophelia.

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Kaylee Frye: Been more'n a year since I had anything twixt my nethers didn't run on batteries!
-Serenity

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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Kathy B:
Do not miss the brilliant poem which was also a semifinalist.

Which one? I thought they were all pretty funny.

Sister "likes 'my cat has fleas' best" Ray

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The Organization. Adam Haseeb Memorial Pages. My library.

"There can't be a war on Christmas. Even Cambridge has decorations up!" - an observation I made

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Speaker for the Dead
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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If you're looking for good poetry publications, you might do well to ask your library's writer-in-residence, if you have one. The librarians themselves might know, too.

If you're in Saskatchewan, I know one of the bigger teen magazines is called Windscript. I've been rejected twice now! [Big Grin]

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I also submitted a poem to them when I was about 13. I did read the fine print that says they get the rights to the poem, and that you have to buy the anthology to see it in print. I was only mildly interested, so I submitted a poem for the hell of it, and guess what, I was also a finalist. [Roll Eyes] Fortunately the poem was just a meandering piece of dribble I wrote for English class, so I'm not concerned if someone else owns the rights to it.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I wonder how close track they keep of the works they own the rights to. They have such a profitable scheme going that after publishing their anthology they may just leave the works to fester. Probably someone could conceivably wait several years, publish their work, and no one would notice.

Just a theory...

[lol]

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"You see? The mysteries of the Universe are revealed when you break stuff." Coop from MegasXLR

"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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Mouse
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Alexina:
Someone should write a poem about Poetry Scams and see if *that* becomes a semi-finalist. [Eek!]

I think Dave Barry did something along those lines in his book Dave Barry is from both Mars and Venus.

[fish]

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"You see? The mysteries of the Universe are revealed when you break stuff." Coop from MegasXLR

"I distrust who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -- Susan B. Anthony

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I got taken when I was 11 or so. I assume most of their victims are pretty young. They probably took my family for at least three of those damned books.

I felt pretty damned embarrassed after I realized it was a scam, never wrote another poem on my own time, gained a great distaste for all poetry, and to this day I have never displayed a diploma or award in my home.

Of course, it also made a skeptic out of me, so that's something good.

Alchemy

Edit - I haven't thought of this for almost ten years, so it's just occurred to me that I should ask my parents why they went along with it. I'm not sure I'll like the answer, though . . .

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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anue
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Alexina:
Someone should write a poem about Poetry Scams and see if *that* becomes a semi-finalist. [Eek!]

You betcha.

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om mani padme hum

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Lately I've been thinking that it would be fun to make a poem out of an Nigerian Scam letter and submit that.

Noemi

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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
My blog, no guarantees about witty or intelligent content. My current projects.
Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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ok I *KNOW* I posted to this thread. I was the second person posting. What happened to my post? Where did it go???

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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It was in this thread.

Noemi

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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
My blog, no guarantees about witty or intelligent content. My current projects.
Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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one word difference in the title and I'm thrown overboard.. LOL... I need drugs...

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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Funker_Pete
The Red and the Green Stamps


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On Dave Barry's blogsite, he implored his readers to submit poems to poetry.com under the name 'Freemont' and including the phrase 'the dog ate mother's toes'.

At one point I think there were over 800 poems and they were put in their own category.

I think it's becoming pretty common knowlege that it's a scam now.

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