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Hopewell Publications, LLC / Eric Hoffer Award / US Review of Books

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Jamiekswriter

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I just read the thread for information on the Eric Hoffer Award. I'm so disappointed. I thought it was on the level (I didn't see a $40 fee mentioned on their website, for one thing) but since the consensus seems to be that the award is either worthless or a scam or both, I'll regretfully have to send my short story elsewhere. And it's hard to find places to send a literary short story. Is there anyplace that lists the legit short story competitions?

Try duotrope.com
 

Ruth Sims

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Thank you. I had heard about duotrope and then somehow forgot about it. I already have two novels published and four short stories published as ebooks by Untreed Reads, but this story is different enough that I wanted to give it a shot in a literary competition. Thanks to you, maybe I can find the right one.

Ruth Sims
novels "The Phoenix" "Counterpoint: Dylan's Story"
short stories: "Burma Girl" "Mr. Newby's Revenge" "Song on the Sand" "The Lawyer, the Ghost, and the Cursed Chair"
 

AudreyInDC

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I do not think this award is a "scam." My experience with it is only indirect. I run a small independent publishing company and one of my authors was declared a finalist for one of its awards (for a book of his that was published by a different press). He was extremely excited about it and expected that his name recognition would be going up as a result. I was excited too, and then I went and checked out the current Eric Hoffer Award website and realized it is actually a small-scale contest associated with a book review (the US Review of Book) that I had never heard of.

Will his name recognition go up very much as a result of being named a finalist? Not to the degree he had hoped. However, it is still an accolade he can add to his bio, and recognition from an independent, outside source. I am still pleased that he won, and I will definitely add it to his bio on my press's website.

Yes, it is a small-scale contest. Does that mean it's a scam? I don't think so. The contest doesn't promise anywhere that it's the biggest honor in existence or that it's comparable to a Pulitzer or Nobel prize. It doesn't promise that Toni Morrison and Earnest Hemingway will be judging your book. It doesn't promise your prize will be publicized in the New York Times and the Washington Post. However, it does what it says it will: It collects an entry fee (now $50) from either the publisher or author, the book is read and judged against all the other books that are entered, a winner is selected, and prizes are handed out. (And as an earlier commenter noted, his check cleared.) The prize results are out there on the Interwebz for all the world to google and see, and I as publisher and he as author can add it to his bio.

I think these contests, and others like them such as the IPPY awards, can be worthwhile as long as expectations are managed and realistic. Probably tens of thousands of books are entered each year in the Pulitzer prize and similar competitions. Even if the prestigious prizes are blind to whether the publisher is indie versus big, it's still the case that if you enter the Pulitzer your book may be competing against 10,000 other books, while with the IPPY or Hoffer prizes it may only be competing against 100, or 50, or 5. That's why the prize is less prestigious, but for the same reason it may be more worth your while as a fledgling publisher or author to enter books in it - just as for unknown authors, signing with an unknown, less selective publisher can help build a career, even if it isn't as awesome as signing with a big publisher.

We all have to start somewhere, and it's unrealistic to suggest that every author or publisher should skip straight to the big leagues and not bother with the small potatoes. Hence, I am strongly considering entering a number of the books I'm publishing this year for the Hoffer Award.
 

scottken

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Well, the Hoffer Awards may have finally self-tarnished their reputation beyond help.

A self-pub book called "Save the Pearls," a YA dystopian, was a recent winner. The problem? The book's the worst sort of "reverse-racism" inanity, in which whites are opressed by blacks.

It's getting lots of attention in the twitterverse for its amazing levels of racefail.

The books features white kids in blackface as a prominent storyline. And in its promotional videos.

No legitimate contest with a judge with half a brain could ever have awarded it anything

Links:
http://theblackkidstable.com/2012/07/27/save-the-pearls-a-white-womans-worst-nightmare/

http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/07/the-problem-with-awarding-victoria-foyts-save-the-pearls/
 

E. Martin

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Setting the Record Straight

Dear Absolute Write:

My name is E. Martin. I am the owner of Hopewell Publications, a small press that I established in 2002 during my retirement from a long career in publishing. When I stumbled across your blog, I was shocked by the level of misinformation, distortion of facts, and overall vitriol regarding the Hopewell Publications and especially the Eric Hoffer Award. Let me take a moment to present the facts.

