Advantages Some free resources
Disadvantages Gives false hope to those looking for a publisher, dishonest business tactics
I had all but forgotten about my entry in one of the Poetry.com competitions, so you can imagine my delight when I received and email telling me that I had won an award and that they would be pleased to include my work in their next anthology.However, I thought about this for a while and wondered if perhaps there was a catch. I had heard of various internet scams which try to get authors and poets to part with money.
So, I decided that it must be one of these and I ignored it.The emails praising my amazingly beautiful poetry continued. Apparently I had won $1000 and should claim my prize.
Several more emails arrived giving me deadlines for claiming my prize. I ignored these too. The people running the competition were not to be deterred by this. I received a beautifully illustrated page by ordinary post. The letter that came with it said that this was how my page would look in the anthology and that I should order my copies before they were all sold. It also suggested that I might like to order copies for family and friends. The books were priced at $50 each which is not cheap.I did a bit of investigation and discovered that this was par for the course. At least 10 people I managed to contact had enter the 'free competition' at Poetry.com and received the same emails. Three had gone on to buy the books and not received them, while another had received a very poorly put together book without their work included in it.
Did I buy the books? Of course not!
The front page carries examples of previous prize winners of the Poetry.com competition. You can read the 'Poem of the Day', 'Poets Choice', 'Famous Poem' of the Day free of charge and even enter the 'free' competition. Navigation on the site is fast and intuitive and some of the free stuff is interesting and useful.However, when you get emails praising your work treat them with caution. Yes, you maybe be on course for selection as the next 'Poet Laureate', but you might also be in line to receive a print like the one I got and have your hopes dashed.
There again, if you have the money, perhaps you are happy to buy the books and have your work included in exchange for your order. The choice is yours as long as you are aware of what the deal really is.Personally I thought this was a total rip off and I would not recommend anyone to go near Poetry.com when it comes to getting their work published.
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