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Thread: / International Library of Poetry / Watermark Press

  1. #76


    i've long abandoned but i'm still getting emails from them (i.e. "news about your distinguished poem!") :p geez... i wonder if that steve michaels guy has seen this board?

  2. #77

    i was about to send my check in for 2 books, thank god I followed up on it, which i do with everything now. Although, I went on bbb online (better bus. bur.) and they said they were a satisfactory business. but I believe the pages and pages of people who were scammed. I just hope, nothing would have come of this.
    thank you everyone, and sorry for you.

  3. #78

    what about us

    with all of these people; couldn't we start our own poetry book?

  4. #79
    little bird

    Urban Legends and Scams

    I only found out about because my sister, who has a habit of sending me things and asking me "is this for real?" sent me an e-mail from that she got.

    In fact, all my family has started doing this since I started sending them the entries for all the much-forwarded AOL stuff they were sending me. wasn't on snopes, so I did a search. If you've tried this yourself, you can imagine all the entries I found, including this site.

    As regards the legality or otherwise: first of all, they claim to award a prize, variously quoted as $1000, $10,000, $20,000 depending on whether it's monthly, annual, semi-annual, what-have-you.

    IF they actually award these prizes, then no, they aren't doing anything illegal, just maybe unethical. IF they aren't awarding the prizes, then yes - something actionable is going on.

    Well, there might be a question as to the legal definition of "finalist" or "semi-finalist." That does imply that you have been forwarded to a narrower competition bracket, ie more likely to win. If in fact EVERYONE is declared in that category, it might be an actionably fraudulent claim - I'm not sure what the laws about that language really are however.

    As for the prizes - if they are smart, they DO award them. After all - why not? It gives a veneer of legitimacy to their organization, and I'm sure even the larger prizes are only a fraction of a percent of their takings from the books, the plaques, the conventions, etc...

    In the end, your best protection from scams (and please - share this advice with all your friends) is to ask yourself one simple question: Does it seem too good to be true? And before accepting ANY offer, no matter how fair or reasonable it seems , always follow these 3 steps:

    1) Do a search online (Yahoo, Google, whatever your favorite Search Engine is) for the name and/or description of the product/offer/contest/company. Try several combinations and ALWAYS try the name of the company and the word "Scam."

    2) Try to find a real-world address and phone number (NOT a 900 number!!!) for the company. Confirm by calling the number, and by looking the listing up in an online yellow pages. For certain types of things you might check with the local Chamber of Commerce for the town they are listed as residing in. Be very suspicious if you cannot find ANY real address, or if the local CoC has never heard of them.

    3) Check for entries with BBB and/or other consumer agencies - warning - while this will often reveal the real bad apples, don't automatically assume that a good or neutral listing means the offer or product is good.

    And again - remember - if it seems too good to be true - it probably is.

    (PS: nobody in Nigeria is REALLY going to give you any money for clearing up a millionaire's banking problem)

    All that said - best of luck with poetry-writing and remember that writing poetry is its own reward. Don't depend on others for validation. If it makes you happy, it's worth doing. It may not have meaning for anyone else, in which case maybe it really doesn't need to be published. Maybe it does. There are Writer's Market listings that will give you legitimate places to submit your work. DON'T expect to succeed the first time, and listen carefully to any feedback, criticism, and suggestions you get.

    Best of Luck!

    - just a little bird.

  5. #80
    limestone editorial

    Re: Urban Legends and Scams

    *butting in*

    I am SO glad I'm not the only one this happens to... Silly of me, but I assumed forwarding the link to debunk the pieces of junk my friends/family members sent would make them think: "Hey! Maybe I should check this out on before I send it along!"

    Nope. Now they just forward them to me with a note reading: "Could you check this one out for me?"


    *butting out*

  6. #81


    I sent one in too fully aware it was a scam. Why would I do such a thing? Well I got the letter back telling me I was a semifinalist. Hah! They will keep sending me stuff and this will cost them money. So maybe we are going about this in the wrong way. Everyone send poems, and lots of them, but never, send them any money. Having one poem published in a book with a thousand others, who cares. I empathize with those who have been taken. We kind of set ourselves up because we think, finally somone has seen my brilliance. That's why it's called vanity press.

