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Contests and Services to Avoid (1 Viewer)


Staff member
If you are thinking of entering a writing contest it could be worth reading these articles. I am not endorsing them, just bringing the pitfalls to your attention. Each member paddles their own canoe.

We suggest you avoid the following contests and organizations. Many appear to be disguised vanity publishers, whose goal is to sell you expensive personalized products and attract you to conferences. Others may charge you membership or service fees for which the benefits are questionable, or which can be obtained elsewhere for free. Still others claim the right to publish your entry whether or not you win a prize. Winning prizes from these organizations will add little to your resume, and may even make you look amateurish to publishers and other poets.

More information:

Contests and Services to Avoid

13 Warning Signs of a Bad Literary Contest

Web Resources that Help You Identify Scams

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Met3 Group Leader
Staff member
Senior Mentor

This is good information. And I have to say I've experience some of it years ago when I was much younger and was looking to be published 40 years ago. But the publications told their own stories in the end. There is vanity presses out there. That are just that and do want to get your money and will publish anyone who want's to put up the money.

I personally tend to use "Poet's & Writer's Magazine for the most part for what I send out in the USA. It tends to be far more high ended and there are minimal fees at times. But they seem to be looking for higher ended work as well as more inventive work. And they tend to limit the number of entries as well, from 3 - 5 poems; depending on the publication. And it isn't easy to get published in them either.

So considering the source for publication is definitely something to think about. I think "Writer's Guide" puts out a book each year for poets with listings as well. I've never heard anything bad about their listings. But I've never used there book either. But I have entered their contest before which they offer each year. It's been going on for a very long time. Which says it's not vanity oriented at all. It's a national competition so the entries are always very large in number. But the prize money is not a drop in the bucket either, along with publication of a book for first place. They also list who is judging each year as well. But like I said above; you can bet that the judge isn't reading 50 thousand poems. Probably less than 5 percent will be read by the judge. Several others are cutting it down to size to pull out the stronger works. That's what the judge will read.

And Manuscripts are a whole different ball game. They always have reading fees. And they're not cheep at all. And that is even for chapbooks, which can be 40 or less pages. Here's one right out of this months Magazine: For Omnidawn Publishing/ Open Poetry Book Contest: submit a MS of 40 to 129 pages for 27 dollar entry fee by December 31. You can look it up on the internet. http://www.omnidawn.com/contest/poetry-contests.htm

So getting a book published through a contest isn't inexpensive at all. And many times the don't want simultaneous submissions which means you can only send that manuscript out once a year or until they publish the contest winner. So it could be a minimum of 5-6 months.

a poet friend
RH Peat
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