I recently posted good advice gleaned from the excellent source, Writer Beware.
Sadly, authors are not the only writers tricked out of their money.
Poets are the #1 target for scam artists in the "literary scam" market.
Fake poetry contests and bogus anthologies rip off thousands of people
for millions of dollars every year.  Once again, instead of the writer
being paid, the writer is supposed to pay…sometimes thousands of
dollars. Here is some info from a fabulous source on all manner of scams, and ripoffs.
Read the entire site – you will be drop jawed at how poets are deceived
and ripped off. It all comes down to the basic point — in the real
world, publishers pay authors. Authors don’t pay publishers.Publishers
pay poets and give them at least one free copy of the publication;
Poets don’t pay publishers and poets don’t advance order (for money) a
copy of the publication.

Read on: …..(from the site I mentioned):

  "World’s Best Poetry Contest:Up to $20,000 in prizes! Become a Published Poet!" How is the struggling writer to distinguish the reputable contests from the not-so-reputable? It isn’t easy, when the scam artists seduce us with  names like "National Library of Poetry", "Institute ofContemporary American Poetry" or "International Poetry Hall  of Fame".

Some warning signs:

Their anthology of winning poems will be described
in glowing terms –"one of the most highly acclaimed additions to the pool of poetic literature" raves one promo piece. They’re selling books, not snake-oil, but the language is the same. There are no free contributors’ copies: you’ll be asked to buy your author’s  copy (and, they hope, several more for your friends, relatives and local library) for up to $150 each. Or attend a convention (registration fee: $495) or join the International Society of Poets($125) or attend a poetry camp where your name goes up in lights ($600 for 3 days). The National Library of Poetry anthologies run around 600 pages, with 10 poems per page. That’s 6000 "winning" poets a good percentage of whom will buy the book.* Very large cash prizes with no entry fee. (Ask yourself how this contest is being financed).If you submit to one of these pseudo-contests, your letter of acceptance (and you’ll almost certainly get one) should set
          off alarm bells. Every sentence oozes flattery: you’ve been selected for publication solely on the basis of your "rare and unique talent". In a legitimate competition you’re judged by recognized
professionals, or at least by your writing peers. In the vanity
    contests, there’s no discrimination. Good and deliberately awful poems receive the same lavish praise.

* Expensive ads in glossy magazines and daily newspapers. Legitimate writers’ organizations are more likely to run modest announcements in publications read by the writing community.


If you’re in doubt about the validity of a contest,  do some research. Talk to your state or regional writers’ organization. Phone your library and your local bookseller — ask if they’ve ever heard of
          the sponsoring organization, or its publications. Check with the  Better Business Bureau. Easiest of all is a search for "Poetry Scams" on the internet, where you’ll find handy lists of the Worst Online Poetry Contests.

love writing, reading and support the efforts of everyone and anyone
who really wants to write, and be published. Please, don’t allow some
insincere greedy con artist take advantage of your dreams. If you want
any guidance, just ask. I’ll refer you to real people in the real
world. Dreams come true in the real world when you do it the real way.

Best to you,

Burl Barer

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