via Writer’s Resource Center
- Don’t do any research about the people holding the contest. Just trust that everyone is legitimate.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- Avoid becoming a part of the legitimate poetry community. The further in the dark you keep yourself, the better.
- Pay that reading fee. The higher the fee, the better your chance of winning the big money.
- Make this your personal mantra — if it sounds too good to be true, it MUST be true.
Example scam: Poetry.com; more information here