Sunday, October 5, 2008

Poetry Contest

In our Sunday paper my wife found an advertisement for a "Poetry Contest with $100,000 in Prizes Awarded Annually!"
There is no company or publishing house mentioned at all--suspicious! The mailing address is simply:
Poety Contest
Editor 210-3
305 Madison Ave.
Suite 449
New York, NY 10165

I'm wagering that this is one of those scams where they tell you how wonderful your work is and offer to publish it in an anthology if only you'll send them $49.95 - a sweet deal for a nave. Still I plan on mailing something in and exploring the scam, because I'm curious. I'll post the results here.


BEANS and CORN said...

I was going to send a submission to this contest too... I deliberated it and just said screw it. The stamp was already on my S.A.S.E.
And then I typed something else into google...

Does the headline look familiar?

So sad makes me :(

Fatuous O. Hades said...

Thanks for the comment. is ack--awful.
I found it very sad and humorous that they have a 'rhyming help' link.

That makes me want to improv one on the spot and submit.
Here's the list of previous winners...

Unknown said...

Is it them AGAIN? Doggone that! I hope SOMEBODY does something about them. This is getting to be old news.

Jessica said...

Hmm, I'm new to this. Is it a real contest?

BEANS and CORN said... [[is to]] Poetry [[as]] Con [[is to]] Unsuspecting victim.

(In my formal opinion.) However, just like any scam, in their existence proves the legitimacy of real journals and presses, the refuges that artists strive to reach their entire lives.

So don't curse Just ignore it, they make promises of 10k in cash (I saw a facebook advert for them today) and award "poets" on their website. I didn't hear of Billy Collins, Li-Young Lee, John Updike or Robert Frost winning's big contest or any contest for that matter.

Nothing about art is easy. Just keep writing, keep creating, keep poeting, and keep ignoring There are some great books out there like Poet's Market that can help aspiring poets get started.

Fatuous O. Hades said...

Beans and corn said it best "keep writing ... and keep ignoring"
Please read my follow up posts to get an idea of the scam they run:
Poetry Contest part 2
Poetry Contest part 3

Anonymous said...

It's funny that I came upon this blog while actually looking up this very contest. However,'s contact address is not in NYC, like this one is. I recommend checking out . Their address matches the contest entry address, and they seem to be somewhat reputable.

I'm going to give it a shot.

Fatuous O. Hades said...

In my experience, the only legitimate contests you'll find are through journals and publications that focus on writing. The contests that are putting together 'The World's best Poetry book' are scams wanting you to basically pay for publication.
That is different than a readers fee. Ones that employ a readers fee are looking for compensation for their time, money to pool together for the prize, and perhaps a little extra to pay employees at the press. That's not to say that some of those aren't scams either.
I recommend that you always investigate the publication before submitting, just so you know you are getting back thoughtful comments and criticisms. Case in point, go read some of the poems online at; most are awful, but no one told the authors that because they are spending money on the hack books cranked out.