In America, poets are held in such low esteem that even probably the most Honored Consultant from Nigeria will not trouble scamming us. Society says to us what Dermot Mulroney says to Julia Roberts in “My Greatest Good friend’s Wedding ceremony,” that we’re “The pus that infects the mucus that cruds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum.”
Even being cheated by Mr. Honorable Minister, nevertheless, is preferable to the poetry scams which have proliferated. Wind Publications’ Literary Rip-off information has this to say:
Hidden among the many many sponsors of respectable literary contests marketed on the web lurk those that care little about literature, its viewers, or authors. These organizations and people exist solely for revenue via their so-called writing or poetry contests. Usually you will discover these “free” poetry contests lavishly marketed in your native newspaper.
There’s a cottage trade of writing scams perpetuated by pus poetry pimps, the chief amongst them Worldwide Library of Poetry, aka Noble Home Press, aka Poetry.com. They promote in USA Weekend and the Penny Saver–well, not the Penny Saver, however they could as properly, as a result of that sums up their opinion of poets. When you’ve seen the adverts or obtained a letter that claims, “Congratulations, your poem has been chosen for our subsequent anthology,” congratulations, you are being scammed.
Like so-called modeling businesses or “expertise brokers” who prey on the desires of nubile women desirous to be the subsequent Lindsay Lohan, poetry pyramid schemes exploit the primary hope of writers: publication, and extra importantly, recognition. Many wonderful Websites resembling Preditors and Editors and PoetryNotCom element the outrageous mechanics of poetry “anthology” scams, and the notorious Wergle Flomp Poetry Contest by WinningWriters.com cheerfully skewers vainness poetry contests and the submicroorganisms who perpetuate them.
How do you notice a poetry rip-off? Search for…
1. Insane pie within the sky prize quantities.
I ran the DeAnn Lubell Skilled Writers’ Competitors. Most poetry contests with studying charges pay, at most, $1,000, and that is for a book-length manuscript of poetry. For a single poem, the primary prize pot is normally a whopping $100, $150 tops. A $20 million prize, as dangled by Noble Home, is an enormous crimson flag. Oh, and nobody ever gives poets an opportunity to win a world cruise. It is normally assumed that we sail world wide on a Mark Twain raft, a sampan, or a Hemingway skiff.
2. No contest charges.
Wergle Flomp is the one “F*r*e*e” poetry contest. Now, individuals on the Web and toiling poets naturally leap on the phrase “F*r*e*e”. However, like victims of these modeling scams, you will find yourself paying to your second of cut price searching. Modeling scams need you to work with a selected photographer (normally faux European). Likewise, poetry scams will not allow you to even see your poem in print except you pay for the anthology. While you do pay for the anthology, it’s possible you’ll marvel when you simply purchased a replica of the Penny Saver, as a result of your poem appears to be like prefer it was crammed onto the web page to make room for the “Spot the Distinction” puzzle and the grownup discuss traces. Then there are these awards banquets…
3. Phony awards banquets.
Ten years in the past, no joke, I obtained a mailing from Well-known Poets Society that lured me to fork over the money to attend an awards banquet and conference. If I paid my cash, I may be part of the elite firm of poets resembling…Ted Lange of “Love Boat” fame. Who knew Isaac the bartender was a closet Langston Hughes? Plus, I may win $6,000 in door prizes. Now, when you’ve ever attended a poetry studying, particularly in coffeehouses, you realize that poets put on their vow of poverty as proudly as a Che Guevara T-shirt. Simply the considered profitable $25 in a poetry slam made my fellow poets and me weep extra cathartically than the contestants on “Deal or No Deal.” And Ted Lange normally does not attend.
4. Questionable fame or none in any respect.
In poetry, if you do not have Nikki Giovanni, Czeslaw Milosz or Donald Corridor entrance and middle in your journal, plus a number of angsty Jap European poets, would-be poets drop you want Oprah dropped James Frey. Search for magazines, publishers and poetry contests that publish and are judged by literary lions. It is Bukowski or bust. And when Poetry.com cannot determine that Dave Barry and 20/20 are hoaxing them, the joke’s on Poetry.com. Equally, if a conceit press prices you $3,000 to $8,000 to publish your assortment of poems, and the highest creator promoted by Façade Press is an eighteen-year-old writing poems from the viewpoint of her liver, save your cash for the exhausting work of really submitting your poems to Threepenny Evaluation, or literary magazines or publishers that you simply examine in Author’s Market or Poets and Writers.
5. Promoting in newspapers and shiny magazines.
Actual poetry contests do not promote in USA Weekend–sure, USA Weekend could sponsor a teen essay contest, however poetry advertisers? Overlook it. Individuals do not decide up USA Weekend as a literary publication, regardless that USA Weekend options books and authors. When you see a mass name for poets in a mass market journal, give it a miss. Actual poetry contests get deluged with submissions as it’s. They need not fish for extra.
6. Sending you a letter of acceptance for a contest you may’t keep in mind getting into or a writer you may’t keep in mind submitting to.
I admit, as a author I’ve issue holding monitor of what I despatched to whom and when–we go into writing to keep away from paperwork, not do it, though once we’re not within the temper, reorganizing information out of the blue turns into as tempting as a day in Cancun. Thankfully, Author’s Market incorporates a Submission Tracker, and a few enterprising bloggers truly put up their submission schedule to make the remainder of us sigh in unorganized envy. If you cannot discover the quilt letter/e-query in your file cupboard, in your pc, in your Zip drive (you do again up, proper?), or in your Despatched folder, chances are high you by no means submitted to Nationwide Library of Poetry or Wordscum.com (apologies if there truly is a Website online on the market known as Wordscum.com). Sure, after 300 rejections, getting an acceptance letter could also be a lift, however to misquote Groucho Marx, suppose twice earlier than you settle for simply any membership that may have you ever as a member. Intention larger. Think about if JK Rowling had simply mentioned, “All proper, I will pay 1,000,000 kilos to have a couple of hundred copies of Harry Potter for my associates and relations to purchase.”
7. Promising to get your e-book or good-looking anthology on the bestseller rack in bookstores.
Primary, PoetryNotCom is without doubt one of the many websites reporting that this declare is bogus. Quantity two, most individuals who go right into a bookstore to learn poetry in all probability can discover the poetry part blindfolded and spend three hours debating the symbolism in Whitman over a decaf skinny latte at Borders Café. Quantity two, though getting your e-book in bookstores remains to be the gold normal, Amazon.com and on-line retailing make it simple for even the tiniest press to get books seen. Quantity three, bookstores are so glutted with stock that they cannot even inventory the POD books, not to mention something from ScamPoet Publishing or Poetry.com, and bookstores won’t settle for vainness press books. For that matter, no poet apart from Ludacris or Jimmy Carter will find yourself on the bestseller record in a bookstore. We do not go into poetry to be wealthy. We go into poetry to sound our barbaric yawp…and a fellowship or two is sweet, too.
Many starting poets get bilked, however you do not have to. When you’re sensible and bold, you will be a profitable poet with tons of lierary magazines and e-zines bearing your byline. Poetry.com and its ilk will all the time be “The pus that infects the mucus that cruds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum.”