Ad in PARADE MAGAZINE-Poetry Contest $100,000 in Prizes Awarded Annually

      (Note: the following ad caught the attention of a poet friend of mine.  It sounds too good to be true; however….. I usually don’t catch on and am duped.  Therefore, please don’t take my posting this ad here as an endorsement.  Randy Ford)


November 30, 2008

      We are now accepting poetry for the OPEN AMATEUR POETRY CONTEST.  The contest is open to everyone and entry is free.  However, you must hurry.  The deadline for entering your poem is January 30, 2009.

      All of those who enter will receive a personal cretique of their poem.  Most of the prize money will be awarded to new and unpublished poets, many of whom have never entered a poetry competition before. 

      To enter, mail one original poem, 24 lines or less, on any subject and in any style, to

Poetry Contest   Editor 248-2   305 Madison Ave.    Suite 447   New York, NY  10168



Filed under Call to Authors and Contests

115 responses to “Ad in PARADE MAGAZINE-Poetry Contest $100,000 in Prizes Awarded Annually

  1. December 22, 2008

    Dear Randy,

    The Poetry Contest advertised in PARADE MAGAZINE may very well be a scam. I entered the contest with an Editor of 210-3, Suite 449 and zip code in New York of 10165, vs. the information you have in your blog. I am so very disappointed.
    I cannot imagine a reputable organization having the identical contest 2 months in a row.

    What do you think? Could I be wrong? In this case, I would so like to be wrong…

    Thank you for your input.

    Eve York

  2. Eve,
    It could well be a scam. There are scams everywhere. The friend who gave me the information about the so called Poetry Contest hopes it is not. I hate people who take advantace of the dreams and hopes of other people.
    If get additional information, let me know.
    Randy Ford

  3. "B"

    I entered the november 30th con-test and i also feel as if this could be scam!! i haven’t received a cretique or anything, hope that i’m wrong though….

  4. B,
    As you can see, you’re not the only one who feels this “contest” may be a scam. I hope we’re wrong. If it is, the best thing we can now do is expose it. Randy

  5. Tameka M. Brown

    I also entered the contest at the address given on the magazine and its different fron the one on the blog so, if it is a scam what will we do?

  6. Tameka,
    Scam or not, I think we need to keep them honest. Does anyone know where to report this situation and have it investigated? I think we should keep it alive until we find out something. Randy

  7. CCV

    Well if the ad was taken out in Parade Magazine, maybe an email to the editor would verify who the people are that took the ad out and if, in fact, there really is a contest. I saw the ad in parade magazine today…

  8. Janice M.

    I saw the same ad in the Card Maker magazine. Deadline is March 30, 2009.
    Address is slightly varied yet again. Editor 218-2
    305 Madison Ave. Ste 449 NY NY 10165

  9. Bridget

    I’m wondering if this is the contest Nina Cowan of Rock Island entered. They notified her that she had received an editor’s choice award. She said, “They said I had so much talent that I don’t know if I even recognized myself. You have to order a book containing your poem, and the price is $49.95 plus $9 for shipping.” Pricey, or what?

    I’m not sure that this is the same contest, but if you want to give it a go, send your entry to Poetry Contest Editor 248-2, 305 Madison Ave., Suite 449, New York, NY 10165.

  10. Thank you Bridget. You comment may offer a clue as to what this “contest” is all about. Maybe it is a come-on for a “vanity” press. I’m not saying this is bad. However I wouldn’t pin my dreams on such a venture. That’s just me. Randy Ford

  11. Cherokee Sky

    I sit here after working several days to compose several pretty good poems, just wondering if this is real.. I have the January 30, 2009 dead line article to be sent to Editor 248-2. I am wondering if they compile all the poems in a book, or only add the poems
    that recieve the bait to buy their book…
    Is there any guarantee given that they will return your poems critiqued.. or must you by the book?

  12. Hi Cherokee,
    Even if the contest turns out not to be real, you’ll have your poems and you know they are good. Your questions are good. We’ll have to wait and see. Keep me informed. If you’re interested, I would be willing to post some of your poems on this blog site. The process of writing, to me, is more important than getting something published. Always. Randy Ford

  13. I’m just about to submit 2 poems- one for myself and one for a 94 year old woman who is really excited about this. Is there any way that the place we send it to, could steal the poem and publish under another name?

  14. Ezzell,
    Good question. I don’t think they can steal your poems. But I think one cheap way of protecting yourself is to send a copy of the poem/poems to yourself (before you submit them) by registered mail and don’t open it. The post mark is important. If someone tries to steal it then, don’t open it: instead seek legal advice. If someone were to steal my work, it would be the highest form of flattery. I think the law protects us. Randy Ford

  15. Just Another

    Hey there fellow writers,
    I really think this is a scam. My family is insisting I still enter, but I seriously don’t want to. They saw the ad in Good Old Days magazine. The address was again slightly different:
    Poetry Contest
    Editor 227-2
    305 Madison Ave
    Suite 449
    New York, NY 10165
    The deadline is March 30, 2009. What’s the worst case scenero if we send and it is a scam? Stupid scam artists! Poetry is competitive enough, why must they make it more complicated by adding false hope?

  16. Just another
    It is looking as if this contest may be a scam. That is too bad. My poet friend who first showed me the ad has been obsessing on it. He has submitted some of his work. This angers me.
    Randy Ford

  17. Adonna

    I too saw this ad in Creative Knitting, got pretty excited. The ad had same address in NY, but different Editor. But then decided I’d better check this out and googled and found your site. Thank you. I’m disappointed, but it did get me back to my poetry and I spent some time refining what I wrote with new eyes. I write mostly for myself and don’t share it with others often. I’ll just have to leave my writings for my grandchildren to read someday.