Hopewell Publication’s primary business is publishing books, not “selling publishing services to new authors.” It is not a vanity press and does not charge for reading or publication. It is not part of or associated with Infinity Publishing or any other self-publishing outfit. Hopewell Publications derives most of its income from the sales of the books it publishes. Originally, it published mostly classic reprints (i.e. out-of-print books with a proven sales record), but has expanded to new fiction and nonfiction over the years. It does not prey upon first-time authors. In fact, most of Hopewell’s books are from established authors. Recently it has expanded its editorial staff and hopes to hire two new editors by the end of the year. The emphasis will be fiction from new and established authors. Serious writers with polished manuscripts are invited to visit our submissions portal.

The Eric Hoffer Award Book Award is actually run by the Eric Hoffer Project. Hopewell Publications assists them by handling their financials. It is set up for on-line transactions and the minutia that goes with that. Eventually the Hoffer Project will be a full scale nonprofit and the registration process will change. The Hoffer was established by author/editor Christopher Klim, who has brought all of Eric Hoffer’s books back into print through Hopewell Publications. (By the way, that is a good example of a classic reprint.) Klim actually stakes the annual prize for the prose and book award.

The Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, which is published in Best New Writing, has never charged an entrance fee and never will, regardless of what people on this blog imply.

The Eric Hoffer Award for Books, charges $50 for a single category registration, which enters a book in a number of award categories including the grand prize. One blogger, performed a misguided business breakdown for approximately 1000 registrants. His outline in the media would be called a hatchet job and in a court of law it would be called libelous. In truth, the Hoffer Book Award has become a year round operation. Thousands of calls and e-mails have to be handled. Endless media. Over one thousand registrants must be handled and distributed to judges around the country. Books are heavy. This is a huge cost. The six dozen judges receive an honorarium for their work. The dedicated staff needs to be paid. This is not a million-dollar operation. It’s not even a thousand-dollar operation.

The US Review of Books charges a minimal cost for a 300-word professional review. The writers are being paid--unlike many book reviewers on the Internet. The authors/publishers are receiving honest coverage that they would not receive elsewhere. All of the reviewers are professionals. The USR hides nothing about what it does. People appreciate the service. Almost 20,000 people subscribe to its monthly newsletter. It’s a needed service, and if you don’t want it, then you don’t have to use it. To vilify it, is a waste of time.

Now I understand that what I say will not change the minds of the more angry people on this blog, and they will dissect and twist my words. I see what goes on here. A frustrated writer can be pretty nasty and arrogant. This is a blog that purports to instruct new writers, but it appears to be confusing them with vitriol and downright lies. What a waste of time. Writers should be writing.

Recently, I have sold the press. I am a very old man. I was born on a New Year’s Day during the Great Depression and have worked every day of my life. However, I hope that the new owner of Hopewell Publications continues expanding the press and bringing exciting new and known writers to print.

Good day, and good-bye.
 

veinglory

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I was really considering what you said seriously until: "Now I understand that what I say will not change the minds of the more angry people on this blog, and they will dissect and twist my words. I see what goes on here. A frustrated writer can be pretty nasty and arrogant. This is a blog that purports to instruct new writers, but it appears to be confusing them with vitriol and downright lies. What a waste of time. Writers should be writing."

That is the BINGO card if things said by disreputable outfits to deflect inquiry. Seriously, why do that? If you sold the press and its 'good will' you almost seem to be deliberately sabotaging the new owners.
 

E. Martin

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That is the BINGO card if things said by disreputable outfits to deflect inquiry.

Not sure what "BINGO card" means. I'm old, but I've never played BINGO. I have never deflected inquiry. (Lord knows, I've read 100,000 queries in my life.) You may contact me at any time.

Peace,
E. Martin
 

E. Martin

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I wish your PM to me on the same subject had been half that polite.

This is a veiled attempt to discredit me and my press, yet again. You were none too polite as well. I took my harsher criticism off-line. It's called "private message," but apparently you don't want it that way. Let's see how long you can keep it that way.

