7 Great Ways to Become the Victim of a Poetry Contest Scam

via Writer’s Resource Center

  1. Don’t do any research about the people holding the contest. Just trust that everyone is legitimate.
  2. Join contests that advertise big, big prizes. Lots of rich, nice people are willing to give away big prizes for a single poem. They just love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.
  3. Expect your poem (first one you ever wrote) to win a big money prize in a contest that thousands of others poets probably entered too. That is a reasonable outcome, right?
  4. When you win and they then ask you to give them money for a plaque, buy the book your poem is in, or pay for a trip to a conference, by all means, fork over your money. Everybody deserves to win an out-of-pocket trip to Las Vegas or Miami.
  5. Avoid becoming a part of the legitimate poetry community. The further in the dark you keep yourself, the better.
  6. Pay that reading fee. The higher the fee, the better your chance of winning the big money.
  7. Make this your personal mantra — if it sounds too good to be true, it MUST be true.

Example scam: Poetry.com; more information here

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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