A cruel type of contest scam is gaining popularity on the internet today. Entrants are invited to submit a piece of original poetry for the chance to win prizes like iPods and large cash prizes. Once you submit a piece of poetry - no matter how bad - you receive a congratulatory message that you've been chosen as a semi-finalist in the poetry writing contest... and that's when the trouble begins.
From then on, you'll be deluged with offers to spend money on the site. These include:
- An offer to purchase a book with your poem in it (which will cost you $60 - $75).
- The chance to have your poem framed or printed on a coffee mug (for sky-high costs).
- The opportunity to attend a seminar, and even to be a poetry "judge" for just the cost of registration (often $595 or more).
These offers will come with high praise of your writing talents and plenty of ego stroking to make you think that you truly have been chosen on the basis of your talents. However, everyone who enters receives the same offers. Entrants have reported being deluged by these phony offers for years.
There are plenty of legitimate poetry contests available, don't fall for scams that are only trying to get you to spend money. Before you submit an entry, do a Google search or ask for opinions in the forum, and avoid sites like Poetry.com, ThePoemPlace.com, etc.