View Full Version : Charging money for a pitch contest?

01-31-2013, 05:10 AM
I have a few valid concerns about this.

1. She's charging ten dollars for someone to get in front of an agent online. There is no guarantee that the agent will even look at their manuscript.

2. She's using the money to buy her husband a gift.


The funds donated will go to two places. Funds from auctioned/agent-donated items will go to donate books to the local public library here. (As I've mentioned, I just discovered it is quite sad!) And I'm also hoping to do something special for Cupid's Love (my hubby).

Anyone else think this is wrong?

01-31-2013, 06:36 AM
Assuming the two lines below the link are quoted from it, this has scam writ large all over it, and not in a subtle font.


01-31-2013, 06:43 AM
Yes, those two lines were quoted.

01-31-2013, 07:18 AM
If I'm reading it right, she doesn't even have the agent or agents lined up yet either.

01-31-2013, 08:03 AM
This might just be someone who's really misguided.

Authoress (http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com) has a long history of hosting contests where the prize is full requests from an agent. She just started requiring a donation for entrants to her big yearly contest, to defray the cost of having the website coded and reviewing the slush (because only the top entrants actually make it in front of the agents).

This cupid person may be following in the same path, without realizing where the line between appropriate and scammer truly lies. It's one thing to have an entry fee so only serious writers participate and to defray the actual costs. Buying your hubby a present...that's something different.

01-31-2013, 08:54 AM
I'd spend the $10 on sending snail mail queries. I've got an equal chance of landing an agent, but at least I'll know they'll land in front of an agent or their intern.

Katrina S. Forest
01-31-2013, 11:59 AM
I've seen this site before. It's involved with Pitch Wars, I believe.

IMO, this is no more a scam than Authoress' Baker's Dozen auction. She also donated books to a local library, which normally I'm all for, as long as said library wants/needs them. (I know our library has a sign saying they can't take new books at the moment.) Since that was never specified on the site, I decided there were worthier causes to donate to.

Susan Littlefield
01-31-2013, 07:27 PM
I don't think it's a scam per se, and she is honest with where the money goes, but I do think she's a wee bit on the zealous side.

As for myself, I'm not going to waste my money on something like that.

01-31-2013, 07:41 PM
Looks like she's done this before. She mentioned hosting the same contest last year. I don't think it's a scam. But it seems to me that if the purpose is to raise funds for library book donations, that should be the lede.

Otherwise, it sounds like she's decided to use the contest as a way of making money (presumably for the library). At least she was honest about the hubby gift.

01-31-2013, 09:14 PM
I think it's pretty sketchy that she's anonymous. Doesn't tell us who she is, or as far as I can see, what library it goes to, so we have no way of searching and finding who she's scammed before. She might say "this is where I'm donating," but I see no evidence to support it.

Basically, who is this person? Name? Location? Proof that she isn't a scammer?

Did she post proof of her donation last time?

Why not set it up do donate directly to the library?

Why does her husband "deserve" a present?

Why does she think she "deserves" a present for voluntarily doing this?

I'll be sure to steer clear of this person's contests in the future. Charging money to ~maybe~ get in front of an agent is a pretty crappy way to take advantage of people who don't know any better.

01-31-2013, 09:23 PM
It would seem a bit less sketchy of one was guaranteed to be seen by named agent/s.

02-01-2013, 05:26 AM
I agree it's disconcerting that she's anonymous, but her previous blind speed dating event featured agents from prestigious agencies (http://cupidslitconnection.blogspot.ca/2012/02/blind-speed-dating-agent-line-up.html). And there are success stories (http://cupidslitconnection.blogspot.ca/p/successful-cupid-connections.html).

- Victoria

02-01-2013, 06:51 AM
Any money she collects and spends on personal items, such as a gift for Mr Valentine, has to be reported with her tax filings or she has committed fraud/tax evasion, or something like that...

Wanna bet if that has happened in the past?

03-07-2013, 10:02 AM
It's definitely NOT a scam. I just participated in the last Blind Speed Dating and Secret Agent events, and they were both fantastic and totally worth the money. Like Ben mentioned, in the 'olden days' I would have spent at least $10 shipping manuscripts.

Both "Cupid (http://cupidslitconnection.blogspot.com)" and "Authoress (misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com)" do multiple online contests a year. They are a great way to network with other authors, get feedback on your pitches and first 250, and (hopefully) get requests from agents. And like Victoria mentioned, in both cases there are success stories: (link (http://cupidslitconnection.blogspot.com/p/successful-cupid-connections.html) and link (http://misssnarksfirstvictim.blogspot.com/p/success-stories.html))

If nothing else, (judging from the twitterverse) agents are excited about these types of contests. They're a break in the monotony of reading the slush, so in that sense, your query stands a better chance of getting noticed.

Bonus: I know from personal experience that there are sometimes "lurking" agents who are currently closed to submissions, and not officially part of the contest, but who read the entries and request pages.