Category: Poetry Contests
Poetry contest can be a great way for a new writer to get exposure and get their work heard by the public. On the other hand, some contests are a scam just to steal your work, get your personal information, and steal any entry fees that they require. If you are thinking about entering any poetry contest then you need to know how to see the ones that are scams.
The first things that you need to look for when you are thinking of entering a contest are what endorsements the contest has. A legitimate contest will be sponsored or endorsed by a foundation, a school, or some other official organization. The first thing to do is find out who the sponsors are and go to their website and see if there is any information about the contest there. This cross referencing is very helpful in spotting a scam especially if there are any organizations involved that you have never heard of before. If there are no sponsors or it is privately sponsored be wary, as this is a good sign of a scam.
The next step is to investigate the contest. If it is legitimate, it should have a history and you can check the history from previous years. If the contest is legitimate they should list the past winners and you can do research on the past winners. You might even be able to contact a past winner and get information about the contest. If you were invited to enter the contest and you do not recognize the people, group, or organization that sent the invitation then you should ask them how they got your information.
This next clue may sound crazy but it happens. Check the application carefully and if there are misspellings or poor grammar you can be sure that the contest is a scam. If a legitimate organization is sending out invitations, you can be sure that it will be professionally done and checked for errors so that the invitations they send to your house will be perfect. Another thing that should send up a red flag is what information you are asked to reveal. Any contest will need basic contact information but if the application asks for credit card numbers, social security number or any other personal information then be wary.