As a follow up to a post "Poetry Contest" on Oct 5, I receive a comment from BEANS and CORN with a link to a poetry contest on Poetry.com. I feel like I'm doing a disservice to any reader by actually posting the link, but since it is so easy to find, there you go anyway. (Search for "poetry contest" on Google and it's the first sponsored link and the second regular link that shows.)
So, I'm a bit cynical about poetry contest, especially online and mail order, so I decided to explore this one a bit further. So I picked an old poem and submitted it. They wanted my name, address, email, etc.; assuming that I won something, they would need my address to mail it to me right? That's not so unusual; besides I read through their privacy statement and they plan on sharing my address with others that want to send me offers. Typical. I'm sure I'll be getting Viagra offers by mail soon.
Before I go on, let me tell you about the dead-ringer, this is a load crap, scam indicator. On the submit page, the page linked above, there is a "Need Help Rhyming?" button link. No shit, for real. That tells you right there that only real poets come here to submit their fine work. (that was sarcasm) Do you think for one second that if you need help rhyming that you should be submitting poetry here? Don't be gullible! That's how these jerk-wads make easy money.
Also they seen to have a weird copyright clause that states "...I understand that it will be published on the Internet as my original work and under my own copyright by The International Library of Poetry (Poetry.com). The community of poets who use this forum for self-expression will also be able to view and share my poem, always as my original work and under my own copyright in the various ways described on this website."
That's why I sent them an old poem that I'd given up on getting published. Anyway so once I agreed that the poem was my original work and is own by me, etc., I clicked submit. This is where the hook-in-the-mouth happens. The next screen tells that my poem has been "selected to receive the honor" of being glued to a plaque for only $39.00. AH-HA, boing! This is the scam part. In addition to the plaque-crap they also would like "to extend to you some very special reward benefits created just for you." Barf, gag, speew!
People, please don't fall for this crap. It doesn't matter how good or bad your poetry is, they will sell you shit on a shingle as long as you are buying. Only submit your work to reputable publications. Do some research before you waste so much as a stamp. Go to your local book store and look for publications printed at universities or well known journals like The Atlantic.
Here is a screen shot of the "congrats you just submitted a poem page" from Poetry.com. The red outlined boxes I added over my name. They pull your name from the form on the previous page and personalize this page. So as to be fair and let you make up your own mind (I mean who am I, right? I'm not so great; I've only had 2 poems published in twelve years of trying and they weren't even in The Atlantic, they were in Poesia, and I didn't get any money for them.) I say take a writing class at your local community college and see how you do. Or put up your own poetry blog and see what kind of attention you get. People online are fiercely truthful; they won't lie to you and try to sell you a plaque. What...do you think that you've written the next Footprints? You deserve to be on a plaque, and posters, and keychains, and air freshiners? If you want the truth about your writing skills be sure you are ready to take it. Grow your skin thick. You're no Footprints.
Otherwise, buy a frigging plaque and give it to your grandmother and make her smile, because that's all the praise you'll ever get.