  18. Hi Adonna,
    I find my excitment in the process of writing. And as in your case, I too think of leaving my writings for my grandchildren to read someday. It’s certainly something that motivates me. Though if I had waiting on finding readers, I would’ve stopped writing a long time ago. Thank you for your comment. Randy Ford

  19. Dear Mr. Ford
    It’s been almost 5 weeks since I sent you a comment. As yet, none of us have heard any thing from the Poetry Contest.. Will keep you informed if any of us recieves anything in the mail…
    Thank You, Cherokee Sky

  20. Hi Cherokee,
    Thank you. I would appreciate hearing from you any time but especially if you or anyone else hears from the Poetry Contest. Thanks again, Randy

  21. Hi everyone,
    I’m not sure if the two contests are connected. I’m sure someone out there knows. Check it out and let everyone know.

    Reader’s Choice Writer’s Contest Entries

    Our 2009 Reader’s Choice Writer’s Contest has begun. Please select the entry that you would like to read and vote for it to be sure your favorite writing wins!

    2009 Reader’s Choice Writer’s Contest Entries*
    Poetry Reunion Time Vickie Steadman Mitchell
    Poetry Country Morning Melodies Sharon Jones
    Poetry Loved Marci Burnett

    Non-Fiction Mile 22 Heather Yates

    What do you think?
    Randy Ford

  22. karen

    yep i think its a scam,,i was scammed, but only scammed out of a poem.

    i entered the same contest , when i found this add in my sunday paper it was in the insert “usa weekend”.

    what does this mean to me ?, is my identity stolen now?,,, what will happen to me ?.

    infact here is the link to the site the paper insert belongs to.

  23. karen

    this site is fun,, but a scam as well, they say how good you are and then try and con you into buying a book, but its still a cool site,,at least to read others poems.

  24. Are we having fun yet? Sad fun, how could they play with us?
    Randy Ford

  25. Sara Almendarez

    I also believe this poetry contest is a scam…I submitted a poem a few months ago, eagerly awaiting my reply. My response came today. Remarkably, I’ve “penned a wonderful verse, and my poem has advanced to the semi-final round of the National Amateur Poetry Competition.” Per the letter, I have a good chance at winning the $2500.00 grand prize! My work will be published in a book called Verses and Visions. (Which I can purchase for a thrifty $49.95.) My hopes were shattered; my feelings hurt. I’ve never been more devastated; I was duped! I put everything into my poem just to find out it was all a scam. I am however, comforted by the fact that I was not alone. Thank you so much for your post! Keep up the good work.

  26. Hi Sara,
    I am sorry you got caught up in what I believe is a scam. Thank you for your comment. It is more of an update than a comment. It helps us understand the scheme and it appears to be that, a scheme, a marketing ploy.
    Thank you again. I hope you are motivated and inspired to write more poetry.
    Randy Ford

  27. karen

    so now the question is , are there any real poetry contest’s out there ?.
    the ones found in the inserts of the Sunday paper , the internet, and magazines are scams.
    now i dont trust any ads or ones found on the internet.
    i now just share them on my page.
    its sad that our poems get stolen this way , and this might sound stupid of me , but its kinda a complement too.
    i’m not a good poet, i just like to try,
    and its fun.

  28. Hi Karen,
    I know of at least one “real” poetry contest. It is the product of The Society of Southwestern Authors. For the winners there are cash prizes, an Awards Luncheon, and the work is published in THE STORY TELLER, a publication that goes on sale.

    For more information, go to

    Randy Ford

  29. In response to Karen’s question “are there any real poetry contests out there,” here seems to be another one: Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest. Google Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest 2008. While you’re there, check out the other genres of the contest that included photograph. Randy Ford

  30. karen

    thank you Randy,,you give us want-a-be poets something to check out,, hugs to you

  31. Brian

    i have found several places with those exact addresses and they are a video production company, Charlotte’s Web Studios LLC, ANGLER Technologies USA Inc., and American Fertility Association in either suite 447 or suite 449… this was an entirely bogus scheme… i have entered one of my most favorite and best poems, which i have actually had a few of my old English teachers read and critique to help improve its flow… not a single one said anything bad about it… but one said that one word out of 206 should possibly be changed… and i felt like i was possibly going to be able to help fund for my college tuition with a possible prize… i feel betrayed and let down by some fool and would really like to know about any true contests where amateur poets have a high chance of getting a prize and possibly a published poem…
    if anyone has any contests that i can enter it into i would greatly appreciate it…
    Thank you,

  32. Brian,
    Thank you for your comment. The saga continues. You must feel as if you have been rolled by pickpockets. I know of two “real” contest. I have mentioned them before. The Society of Southwestern Authors has one. For the winners there are cash prizes, an Awards Luncheon, and the work is published in THE STORY TELLER, a publication that goes on sale.
    For more information, go to

    The other one is called the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest. Google Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest 2008. While you’re there, check out the other genres of the contes, that included photograph. I hope this helps. But I know it won’t pay for your disappointment. Randy Ford

  33. Well Randy, we can now assume that the mystery is near its end. I personally
    could have written Sara Almendarez comment above..Word for word…I received my notice prior to my Sisters e-mail,which was full of excitement about her poem being advanced to the semi-final round, ditto RE: Sara’s..& mine…The only brief critique’s will be included on the Author’s Proof…..They must adhere to all contest rules……EBER & WEIN PUBLISHING, 597 S. Main St., Shrewsbury, PA 17361……60-70% of all entries become semi-finalist’s. Those will receive a certificate of achievement. They sponsor 4 contests a year then posted 8 dates. Of The $100,000.00,the grand prize is only (1)$2,500.00…….(25) 2nd. of $100.00 each…..Then 100 gift certificates of $25 to be used toward any Eber & Wein Product. If you wish to add a 100 word statement about yourself in the pre-publication discount, $20.00……Single copy $49.95+$7.00S&H….The next purchase, to qualify for discount of $10.00 off Special Edition Anthology, should be 6 copies+S&H…..check, money order or credit card….If you fail to order a book or a 100-word statement at $20.00, which is step 1, plus the Official contest Entry Form step 2 with name, Address, e-mail, phone and signature…..So, 4 contest’s per year…. 4x$2,500.00=$10,000.00….
    4x100x$25.00=$10,000.00..Gift Cert.
    The gift certificates are not awarded for several months..after you order your
    Volumn of Verses and Visions. So, now that you are on the hook, they know you will continue to buy after receiving the gift I am sure my daughter and grand-daughter are sure winners also….So, from $30,000.00 a year, they are most likely pulling down an easy Billion $’s, wouldn’t you say…Not to mention the other missing,
    $70,000.00, who gets the remainder of that money..Boy would I love to see their book’s, Hey “IRS”, why don’t you check out this company…..They are copyrighted with the U.S. Library of Congress as a compilation. All individial poetry remains the property of the author…….So, they squeak a little
    when they fall through the cracks…..At least they don’t work for the Goverment……Most Billionairs don’t have to work, they get us to send them
    $49.95-$69.95 + S&H….per book, which may cost under $10.00 to print…So, Randy, am I going to purchase 1 book/volumn with the promise that my poem is listed…..HUM!!….Why Not, it’s only money…….Pretty much like buying a lottery ticket…You know and I know, they do not produce a pre-list of poems in any of the books, you also run the chance that “it should be in the next issue/Volumn”, therefore the $25.00 gift certificate can be used toward yet another book…..Thank You Randy, I am much wiser, I have enjoyed your column, Will continue to review it on going…..Sincerely…….

