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Thread: Foetry.com

  1. #1
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Foetry.com

    Foetry is a site dedicated to exposing literary contests where the site operator deemed that the judges had shown some kind of bias in selecting winners (e.g., they chose friends, people they'd taught, or people from the same writing program over and over).

    Here's a news story about what just happened to the site:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/21/bo...html?th&emc=th

    ...but wait! The site operator put foetry.com back online in response! Check out the story and see what you think. Then visit:

    www.foetry.com
    Last edited by JennaGlatzer; 04-23-2005 at 07:43 AM.
    I am no longer here. If you'd like to visit me, please find me at www.jennaglatzer.com or on Facebook. Thanks!

  2. #2
    accusations, recriminations, manipulations...

    this is what happens when you slap a price tag on poetry.

    this is what happens when you submerge yourself in ego gratification and try to make poetry a "career move".

    entry fees and reading fees are an ego tax. and like real taxes, they're paid by those who can least afford them and distributed to fatcats in a nepotistic and incestual whirlpool of pseudo-intellectualism and opportunism.

    i would rather scrub toilets to pay my bills and write poetry uninfluenced and uncorrupted by these trivial pursuits than chase some pie-in-the-sky illusion that talent and hard work prevails in these webs of lies.

    poetry is not a commodity. buy and sell cheeseburgers. write and read poetry.
    Last edited by William Haskins; 04-23-2005 at 11:04 PM. Reason: to remove death threats on advice of counsel.
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  3. #3
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    I can't remember how I stumbled on the Foetry.com site--I think I was doing research for Writer Beware's contest page, or possibly the site owner might have asked me to link to the site. At any rate, it struck me as a lot of sour grape-ing, with allegations that often weren't substantiated.

    Given how small the poetry community is, it doesn't surprise me that there's a certain incestuousness to the contests (and probably to publication too). Before you castigate a judge for selecting one of her students as a winner, would it make sense to take a look at the pool of applicants and see how many the judge was connected to simply by virtue of being part of an inbred community? Also, how many of these contests are blind contests--i.e., the judges didn't know the identity of the entrants? Many literary contests take careful steps to ensure entrants' anonymity, at least till awards are announced.

    Feh.

    - Victoria

  4. #4
    wishes you happiness JennaGlatzer's Avatar
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    Cathi, tell!

    Victoria, I don't know his research methods, but there are some cases on the site that certainly look compelling:

    These two, for instance:

    "In 2002, Brenda Hillman selected Aaron McCollough's manuscript WELKIN, which she had helped him to revise while the two were in Iowa City."

    So, if she had helped him revise it, it obviously didn't matter if it was a "blind" contest or not.

    "Andrews, Tom The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle (judge was Charles Wright, about whom Andrews edited a volume of 27 critical essays)"

    So the winner had edited a book about the judge?

    I'm not willing to concede that poetry is such a small circle... there are tons and tons of people who enter poetry contests. I'm very surprised that they don't all have rules to say that no students/family/friends of judges can enter, and that not all contests are actually "blind." I'm certainly willing to accept some coincidences, but some of those seem to fall to far into questionable territory.

    And the ones that have taken entry fees, then named no winner... well, that drives me nuts and I've been a "victim" of that kind of contest myself. If I were a poet, I'd certainly want to see which contests had done this before.
    I am no longer here. If you'd like to visit me, please find me at www.jennaglatzer.com or on Facebook. Thanks!

  5. #5
    One Hit Wonder? Kasey Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I agree with Jenna...They should definitely not allow friends/relatives/employees of the judges to enter. And ugh on contests who take money but don't announce a winner. That's like an author taking an advance for a book and then never writing it...They should both be equally punishable by law!
    Good things come to those who wait...and work their tails off!!!


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  6. #6
    No Time For Chitchat, Kemosabe. badducky's Avatar
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    Foetry: American Poetry Watchdog

    http://foetry.com/

    If you ever wonder about those contests where we all submit, but the winner is just another stooge that took a class from a judge...

  7. #7
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    And the site owner seems to have a bit of an axe to grind. Not to mention a slight conflict of interest.

    - Victoria

  8. #8
    No Time For Chitchat, Kemosabe. badducky's Avatar
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    We are all conflicted.

    However, I seem to recall a contest I entered and the winner was a student who may or may not have been sleeping with the judge (we wondered about that before the contest was even announced). I shall remain silent about the precise people and contest since there is no proof (nor would I ever --EVER-- look for proof... ick).

    The website may have an axe to grind, but it does bring to light much of the fine print that is often ignored by wide-eyed entrants. All too often the choice of winner is conveniently located within the inner-circle of the judge.

    I do not necessarily blame the judges. I blame the situation. Who better to cater an entry to a judge than someone who knows the judge's tastes intimately? If I were entering the contest, I'd do my part to research the judges. But this is why certain clauses are essential to a fair contest. Every entrant should have the same access to the research materials to level the field into our raw ability as writers.

  9. #9
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It is pretty simple to avoid conflicts by choosing neutral judges, excluding people they know well or using a panel.
    Emily Veinglory

  10. #10
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Site closed again 5/07, but the archives are available: http://foetry.com/wp/?page_id=80
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    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

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