Poetry Competitions – a word of warning

Here’s a slight word of caution about writing competitions. There are a number of publishers, including Lost Tower and Poetry Rivals, which run competitions with a minimal or zero entry fee. There is no cash prize, but winning entries are published in an anthology. I’ve entered quite a few of these, and almost invariably my poems or prose pieces have been accepted for publication. This led me to think that this is perhaps a bit too easy. I’ve come to the conclusion that, although these competitions are definitely not scams, their main purpose is to make money for the publishers. If you are accepted you will usually be sent a form to order a copy of the anthology, and it is this, rather than the entry fee, which makes the competitions profitable. I’ve bought a few anthologies and they are nicely produced, but some of the entries are not of a very high standard (this is only my opinion, of course). If you just want to see your work in print this is a very good way to go about it, without the hassle of self-publishing, but I am now concentrating on the competitions which I don’t win!
Patricia Stoner

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About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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