  34. Hi Cherokee,
    Woooo! You are a winner. Thanks so much. We’re all Billionairs. The most important thing though is that we keep writing and enjoy what we do.
    By the way, is Sky your last name? Or is Cherokee Sky your first name? Stay in touch. Randy Ford

  35. Your Welcome Randy,
    I am glad I was selected in the 60-70% to advance to the next step. Perhaps we all will be more wiser when it is completed….We all know THEY are in this for the $$$$$$….Their gimmick is to compile and sell books, they are a “Hugh Success”. I have seen such offers throughout my life.
    The money was never the issue with myself or my sister, daughter, grand-daughter. It’s the feeling of acknowledgement for your efforts. When in school we knew if we did not do well, we simply would not pass to the next grade level. Those of us who have entered this contest, wish to achieve a higher standard for ourselves. Everyone has their own artistic abilities, muses, talent’s, gift’s. With out our outlet’s, we become stagnant.
    We wish to express our abilities in many forms, I paint and write, my writing only comes with inspiration. Artistic People need to express ones self. They/We never stop trying to achieve perfection. The opportunity to express our talent in words, our words, is a pleasure or labor of love. It gives us opportunities to create.
    Am I sorry for entering the contest, do I feel tricked? NO and NO……I expressed my creativity, I used my 60 year old brain once again…I have written hundreds of poems.
    Rhyming words was never difficult for me. It is, in trying not to rhyme as I write and speak that is most difficult.
    My brother Dale, passed at 27, he was an accomplished writer of songs. Dale’s range of singing was equal to Charlie Pride and Willie Nelson. When he sang Rock of Ages, tears flowed. He used part of his creative gift to design houses. Was born on my 3rd. Birthday, we were like twins…. We were Gemini’s… As he slowly left us, becoming a quadriplegic, he never complained. For distractions from his pain he spoke in rhyme and had me write, only adding my 2cent’s to regain his consentration. We all have tragedies we can only express in writing of rhymes put to paper and song and many other medium’s.
    When the frustration and tears pass, we can only devise to write once again.
    If Eber & Wein are weasels for profiting from our creativities, So Be It…“WE” are the winners! We created! That’s worth more than any monetary gift they could appease us with…I come from a long line of gifted people. So Don’t We All! There remains a good book in ALL of us, SO WRITE! You are in control of who you are, NOT, Eber & Wein…They are small peanuts….They have been creamed…. You are the Jelly that holds the bread together…Let not the sun go down upon your gift’s. God Speed….
    Randy, your answer to my name. I am Cherokee, both my Grandma’s were Cherokee.
    One called me Morning Glory, the other, Cherokee Sky…Their gift to me. Neither liked to call me by my legal name……Sincerely…..

  36. Crash Johnson

    I wish I’d read this whole post sooner. I’m pretty new to the writing game, and I didn’t recognize any of the signs that should have been pretty clear. It was really exciting to hear good news back from someone only to find out this. Pretty crappy. I feel bad for everyone else who got hopes up, too.

  37. madd rabbit

    hey i saw a contest just like it and heres the adress

    poetry contest
    244 fifth avenue
    suite 1900-D
    new york, ny 10001-7604

    i hope its not a scam because my poems really good

  38. I’m glad you’re “really good.” Keep writing. With practice, we all get better. Randy

  39. Hello Randy, Well, since I received my “Congradulations You Have Won”, you are now a semi-finialist. My Sister recieved two separate letters of “Congradulations’, My Daughter and Grand-Daughter also recieved one each for their poems..I felt their poems were good so I encouraged them to let me send them, which I did with their return addresses..I did not tell them I had “won”….My Sister is so excited she posted hers on her my-space….Still I set silent, not wanting to burst their bubbles…I have not ordered the books as recommended….So if I do not follow through with all their purchase steps, then I can safely say, I probably forfeited my poem..Thats quite OK, I still have my poem, and sent myself the sealed poem unopened, to creat a patent. Thanks So Much, I continue to learn….Many, Many Kudo’s for your site..Cherokee Sky…

  40. Hi Cherokee,
    Congrats! You’re on your way. I would like to read some your poetry. So keep writing, and let me know. Randy

  41. Poetry Contest Editor 248-2 305 Madison Ave. Suite 449 New York, NY 10165

     Dirty Laundry

     Eternity seeks screaming why,
    Six decades transitionally fly.

    Dirty laundry, family and friend,
    Tarnished innocence never to mend.

    Unspeakable hushes from who cherish,
    Hush little girl or you may parish.

    Dirty laundry hidden by vanity,
    Buried in peace lies with my sanity.

    Unspeakable silence behind crying eyes,
    All exists, all has been, and truth now flies.

    Dirty laundry upon soul sets heavy,
    Tears held back could burst any levy.

    Unspeakable once spoken, can they not see,
    My heart, my soul, oh so broken I must flee.