  7. #82

    Please check out my article on poetry scams:


  8. #83

    I Have The Point

    Hey Cindy, I Think you have the point! I too have sent a poem that was dear to me. It's entitled "Still With You". It was written for those who are greiving. I had entered my poem not in hopes that I would win anything, but that those who read it might be comforted. I have to admit I was upset when I realized this contest was a sham. I hated to think that my poem was being used to scam people out of their poetry and money. However,your letter reminded me that my poem is a gift to share with others. Thank you very much - Shawn

  9. #84

    I just may frame this letter

    I meant to post this initially here - but seem to have started a new subject - sorry.

    I sent in the following uh- "poem" to our friends, convinced that it would not elicit the standard "you're a finalist" letter. Boy was I wrong. It came in the mail last week. You can find it at (poet = John Buckman). Please excuse the explicit nature of the subtext.


    Po' ettrie dot calm,
    You got me good

    Po' ettrie dot calm,
    You el stinko, bubba

    Po' ettrie dot calm,
    See you in Florida

    Po' ettrie dot calm,
    Put this one in your book.

    Po' ettrie dot calm,
    If you see Kay,
    Why owe you!


  10. #85

    Does anyone know how to delete poems from this site? I've seen some of you ask but haven't seen anyone answer. Any ideas? Please email me and use in the subject line. Thanks!

  11. #86
    XThe NavigatorX


    Dave Barry had some interesting things to say recently about I submitted a freemont story not too long ago. It's actually one of the few still up there. (july 13th is the first post on the subject, I believe)

  12. #87
    Vauren Davidson

    poetry writers group available

    If any of you are interested in an interactive poetry writing group or a site where your work can be displayed respectfully, not for a fee, please email me at or visit

  13. #88

    to delete a poem...

    I don't know if you can delete the poem but I suppose you could use the "login to edit your poem" function and just change it completely to reveal what you really feel about them now.

    Just an idea. Hope this helps.

  14. #89
    sonja semyonovna

    re: pch vs.

    anyone who thinks that what, and others like them, does, isn't a hundred times worse than publisher's clearing house's actions (inclusive of the dumpster full of unopened and unchecked (no order) entries.) well, pardon me, but they just don't get it.

    so, you entered a pch sweeps, or seven or twelve, and while you were at it, you ordered a tv guide or a people's magazine. how long did that take you, and how much thought did you have to put into it? and you got your order, didn't you? and what did you think of your chances of winning?

    still, they were, and probably still are, quite wrong and, in my humble opinion, got, at the very least, what they deserved. me, i would have sent SOMEBODY to prison!

    prison wouldn't cut it with, et al. they deserve to have their black hearts removed with a butter knife! after all, didn't they ask us to pour ours out to them, for ONLY their own personal gain? this gain to come ONLY from us?

    wouldn't we all like to make money with our work? but, truly, how many of us have that as our main purpose in putting it out there? writers write, that's simply what we do, and the form poetry takes appeals to many of us.
    and when we've worked hard on it, and polished it to a T,
    what burning desire then overtakes us? why, to show it to as many people as possible,naturally, but to people who might care about such things. care enough to plunk down 39.99 for it. or 19.99, or 5.99.

    our cut, whatever it might be, would be nice (and useful), but more for what it represents than for the purchasing power. the more it is, the more it means someone likes our work. and, anyway, we have it coming to us. if anyone makes money on our work, and they should, if they publish and promote it, then we should too.

    so, i say, let's really stir up a ruckus, and not just in here. put it out to the media, so that we can get everyone on the bandwagon and, when the time's right, take it to court.

    overly litigious, did you say? well, if people weren't overly scheming, overly negligent, overly cruel and overly greedy................


    p.s. stay away from sparrowgrass too.

  15. #90

    Re: re: pch vs.

    Call them up and ask them to remove your material, you are still the owner of the material and they have to remove it, otherwise you can sue them.

    I submitted poems to them as far back as 1492, but never did contests nor bought into their "galley proof" acceptance to let them publish.

