A few months ago I made the mistake of submitting a poem to Poetry.com’s “poetry contest”. Oy. What a mistake!
As far as I can tell Poetry.Com doesn’t really have a contest — as soon as you submit your poem they start sending you notifications about how “Your wonderful poem has been selected to be included in such and such poetry anthology.” Then, though they assure you there is no obligation on your part to buy a copy, you really ought to because they expect to sell out very soon. Not only that, if you send them an extra X amount of dollars they will print your bio on the page opposite your poem — or you can get it laminated on a plaque — or rolled up and shoved into a bottle, or any other number of “wonderful gift ideas”!
Holy whack. As irritated as I am that I’ve opened myself up for this sort of junk mail and the like because of my “contest entry” I have to admire them in a way. By relying on the vanity of writers they’ve certainly made themselves a lot of money. I’d wager that by refusing to by these hardcover books, plaques, messages in bottles and the like I am in the minority — I must be or they wouldn’t still be in business. They obviously make enough money selling authors copies of books that include their poems to not only break even, but generate a profit. As annoying as that is, I still have to, grudgingly, offer them a thumbs up.
That being said, I’m never entering their “contest” again. 🙂