    Eternity seeks still screaming why,
    Six decades, Angels to transitionally fly.
    Hello Randy, this is the poem I sent into the contest. I thought it might be too deep or confusing for some readers.
    I was born into the time zone where we were told, hush, we don’t air our dirty laundry in public..Child abuse of any kind was treated much like someone with epilepsy, it was hushed, hidden away, no one was allowed to tell. Why wouldn’t they believe a child who never lied.. Father’s can abuse the innocents of their charges..Innocent ones have Angels watching over, carrying them through. I write from within, life can have many road blocks….If one gets knocked down or trips and falls, it is we who the Angels teach to fly.
    My best to you and yours, Cherokee Sky

  42. Hi Cherokee Sky,
    I am very moved and thankful for people like you. The realism of your poem strikes home, both personally and professionally. Because of the message of your poem, this afternoon after, I plan to place your poem and comment on my blog where it deserves to be. Keep up the good work.
    Randy Ford

  43. Mary

    I entered the contest and received a letter dated April 28,2009 thanking me for entering the contest.
    The letter stated it would take 2-4 weeks for the judges to read and decide on the winners.
    There was a pre-order form to order the Verses and Visions book($56.95).
    Since the contest was offered in Parade Magazine,I assumed it to be “the real deal”.
    It saddens me that people would take advantage of those of us who write and saw this as an opportunity to share our work with others.
    I have already ordered the book,so,live and learn.

  44. The saga continues. Randy Ford

  45. stupid fool

    I too entered the poetry contest. and got the same letter that I made the semi-finalists!! Poets are very sensitive people. If someone committed suicide over this scam you people would have a wrongful death lawsuit on your greedy hands. SHAME on you!!!

  46. Dear S. F. above, we are among hundreds of thousands of people who enter these contests several times a year…Perhaps through our examination of the Companys practices, and their exposure we can make a difference..
    You, nor any of us are “Fools” or “Stupid”, we have been fooled by advertising. Poet’s are among the many “types” of people who are as you say, “sensitive people” with many attribute’s, we Poet’s have many outlet’s for our feelings, we can express our hurt, anger, disillusion with others behavior, as well as our own, our love for life its self, all through our poetry. Suicide is not, nor has it ever been an option for a true poet. There is always the Poets ability to rationalize as we write through any thing. It says, 60-70% would be chosen in the contest.
    None of us may recieve any of the promotional gift’s…So be it, I also am learning….I could be a Honorary Professor by now…LOL…Please re-read all the fine print S. F. and consider changing your handle, Sincerely, Cherokee Sky

  47. Hi Cherokee and S.F,
    Your comments, I think, are very useful. This contest has had a longer life that I ever expected. Thank you Cherokee for drawing our attention to the one good thing that may come out of all of this attention when you say “their exposure we can make a difference.”
    Thank you.
    If anyone have poems that they would like to publically I would happily post them and plug the poet.
    However I think it is more important to keep writing. As in anything else, writing comes down to practice.
    For people who are interested, my email address is
    Randy Ford

  48. Dear Randy, What an Awesome, informative site. Cherokee Sky E Mailed me this morning and gave me the connection. I have been reading for an hour, and will continue. I am fifty four, and wrote my first poem less than a year ago. This beautiful woman, Cherokee Sky, read my poetry and encouraged me to inter the contest. Even now, with the possibility that this contest is a fraud, does not discourage me. I am a multiple personality. Cherokee read my poetry and called me, The Messenger of Multiplicity. She also encouraged me to write a novel. Which I just completed. With her wonderful words of encouragement, I also entered my poetry and some of my sketches into this book of my life. Metisse is the French word for mixture. I am a mixture of many. So I titled my novel…METISSE THE MESSENGER OF MULTIPLICITY…in Cherokee’s honor.
    It was not entering the contest or even the possibility of being published that gave me courage to write. It was the strength of beautiful wisdom I received from Cherokee. She, a wonderful poet and writer, told me that my words were (important). 🙂

    The Multiplicity of Me…A Multiple Personality

    I am often mistaken for the person you perceive me to be…
    I may not be the person you see, you could be with, another me…

    In me, many reside…
    In me, many hide…

    Many come out in due time…
    Many simply watch from my mind…

    I will never reveal, all of me…
    I will never let you, truly see…

    We all know each other, some forever, some a short time…
    We all know when we need to be just one, or many combined…

    I live in a mind encompassing, complicity…
    I live in a body, comprehensively knowing, of multiplicity…

    A multiple personality…
    More than singular individuality…

    Incased in an intriguing shell…
    A taste of Heaven, a bite from Hell…

    A shell encapsulating multitude…
    From enticing, to extreme elude…

    A shell protecting a heart of pearl…
    Woman of wisdom, still cradling, little girl…

    Particular personalities will quickly rise to the surface…
    With the slightest sign of stress or need or purpose…

    I am more than what you see…
    I am whoever I need to be…

  49. Hi Buaton,
    Thank you for the comment. More importantly I thank you for your poem. Hopefully you’ll continue to write and practice. Because you were brave enough to share your story and work, I will feature it on The Brainpan. Randy Ford

  50. Elizabeth

    The only thing sadder than being scammed by these hoaxes are the language skills exhibited by many above. No legitimate publisher would consider submissions with such poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. If any of you ever enter a real contest, you had better improve your skills – the mistakes are embarassing, as is the fact that obviously none of you has noticed, or cared.

    note just a few of the glaring ones I read in your “poetry” and posts

    *If anyone have poems that they would like to publically
    *I was born into the time zone
    *Unspeakable hushes from who cherish

