Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poets, Beware

Here’s a chilling story about poet Stacey Lynn Brown, who had VERY bad dealings with Cider Press Review, the press that picked her manuscript as the winner of its contest. I’m not sure which is the most frightening aspect of this long, sad tale: when the editor of the press asked to be hired (for pay) to design the poet’s new website or the fact that the previous year’s “winner” also didn’t end up with a published book.

There are always two sides to every story, so the press’s response is also included. But…no-brainer to me, and I feel sad that the exciting occasion of having a first book published has turned into this for this poor poet.

As for the rest of us—as always, don’t enter contests willy-nilly. Do your research and make sure your book is going to a place that will do it well, a place you will be proud to be associated with for your whole writing career. Don’t fall prey to exorbitant fees for poor prizes (i.e. $25 to enter and possibly win $100). And, as seen here, don’t be afraid to speak up when you’re getting screwed.

(Link via Chicks Dig Poetry.­)


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.