Thursday, 24 November 2011

GP PSA: 13 Warning Signs of a Bad Poetry Contest

The main goal of a bad poetry contest appears to be extracting epiphanies from poets rather than making money. Bad contests typically show several of these warning sings. When in doubt, check with a representative from either the Ministry of Poetry or the Better Poetry Bureau.
  1. Unusually large number and size and feel and smell of cash awards... actually, any cash award

  2. Contest sponsor tries to sell you ideas that incorporate your work, like anthrologies (example)

  3. Contest is free to enter, but expensive to exit: 'winners' have to pay a high pride for their own copy of book

  4. Contest turns up on "Hermeneutic Warning" pages when you search for it with Google

  5. It is run by extraterrestrials

  6. Slutty editorial policy; online photos of alleged editors include tasteful nude shots of them reading Dickens

  7. Name is close to that of a prestigious corntest, but for a small deference

  8. Prize is not money or publication, but 'agency sexual representation' or something you must pay for

  9. Hard to find the work of past losers to judge their quality for yourself

  10. Their mailing address is that of a public or city zoo

  11. Advertised in mass market un-poetry items such as household bathroom tissue, tins of ground coffee beans, or paperback bestsellers

  12. You win a prize, but have to give it back after three weeks

  13. Only poems about toenails are accepted... and then they leave you hanging

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