View Full Version : The Winter Book Awards--Anyone heard of it?

08-02-2015, 01:11 AM

Just came across this contest being put on by Simon & Winter, Inc--a small press out of Grandville, MI.


Looks to be a brand new venture.


08-02-2015, 01:55 AM
$135 entry fee? A gabillion different categories you can enter?

Big, fat red flags.

See also: Awards Profiteers: How Writers Can Recognize and Avoid Them (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2015/06/awards-profiteers-how-writers-can.html)by Writer Beware.

Connecticut Yankee
08-18-2015, 04:55 PM
$135 entry fee? A gabillion different categories you can enter?

Big, fat red flags.

See also: Awards Profiteers: How Writers Can Recognize and Avoid Them (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2015/06/awards-profiteers-how-writers-can.html)by Writer Beware.

Wow. I never knew such a thing existed. I really hate people. Thanks for sharing.

Matching up the definition from Writer Beware with the specs of that contest... sheesh. It's almost like the contest promoters read the Writer Beware post as a how-to.

Edit: The prize is basically stickers. That's what I give my 3-year-old for pooping on the potty.

08-18-2015, 04:58 PM
And yet so many people, almost myself at one point, fall for these things. Thanks for posting and asking about it in case any of us happen upon it.

Connecticut Yankee
08-18-2015, 05:11 PM
Another mild flag:

If you can't pay via PayPal, please send a check made out to:

"SOFW, Inc. to 2021 N. Slappey Blvd, PMB 160, Albany, GA 31701"

So a small press in Michigan wants you to send your entry checks (separate from the entries) to a UPS Store in southwest Georgia. After they receive payment they will send you instructions for submitting your manuscript. There might be a bit of a wait though as the deadline is 12/31/15 and they'll select winner by October 2016.

This is great, too:

When possible, we would prefer a digital version of your book (MOBI, PDF, ePUB). Most authors choose this option because it generally means the author saves on the costs of producing and shipping a physical book (you would need to mail in one book for each category you enter).
Digital copies are entered into the contest immediately, so there is no mailing delay.
However, when it is necessary to submit a physical book, after it is reviewed and judged it will be donated a local school library dependent on the content and genre.
In addition, if you submit a digital version of your book but would still like to donate a physical copy, you can just mail us a few copies of your book and we will donate them after the contest is complete (please mark the package as “Donation”). These options allow authors to submit a digital version of their book for a faster, easier and more economical contest entry, while still providing their book to school libraries.

So not only do they want your money, but they want free books from you which they can then try to sell or donate for a tax writeoff.

Connecticut Yankee
08-18-2015, 05:17 PM
Oh man, these aren't just profiteers, they are actual criminals: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/11/kleargear_grandville.html

That is the first article that comes up when you google the actual address of the "publisher" in Grandville, MI. From the article:

"The website lists a mail forwarding service located at 2885 Sanford Ave. SW in Grandville as its mailing address, where the website says the company is based. Calls to a 616 area code “media relations” number gets a perpetual busy signal.The mail-forwarding service is not unfamiliar to the BBB. “Over the years, we’ve had many issues with businesses that use that address,” he said."

Is there anyone we can report this to? I can't believe this kind of stuff exists.

Connecticut Yankee
08-18-2015, 05:27 PM
Here's one more gem... Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, SOFW, Inc. of Albany, GA:


A seller of "handmade" bath products.

08-18-2015, 06:16 PM
HAHA!! (An actual lol)

Thanks for making my morning CT.

Connecticut Yankee
08-18-2015, 06:22 PM
HAHA!! (An actual lol)

Thanks for making my morning CT.

I am still dumbstruck.

03-10-2016, 08:34 PM
To all who responded, thank you.

Yes, the guys who run Simon and Winter, Inc. and the "Winter Book Awards" turned out to be scammers.

Despite the warnings listed above, I did enter the contest. Funny thing, that desperation to be noticed...

Anyway, after the supposed deadline passed, I wrote them to find out who won.

They sent me this:

Here is the winner's list. Thanks, Michelle


The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight- Gold
A Nashville Woman and Other Sorrows by Dan Jewell- Silver
Strings of Milo by Estelle Roher - Bronze

Simon & Winter, Inc.
Publisher Specializing in Mystery & Thrillers
www.simonandwinter.com (http://www.simonandwinter.com/)

What was really interesting is that I wrote to Marie Slaight.

She wrote back saying:
*she had never heard of this contest
*neither she nor her publisher had submitted her book
*she had never been contacted about her "win."

So the moral of the story is stay far, far away from these criminals.