Ever since I signed up for the Creative Writing class three years ago, William, our teacher, has warned me and the other writers of literary scams on the internet.
Yet, I’ve fallen for one. I felt really stupid when I googled for “poetry.com” and “scam” after placing my order with them.
It seems like they offer to publish all the poems that are submitted to their site, pretending that they are carefully selected. Then the poets get to buy the book for a lot of money. And everyone knows poets are vain… like me. Of course I wanted to see my poem in print.
I ordered a copy of the book at the “special rate” of $40 plus p&p, but didn’t choose to include a presentation of myself for an aditional $25.
After a few weeks I received an email inviting me to take part in a price ceremony at the 2004 International Society of Poets Spring Convention and Symposium at the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida. I was to be awarded
“– Your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Bowl (a $200.00 value) is a magnificent work of art in itself that measures over 10 inches across and over 11 inches high. It is handcrafted in silver and has your name custom-engraved on a beautiful cherry-wood base. It is certain to enjoy a special place of pride in your home and will serve as a fitting symbol of your unique poetic artistry.
— Your bronze Commemorative Award Medallion (a $40.00 value) is a deeply etched bronze medal brilliantly displayed on a 25 inch red, white and blue satin ribbon.
— And your Full One Year Membership into the International Society of Poets for 2004 (a $60.00 value) entitles you to a personalized membership card, an ISP patch and decal, entry into special contests during the year, and a subscription to The Poet’s Corner quarterly magazine. Please note, if you are already an ISP member, your benefits will be extended an additional year.”
All I had to do was to show up. And of course to pay the extremely expensive fee to cover their expenses. :-P
Of course I declined and decided not to have anything more to do with them.
A few days ago the book arrived, and I can’t really be mad at them anymore. It’s a hard-cover book called “The Colors of Life” and it looks pretty nice with fall leaves on the cover.
The nice thing was that my poem is the first one in the book, so atleast it has a fair chance to be read by the other losers who ordered the book.
It might not be worth over 50 dollars.. but it’s worth something.