    Anyways, the books aren't stocked in any stores and they're only sold to the Poets and Poetess's.

    Someone had a good idea for a few peeps to get together and finance their own work; at least it will be on the web for sale and more importantly, you will be able to share it as an "Author" to your friends and family.

  16. #91

    Re: re: pch vs.

    Gee, that sounds familiar? Calling a large group of victims "peeps" is also something we've heard before around here. is a like-kind operation from a similar loction;Owings Mills, MD. Sending them a picture places it in the coffee table book for free, but I can imagine many would pay the $69.95 to buy it and pay to post a biography in it. I sure didn't. The Maryland AG office must be very busy.

    As for the author's gravesite pictures, my ancestors resting places look similar, but lucky for me they left testimony in writing and a documentable public history.

  17. #92

    Re: re: pch vs.

    I just submitted a poem to purely on a whim. I am now officially 'Thomas Matthews' with 'Dorian' as a middle name. It's an awful poem, but I still demand a plaque, a mug and a set of postage stamps with my work on it! Ahem.

    Nothing else of value to add, was just bored.


  18. #93
    sonja semyonovna

    someone said if we got nothing but a free copywrite, GIVING our poems to might be worth it.
    well, guess what? we don't get a copyright, free or otherwise. has the copyright if anyone does. if we had it, we'd have it in writing along with the COPYRIGHT NUMBER. without it, we have nothing!


  19. #94
    XThe NavigatorX


    I submitted poems to them as far back as 1492

    And I thought my neighbor was old.

  20. #95


    Seems like I've heard of an Italian in that year.

  21. #96



  22. #97

    dealing with them

    I'm not going to suggest that anyone submit poetry in Mr. Sese's name (or one of his many aliases) with a Nigerian email address, but I sure will laugh if someone does and the two start trying to get money from each other.

    Similarly, it would be almost as funny if numerous submissions were made with fake addresses in many foreign countries so that any attempts to contact and sell awards and such became a pure waste of money when the mail either reached the dead letter basket or cost them additional funds for return postage.

    Even though the rules limit entries to so many lines, I don't recall any about the length of the lines. That might produce some interesting results. Also, what about writing and spelling every line from right to left so that it's totally backward? It wouldn't be difficult then to include some hidden messages in the text.

    But the one sure way to prevent them from shattering dreams for writers is to never buy anything from them. If they want to waste their time going through submissions and sending out letters filled with false praise, let them. They'll realize eventually when the money stops rolling in that the ride is over. Maybe then they'll get a more honest job even though I'd prefer to see them become specialists in molding license plates.

  23. #98

    Free contests

    I just read Gloriana's article on contest scams. Unfortunately, one piece of advice isn't totally reliable. It's the one about not submitting to contests that are free.

    Sadly, there are far too many contests out there that charge fees that are also scams. Those types frequently make their money by awarding the advertised prizes only when the pot of submissions reaches a certain point thus making those more like lotteries than actual contests. Some award reduced prizes and others just cancel the contest when too few entries are received.

    Consequently, very few contests with fees are legitimate, though they do exist. With a contest featuring an entry fee, you have no way of knowing if you're even entering a fair contest. After all, it might have the winner already selected.

    If you want to enter, a free contest is preferable. You can always refuse to purchase anything if it turns out to be operated like This is why so many contests sponsored by corporations frequently have the notice that no purchase is necessary. There have simply been too many fraudulent contests in the past involving entry fees.

    However, if your poetry or short fiction or essays are truly ready for publishing, your chances are better submitting to legitimate, reputable publications.

  24. #99

    Re: Free contests

    And screenplay contests can really add up at $50 a try. Then they recruit you to enter again? How dumb would one have to be to do that? Playing money to play is the surest sign you're knocking on the wrong door and always will be.

  25. #100


    I submitted my "poem" burnt toast a few years back!

    It's GREAT!:hat

    Early morning sun shining
    Early morning Birds screaming
    Darkness control knob busted
    Toast making... toast burning.
    A lone tear runs down my face
    as I weep, lonely and hung over.
    There will be no toast today.
    Or for awhile... Or for awhile.

    here's the link!

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