Saturday, December 31, 2005

Literary Vampires

I was just corresponding with an online acquaintance of mine, and saw with horror that she had been taken in by

I don't know if any of you are writers, or specifically poets, but there are a number of people out there who are literary vampires, sucking the money and literary lifeblood out of people. The general scam goes like this:

(1) "Enter our writing contest for free!"

(2) You get a letter from them, that reads something like this:"Dear Patsy, I love your poem titled Poor Slob. Thank you for entering it into our free contest. It has already been moved into the semi-finals! Our joy is to discover new talent like yours..." and it goes on in a similar vein.

(3) Your poem is to be published in a GENUINE HARDBACK BOOK! But to get things like a dedication, a photograph, illustrations, biography, etc., you have to pay numerous fees. Oh, and if you WANT a copy of this astounding volume, you have to pay for it (at a premium price!)

(4) You order the book. The "publisher" now knows he has a live one on the other end, and you get a letter a few weeks later that says you are a WINNER. You are invited to come to a remote location, read your poem to hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS of admiring fans and receive a trophy or plaque of some kind. (Of course, all this costs money... the fees are as follows...)

And so it goes.

If you would like to know more about such scams, here are a FEW links:

If you have fallen prey to such an organization (as I did many moons ago, sadly), keep your hand on your wallet!

Tony Burton
Editor, Crime and Suspense ezine
Voice Mail and Fax: (702) 543-8386

See my new cozy mystery, "Blinded by Darkness". Get it in either ebook version or hardcopy at

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