I'm still getting comments to a post about a suspicious poetry contest I saw in our local paper. Read all posts on this topic.
This is what I replied to the latest:
"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 poetry.com; most are awful, but no one told the authors that because they are spending money on the hack books cranked out."
If you do submit to these suspicious contests, please leave me some comments or email me and let me know how it resolved. I'm very interested!