  51. Elizabeth, Wow!, thank you so much for taking the time to give me a personal critique of my poem and comments. You have done for me what the Amateur Contest did not do.
    I entered the contest expecting to receive a detailed critique, nothing more.
    I am sixty now and having had a couple of strokes, I had been realizing that I was struggling to overcome a loss of certain academic functions. You my dear have found me out.
    We Southerner’s are indeed from a different time zone and have done our share of butchering the English Language. As far as my spelling, I don’t have a spell checker, therefore I rely on the old dictionary, which can be quite time consuming. My dyslexia has increased with age and strokes, many times I don’t catch misspelled words before forwarding e-mail. My punctuation is indeed lacking in every thing I write, but still I choose to write. If you could perhaps recommend a study guide or computer program, I will consider purchasing it and relearning at my own speed.
    Elizabeth, I am truly sorry for your feelings of embarrassment concerning any of my language skills or rather lack of language skills. I came on this blog to find answers.
    Most all of my questions have been answered. I can not assume that you understood my poem or the word “Unspeakable” in the context it was used. I make no apologies for my poem. I am thrilled to have someone of your experience and knowledge to enlighten me as to what a legitimate publisher would want in an amateur poetry contest. I wish you the best in your endeavors to win any of the legitimate contests. As far as myself, I will continue to write and relearn that which was forgotten in a moment of darkness. Cherokee

  52. Buaton

    Brief update on my poem for the Poetry Contest.
    I just received the Author’s Proof of my poem,
    plus a wonderful Editor’s Critique.
    The Editor even went so far as to suggest the
    name of another well known Poet, as a terrific
    guide for my work. Then, offered a one word
    suggestion change. I replaced the word with
    the one offered and the sentence flowed
    as smooth as silk. I am very pleased with the
    professional manner of this contest so far.

    My glass is half full…not half empty 🙂

    Multi Hugs,


    The Editor suggested I change the word
    ( person) to (personality) in my first sentence.
    It works…I am pleased!

  53. Hi Buaton,
    This is good news. Congratulations. Keep writing. Randy

  54. Michael Lane

    One positive out of dozens of negative experiences with the contest. Two thoughts occur to me: the people manageing the contest are reading this web page and Buston works for them, or like the slot machine, somebody has to win sometime.


  55. Hello Mike, I personally have known Buaton for decades. I would like to assure you that she has no prior knowledge concerning the contest. I encouraged her to e-mail me a couple of her poems I was familiar with, since her printer was on the blink. I mailed hers the same time I did mine, my daughters and granddaughters. Buaton appears to be the only person on Randy Fords Blog to have received a detailed critique from the Co.. I personally will be thrilled if someone on Randy’s Blog does indeed win one of the prizes.. I think we all would have a reason to celebrate with the winner….Sincerely, Cherokee Sky

  56. Buaton

    Randy Ford, I Thank You, with total respect for your friendship, your professionalism of the Arts and this wonderful, awesome site.
    Cherokee Sky, I Thank You, with all due respect for your unwavering friendship, encouragement, positive attitude and connections into a world I never dreamed to venture into until the course of this year.

    Now in response to Michael Lane…
    Please allow me to put your suspicions at ease. I do not, nor have I ever worked for any type of publishing firm. Far from it so, that the negative comment about my positivity, made me giggle, with undue pride.
    A mere year has passed since I sat in front of a computer for the first time in my life, and began to learn how to type and use it. My son opened up a My Space account for me which in turn, enlightened me to a whole new world. For years, I have scribbled stories, poems and a few sketches, but my low self esteem allowed them to go no further than a box, tucked away in my closet.
    I timidly began to post my writing, still feeling unworthy of peers whom I considered Scholars in comparison to my own kindergarten type of work. Much to my surprise, the overwhelming responses were positive and most encouraging.
    I, a multiple personality, have been shamed into being a deep dark secret since infancy. So sharing bits and pieces of my existence through my writing felt as though I were peeking out of a closet keyhole, or slipping a note under the door telling everyone, I am in here and I want to come out.
    Cherokee Sky wrote to me one day, telling me that my words are important. She said that my story might help enlighten the world as to how and why an enigma such as myself exist. She said, Buaton, if you write it, the world will stand in line to read it.
    Four months later, I held one hundred thirty pages of my life in my hands. Still not knowing anything of this process of publishing.
    Cherokee Sky E mailed me one day and gave me the connection to this Site, because there was information pertaining to a poetry contest that she had entered me into. She did this out of kindness because my equipment is very old and nearly dysfunctional.
    As I began reading and drinking in every word of this site as that akin to a thirsty child, I came upon the name of Jerry D Simmons. I consider that day, a miraculous milestone in my life. For this was the day, I opened my closet door and handed my manuscript to a highly respected professional whom I now hold in upmost regard. A learned man who, through great professional experience of his own, offers me direction, guidance and friendship as I travel this unknown path of my future.
    You said that my experience was only one positive out of so many negatives of this poetry contest. That perhaps I worked for the people who ran it and if not so than maybe my poem was just a chance spin of the slot machine, that somebody has to win sometimes.

    I choose to think positive. I choose to think that perhaps I am a tiny drop of oil in the bottom of the bucket, that rose to the surface of the water. Unblendable, unsinkable and yet noticeable because of it’s hue of many colors in the light of the sun. 🙂

    Multi Hugs


  57. chris allen

    my poem was “mothers song” and to think that there could or would be a scam regarding my work is a true travisty! hope it was a great joke for someone.

  58. Hi Chris and to the rest of you,
    Thank you for your comments. I would be happy to post any poems sent me on this blog. If you are interested, send the work to Of course, you’ll receive the credit and the exposure.
    Thanks again,
    Randy Ford

  59. karen

    well i posted comments on here before.
    let me see i sent in my poem to that scam site on late December and now its june 1st 2009.

    i just received a thing from them in my mail box at my house stating that my poem was chosen and that i will be receiving another notice with a critique
    on it. and that i wanted too i can buy a book with my poem in it for just $49.95 .

    here is the address on the envelope .

    Eber & Wein Publishing
    P.O. Box 326
    597 S. Main ST.
    Shrewsbury, PA 17361

    i wonder if the address will be the same when i receive my second thing in the mail.

    i know i’m no great poet, never will be.
    i just like having fun with it.
    but its sad that they are making money off of others poems by getting others to buy the books in question.

    isn’t that stealing?.

    i hope i did not anger any one.
    sorry if i did.

    is it alright if i post my poem unto here ?.

    just for fun?.

    i dont mind sharing, if my poem was worth stealing , then it must not be all that bad of a poem ,, lol.