I see what goes on here. Now people are supposed to imagine the very, very worst. Well, these are the political tactics of the day. Deadly, creepy tactics. And this is the behavior of a "moderator." It fits.

I use my name. I am approachable.

Peace,
E. Martin
 

veinglory

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I would be happy to post the exchange in full with your permission and let people make up their own minds.
 

Momento Mori

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E. Martin:
A frustrated writer can be pretty nasty and arrogant.

Ditto ex publishers who ran dubious competitions and offered even more dubious services.

MM
 

James D. Macdonald

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It strikes me that this is likely to be the same E. Martin whose snotty, condescending replies to people who wrote to the Writers Notes asking about their spam back in '06 fueled a great deal of the negative commentary early in this thread.

The Eric Hoffer Award Book Award is actually run by the Eric Hoffer Project. Hopewell Publications assists them by handling their financials.

And, apparently, answering their correspondence.

The Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, which is published in Best New Writing, has never charged an entrance fee and never will, regardless of what people on this blog imply.

The Eric Hoffer Award for Prose wasn't mentioned in this thread at all, prior to Mr. Martin's post.

The Eric Hoffer Award for Books, charges $50 for a single category registration, which enters a book in a number of award categories including the grand prize.

Okay, so there is an entrance fee. Which is all anyone ever said. Nice to see the man admit it.

Thousands of calls and e-mails have to be handled.

Presumably this includes the spam.

The US Review of Books charges a minimal cost for a 300-word professional review.

A pay-to-play review is worthless. Any pay-to-play review. By anyone. Regardless of whatever supposed motive or justification they provide for charging their fee.

Worthless.
 

E. Martin

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I would be happy to post the exchange in full with your permission and let people make up their own minds.

You do not have my permission. I was born in a time when a "private message" was a private message. You can reply any way you want in private.

If most of the slander on this blog, or whatever it is called, was left to private conversation, I wouldn't care what was said or whether it was true or not.

Maybe, finally, you understand my problem with all of this.

And I still don't know your real name.

Peace,
E. Martin
 

Marian Perera

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I see what goes on here. Now people are supposed to imagine the very, very worst. Well, these are the political tactics of the day. Deadly, creepy tactics.

Interesting that someone who signs with "Peace" seems to be trying to provoke the exact opposite.

I see what goes on here too.

If most of the slander on this blog, or whatever it is called, was left to private conversation, I wouldn't care what was said or whether it was true or not.
1. Obviously, because if it was all private, fewer people would be aware of any problems.

2. This site is not a blog. It's called a discussion board or message board.

3. Slander is spoken, libel is written.
 

veinglory

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The message is private. The fact that you sent it is not. For my part what I said to you by PM is identical to what I would say to you in public. I'm funny like that.
 

Momento Mori

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E. Martin:
You do not have my permission. I was born in a time when a "private message" was a private message. You can reply any way you want in private.

Unfortunately we live in a time when a man who presents himself as a victim in public and sends nasty PMs in private stands may be thought of as a hypocrite.

Peace.

MM
 

Old Hack

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Go back a couple of steps to " 03-14-2011, 02:20 PM, #51, Jamiekswriter" and you'll find a post that accuses that the Hoffer charges to read her story.

Is The Hoffer related to that bloke from Baywatch?
 

E. Martin

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Misinformation Abound

There are worse things that "03-14-2011, 02:20 PM, #51, Jamiekswriter" on this blog. This blog also accuses Hopewell Publications of being connected to the self-publisher Infinity Publishing. It accuses HP of being a vanity press. It accuses HP of preying on first-time authors when it publishes mostly previously published authors. None of the accusations are true.

If you don't like the reviews or the Hoffer Award, fine. They do a lot of good and you don't have to be part of either. No one has a gun to your head. But it's the lies about everything and the way they are positioned that shows a real lack of integrity. Certainly I have a right to be angry.
 

E. Martin

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The message is private. The fact that you sent it is not. For my part what I said to you by PM is identical to what I would say to you in public. I'm funny like that.

The content is private, and you began to suggest the content. You're in the wrong here. You shouldn't be a moderator.
 

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