Sunday, December 17, 2006

So You Think You Can Write

A couple of days ago I received an email from Poetry.com. I submitted the Sandcastle poem I wrote to their site and basically forgot about it. The email says that after being reviewed by their committee my poem was now a 'semi-finalist' in their poetry writing contest. Also, by getting to this stage, my poem will included in a book, "Immortal Verses", to be published next year along with other poems written by other 'semi-finalist'. I got excited at that thought, and that I actually wrote something worthy of publication. Wow. But then, I got to the part where they offer me to buy the book, of course, at a special "contributor's discount". After reading that, the day dream bubble went *puff*. Red flags rose, and alarm bells rang. So I went on Google and searched the key words 'poetry.com' and 'scam'. Sure enough I got relevant hits. Among them was this article. So basically, everyone who submits a poem to their site gets the email I got. Ouch. That's a big 'you wrote nothing special'. The site makes money off people who buy the books wanting to see their stuff printed. They're offering the book for $49.95 a pop. And when you buy the book, they offer you to buy the audio book version, plaques, mugs, and whatnot. They even invite you to attend a convention with other finalist. You pay for your own plane ticket, hotel, and probably the privilege to attend the convention as well. So there. For a couple of minutes I was flying high only to fall hard back on the ground :) Last week our office had a social club activity where people dress-up to show what their alternate careers might be. Maybe I should have gone as Shakespeare or a drunken bum, same difference I suppose :)
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