  60. Angie

    I also entered this so-called contest when my high school poetry teacher suggested I should try it. I got all my hopes up and was telling everyone I knew. I had not gotten a response for a while, and so I googled the publisher. Everything that turned up said it was a huge ongoing scam. I felt so heartbroken, and now I feel I cannot trust internet OR magazine and newspaper sources. If you DO want a reliable source however, try a book called The Poet’s Market. Not only do they update it every year, but they have legitimate contests, publishers, and general guidelines for submitting your work. They even go as far as to tell you the main interests of the specific publishers, that way you have a better chance of submitting work and getting it accepted. I am saddened that some people feel the need to scam others out of their dreams, aspirations, and money, but I now know I have to be extremely careful. I hope the book helps anyone who wants to feel safe with submitting their poetry. I may be only a high school student, but I think anyone who has entered this faux contest, no matter what their age, has a right to be angry and upset about this. But here is my question: If there are so many people who realize this is fake and are getting cheated out of their money, why has no one notified any authorities or taken legal action? Is it not true that the people responsible could be taken to court, because this IS illegal? I am sure I am not the only one asking this question, and I, for one, would like an answer.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comment. I hope it is helpful.


  61. Hi Angie,
    Thank you for your comment. That you have entered a professional writing career while still in high school is very exciting to me. Keep writing. It will bring you greater rewards than any contest. Randy Ford

  62. Michael Lane

    Dear Buaton:
    My apologies. I did not in any way intend to impugn your work or your integrity, nor to suggest that your work would be unworthy of acclaim. Judging from my own experience and that of many others, the contest appears to be a gimmick. I was adding my suspicions to those of many others that have been expressed on this webpage. At the same time, I would add that I’ve had a similar experience in the past in which the shyster did participate in the game in order to allay doubts about legitmacy. Again, my apologies, and I am very glad to hear about the positive experience writing has been for you.

  63. This was the poem entered in the contest from my daughter, she sends a “Thank You” to Randy for allowing the post.
    DearGod: Dear God, I ask and I pray to you today,
    Please hear what I can and can not say.

    Know my heart in every part,
    As here I am in great dismay.

    Through all the years in this one life,
    I’d always thought I’d be a wife.

    And now I find as time pass by in life,
    Divorced with children, my life full of strife.

    For life has had it’s wicked, wicked ways.
    Of changing drastically day to day.

    But through up’s, downs and turn a rounds,
    Please help me know just what to say.

    Our lives certainly has been a little rough,
    But there isn’t a day when we haven’t had enough.

    Let not my kids know how tough it’s been,
    With all our Holidays full of trim.

    When the day comes and they want to know,
    About all the many things from long ago.

    Help me then to smile and say,
    My children I don’t regret one day.

    Love God as I have and he’ll see you through,
    For it was He not me who always took care of you.

    Though difficult times we couldn’t do all the things you wanted to.
    My life has been so blessed he let me be the one here with you.
    Poem by: Erika Ann, January 2009

  64. Caroline K.

    i found a contest in my mom’s magazine which looks pretty much the same as the others:

    Poetry Contest
    244 Fifth Avenue
    Suite 1900-A
    New York, Ny 10001-7604

    i’m positive it’s just another scam because (a) it looks the same as all the others and (b) it was advertised in Star Magazine.

  65. Tim H

    I was getting ready…To order two books through Eber & Wein publishing. They told me I also was advanced in the semi-final round…I have my order in the envelope ready to mail…but after reading some of your comments, I have second thoughts….I was told that my poem ” Winter Times” would be in the book regardless if I won or not. : “The Wishing Well” Has anyone heard of this supposedly world wide book? Please tell me? I`m holding off sending them a check untill I find out if ther`re legit……

  66. Carole

    I also received a letter saying that I am a semi finalist for “The Wishing Well” publication. It sounds very much like The Society of International Poetry Contests which are a scam. They also wanted money for publication and told everyone that they were semi finalish. It is such a shame not to be able to write to a legitimate contest, even if you don’t win. It is a creative outlet that seems to have unpleasant results.

  67. Sue

    I also received the semi-finalist letter. I thought it was a scam. I held out hope. I just now almost sent it with my signature. Then I figured I better look them up online. Why should I put forth effort and sign my name to something that I have to pay to see published?? Even a few odd dollars would have made it more worth my while??
    Are there any real contests for amateur poets??
    Ya, just adds to my cynicism.
    Somebody must be paying for these books. The paper and postage alone must cost them. Nice Bob Hope stamp on their envelope. Oh well. It gave me hope for a short time.

  68. Hi Sue,
    Thank you for sharing. Luckily, there are writing contests out there that are not scams. One example is the yearly writing contest of The Society of Southwestern Authors. They have cash awards and publish the winners.

    The awards presentation for this years contest will be held in Tucson on October 18, 2009.

    Awards! The Michael Lacapa Award for Children’s Short Story, as well as Poetry, Short Story, and Memoir. All first Place winners will be read at the event.

    Hopefully, you’ll keep writing.

    I will publish an author’s work on this blog. If you want me to do that, just send me a copy at
    Randy Ford

  69. daisy l turner

    i went on the internet to look up your company eber& wein publishing and found so many negative things people said about this poetry contest. whats up with contest? why do you have to buy a book and pay so much money for it?thank you very much. mrs turner

  70. Hi Daisy,
    Thank you for your comment and question…questioning. Why don’t you ask Eber&Wein directly. The Brain Pan has no connection with the company or the contest. However, I hope the information provided by this blog is interesting and helpful. Your comments are always appreciated. Randy

  71. Audra L.

    It really ticks me off that somebody would do something like this. I too, was scammed. I have to say that i was devastated at first, but after a nice (Ok, not-so-nice) lengthy letter i feel much better.

  72. Thank you for your comment. Randy Ford

  73. karen

    i was sent a letter with my poem in it , asking me to proof read and make changes if i want too and send it back, they also added what they thought of the poem. and again if i wanted too i can buy a book with my poem in it. oh well, so now they are making money off our poems. crooks they are.
    they dont even give a link so you can read others people’s work.

    and no , i’m not sending my proofread peom back to them, they can just eat it.

    the first site i came across years ago , is also a kinda scam site, but at least its fun. you can at least read and enjoy reading other people’s works.

    here is the link. i still go there to read poetry. but its fun because you can share.

    i share my poetry on now, in form of blogging.

