FOULED!: Poetry Contest Scams

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedIt’s not just sketchy publishers and not-so-qualified editors who prey on unsuspecting indie authors. People who run writing contests can be less than legit, too.

Even poets can be targets. Maybe especially poets. Even traditionally-published poetry is a hard sell to most people who aren’t taking a college-level English class, so there isn’t a whole lot of it out there. Poets can self-publish, of course, just like any other indie author, and they have done so for years, by contracting with press owners to print chapbooks of their work. But they run up against the same problems fiction and non-fiction writers do, in terms of getting that work noticed. The traditional avenues of wider exposure for poets – other than handing out their chapbooks to random strangers on street corners – have pretty much been limited to submitting their work to contests and/or anthologies. Continue reading “FOULED!: Poetry Contest Scams”

When You Can’t Win for Losing

Come on, admit it – you have award envy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to describe him- or herself as an “award-winning author”? Why, it’s almost as good as “bestselling author,” and easier to achieve. All you have to do is win a contest. And there are a blue billion contests out there. One of those trophies must have your name on it already, right?

Not so fast. There are decent, well-run contests, and then there are people who want to part you from your hard-earned money without giving you much in return. Just like with everything else in this business, you should do your homework before you plunk down your money.

When you’re perusing a writing contest listing, examine these things to make sure you’re not getting fleeced: Continue reading “When You Can’t Win for Losing”