  74. Annabelle

    Well, I was dumb enough to order the stupid anthology! I can’t believe this.

  75. Faye Krok


    Thank you so much for giving amateur poets such as myself a voice and venue to express our great disappointment in what now appears to be a scam. I too was overjoyed when I read the letter from Eber & Wein only to be disappointed by what I found online. However, like a ray of hope and sunshine, I found this site and felt inspired by yourself and others who would not let this obvious infraction of human nature stop them from creating beautiful, thought provoking poetry. For what it is worth, I have sent back my edits, but have not given them any money. If I see the book then I will buy it, and not a moment sooner. I would love to share my poem with you and see what others think. If you’re willing here is what I wrote for the contest.

    Collateral Damage
    by Faye Krok

    Wicked are they
    who say one thing and
    then do another.

    Have you held the hand of the devil?
    Are you as cold as stone?
    Or do you just not give a damn?

    Your wine and beer are better,
    your pot so fine.
    Can’t you hear the crying and suffering of your children left behind?

    Learn to face your demons.
    The man you hate you have become.
    I believe and stand by you,
    your heart is pure…
    but how can you help one,
    who won’t help themselves?

    They will hate you as you hate yours.
    Because you created their demons,
    and then failed to show them the way.

    Children are gold in the eyes of God!
    Yet you just spit in His face.

  76. Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for your comments. Does anyone have information about 2010 “Poetry Contest?” Thanks again. Randy Ford

  77. Angie

    I would just like to say that my earlier comments have been proven wrong. The contest is actually legitimate, because I have received my copy of the anthology, and a list of the contest winners. When I saw my name in print, I felt that all the worry was worth it. Just because the letters take a long time does NOT mean that it is a scam. Keep in mind that tens of thousands of entries was submitted and gone through. I am glad I took the chance and sent my work in.

  78. Buaton

    Hello once more.

    I see that there are still negative postings about this Eber & Wein poetry contest.
    The only positive comments about this publishing opportunity have been my own and one other.
    Three weeks ago, I received my copy of VERSES AND VISIONS: Timeless Pursuit…published by Eber & Wein. ( the book promised in the original poetry contest )
    It is a most beautiful poetry book. My poem, THE MULTIPLICITY OF ME, is on page 197.
    There are 349 poems in this book. It is magnificent reading and I am very proud to be a part of it.
    I also received a statement showing all of the entrants names and where they placed in the contest. The list showed all of the cash prizes awarded and also those who received a Certificate Of Achievement In Poetry awards. One of which, now hangs proudly framed on my wall.
    This Book is available through or (Barnes and Noble).

    A few days ago, I received another letter from Eber & Wein. They are in the process of putting together another poetry book and have ask my permission to enter ( two) more of my poems.

    With great pride and pleasure, I can say that this opportunity to be published is an honor.

    Eber & Wein followed through with all that was promised in their contest rules. Even though I did not win a cash prize, I have nothing negative to say about this publishing company.

    This is the first time that my poetry has been recognized and published. It is a thrilling experience!

    And once more, just to ease the minds of those of you who still have your doubts…I do not nor have I ever worked for or been associated with anyone who has worked for Eber & Wein.
    I had never heard of the name of this publishing company before this contest.

    If you venture to read further back into this…you will see that I kept an open mind and positive attitude towards this contest from the very beginning.

    Perhaps, per say…I reached for the moon but received only a hand full of stars…but how magnificently they shine.:-)


    Anita (Buaton) Brockman…

    Page 197…:-)

  79. Hi Angie and Buaton,
    Congratulations. Thank you both for your comments. I hope this sets the record straight. Both most of all I hope you both continue to write. Randy Ford

  80. karen

    this is too
    ” Buaton
    September 23, 2009 at 6:05 am ”

    well glad all went well and that your happy.
    but it would of been cool if this poetry contest had a link, like the site did.

    its just i went through this before, i dont care if i win or not.

    no big, i’m no great poet, i just love to try and its fun.

    the reason most of us thought this was a scam in the first place, is that afterwords it ask us if we wanted too , we can buy a book.

    the first contest i entered years ago online, did the same thing, but it was still cool, cuz we can read other peoples poems, that was cool. that part i enjoyed more then the contest.

    fun little site to read stuff

    glad there was alot of winners.
    so maybe theres hope, for now on i will just share.

    i’m happy for you

  81. Faye Krok


    Did you say you received the Anthology book? This is the book that I am told my poem “Collateral Damage” will appear in, but I just received the author’s proof this week. I’m confused, does anyone know what is going on?

    Faye Krok

  82. Richard Fahey

    Hello All,

    I too was featured in “Verses and Visions,” and won a prize which they made good on. The book was beautiful and I agree I am proud to be a part of it. It is NOT a scam, and is published electronically on both Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Don’t give up hope and keep writing!

  83. mike

    these “contests” are completely “scams” but not illegal “scams” but more the kind of “scam” that exploits those who seek attention and recognition…

    please note this is all just conjecture on my part but this is my thought….

    everyone or almost everyone who submits a poem will be told they are great and have made it into a book….these “contest publishers” may create and distribute many many books so that all poets are able to be published….

    the “contest” is no contest at all and its really a way to sell books…really trust me…imagine how many people are going to buy this book with their poem…people are also encouraged to buy more than one book to keep for long term or send to relatives and friends….these are huge giant hard back books very nicely designed and have a good look to them but they are pricey and contain literally thousands of poems besides yours….

    then after you buy the book(s) you will be “invited” to attend special events and dinners and etc (all of which cost a lot of money) so that you might speak and read you poem….yet another way to make money for the “contest”

    and who doesnt want to feel “special” … my wife did and we bought the book and got the offers and my wife really felt “special” and i didn’t have the heart to tell her it was all about making money for the company on the other end of things…

    all that said we now have a book with my wifes poem in it and perhaps its a nice collection of poetry to have with the thousands of other original poems in the book and perhaps if we had gone to the dinners and gatherings and paid the big bucks we could have had fun and enjoyed being around others of like mind….but all in all to me its a sad way to make money…you could save yourself a lot by finding a cheap self publisher and make your own book of all your own poems…

    just my take on things no offense to anyone intended….

  84. Anna

    Is the poetry contest in Country Weekly a scam too? I entered that one and got a letter from Eber and Wein saying I made it to the semi – finals.

  85. megan

    I was wondering if anyone sent in any poems to

    244 Fifth Avenue
    Suite 1900-K
    New York, NY

    They are appearantly holding a poetry contest (the National Amateur Poetry Competition), but when I googled them, I couldn’t find any information, only this post. I found the add in a crossword puzzle book, and it doesn’t mention any publishing houses. It states that qualifying poets will recieve an editorial comment, but doesn’t give any further information on the subject.

    The deadline for this particular competition is May 14, 2010, but they say its held annually, so perhaps someone has entered a previous contest..

    I’m debating wether I should risk it and enter the contest or not, and wondering if it’s connected to Eber and Wein somehow.

    Thanks a bunch

  86. Betty L. Merritt

    I am woundering when I will receive my book.Endless Horizons that I orederd . My Poem is “Black American Woman” . Betty L. Merrit

  87. Austin

    Hey Megan, i saw the exact same contest on…. i believe it was a gossip magazine, i can’t remember which, but the deadline was June 26, 2010 and they required it to be 26 lines, etc.

    Strange enough, it was in suite 1900 A but not K.

    I am assuming it is a scam. I suppose art and thought is becoming a dying truth.

  88. mom

    There is a new ad in last Sunday’s Parade. $35,000/ 26 lines/ postmarked by 31 Jul 10/different address/all else same as above. Wonder why they don’t give a website if they are legit. Definately odd and most likely a scam.

  89. tina

    I’ve seen the same ad in american profile, same address, but the suite # is 1900-D.

  90. Last Symphony

    I saw the same advertisement as you I think, Tina. After reading this blog, I’m very wary of sending in my poetry. Ah well, even if it is a scam, the true fun was writing it, so all in all, I believe I win. Hehe… >=-Þ.

  91. Letty Hall

    I entered the same contest and submitted my poem before the August deadline of this year, 2010. My poem was critiqued and sent to me. Now I am reading about this company being a scam.

  92. Hello everyone… Just a follow up from my last comment… which I should have posted a while back. My poem “Winter Times” was published in the poem book of the Wishing Well : Expressions “Musings” Page: 322 …The book was a little pricey but worth it in my opinion . I bought two. It was great seeing my poem in type. Since then, I have entered another contest with another poem: “Winter Grip” but I haven`t heard back from Eber & Wein Publishing … Are they still running the poetry contest?

  93. (Don't Kill the) Messanger

    Fine folks–

    Sadly, there is a term for the texts that Eber & Wein are entreating people to but: “vanity anthology.” The racket is less of a scam and more of a scheme, as there is little illegal going on, but the whole business is predicated on taking advantage of people’s eagerness to be celebrated for their creativity. The “contest” is a misnomer; I assume that E &W keep a library of submissions in order to publish their rapidly-produced books. The cost of publishing plain text is small compared to the hefty prices of the volumes, and–as others have conjectured–here is how the money is made. Almost everyone who enters is a “winner” and gets published. E & W are literally banking on the writers’ jubilation and sense of validation.

    If you’re content simply to see your poem in print, then there is no issue. You have a book–no matter how it came into being–that contains your work in it. However, if you entered the “contest” in order to receive some validation for your writing (and really, why bother entering a contest unless you are?), then you are being scammed–not scammed out of money, per se, but into believing that a credential poet appreciated your work.

    And that is a true crime against your expression, whether it could be tried in the courtroom or not.

  94. Theresa N, I did my research on Eber and Wein Publishing after one of my teachers told me they were fakes. I looked them up and read that they were just a “Vanity Anthology Scheme.” Which makes me depressed,’cause I had hopes of getting my poetry published… My teacher felt bad about it all and said he’d help me get published by real publishers. I’m lucky I’m too broke to send Eber and Wein money for something I might never see.

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  111. Cherokee Sky

    Hello once again Randy, the last comments I entered were in 2009. I have been rereading the blog over to refresh my thoughts on the condensed version of all the opinions. There did not seem to be any one who actually won the monetary prize, I was very pleased that others had continued to submit and purchase their personal books with their favorite poems therein.. I truly believe that no one was really taken in completely by the Companies wishing to compile the books.

    Four years can be such a short time when you continue on with your lives not in limbo. My sister has her book placed in a position to see every day as she sits at her computer.. I to have been receiving notices throughout the years of comments added to the blog.. I try to catch up with each in a timely manner.
    Lately there have been an excess of notices and I have been looking forward to reading your blog once again. I would like to know if any one has enjoyed your blog as much as myself and my sister Buaton.

    She has continued to write and hone her writing skills and has enjoyed self satisfaction of her improvements along the way. I have been grateful to have had access to your blog through out these years. Just rereading
    all of the spirited discussions was amusing and enlightened with all the negative comments that appeared to over take the positive ones, but in conclusion the negative ones became over shadowed with recanting and mellowing to agree to the fact that they were indeed successful in creating part of themselves into their poems and I can only say, I was and am proud to have become a part of your blog.

    I am glad of the postings persistence to notify us which prompted me to once again drop in and say, Hey Randy we are still alive and well and hope the same for you and yours. There have been so many changes in the last 4 years. All storms have been weathered and the sun shines without question. There has even been many rainbows witnessed by my self, my favorite being the double rainbows which comes after the rain washes the dust from the skies. All else is taken in stride as the moments in Northern Arizona is what we look forward to each day, each season. May God Bless you for your efforts in all that you have done to give hope, wisdom and maturity to the readers of your blog.. Thank You Randy Ford, keep up the good and positive influence your blog has given many, Sincerely, Cherokee Sky

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