The 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Publishing competition has become another self-publishing scam. The contest is sponsored by Outskirts Press, the self-proclaimed "gem of custom book publishing." The grand prize is $3000 in cash, a "free diamond publishing package from Outskirts Press," and a three-day trip to New York to meet with four editors and agents (if they are in the same league as Outskirts, you’d better bring your credit card). All the winners will be published in a special book by, you guessed it, Outskirts Press, which is probably hoping that the naive winners will spend their award money on copies. And all it costs you for a chance at this once-in-lifetime opportunity to be suckered by a vanity press is $15.
They shouldn’t call this the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Publishing competition…they should call it the Writers Digest Publishing Contest To Lend False Legitimacy to the Vanity Press Scam Artists Who Advertise in our Magazine….but I guess that title is too long. And accurate.
UPDATE: Brent Sampson, the CEO and "publisher" of Outskirts Press, responds in the comments below. He says, in part:
Writer’s Digest could have chosen any company to be the sponsor of
their Writing Collection. The fact that they chose Outskirts Press
demonstrates that they recognize our benefits, and they’re in a
position of knowing.
That’s exactly what bothers me. WD should know better than to let a
vanity press sponsor a writing contest under the Writer’s Digest name…which just illustrates just
how little credibility they have left as a magazine that’s dedicated to
the best interests of writers. If Writers Digest cared at all about writers, they
wouldn’t accept advertising from predatory vanity presses or allow one to sponsor their writing contest (and offer a
publishing package with the company as a "prize"). Writers Digest should have found a real publisher to sponsor the contest…or not have a sponsor at all.
Outskirts Press is not a
publisher. They are a printer. They aren’t making dreams come true…they
are taking advantage of the
gullibility and desperation of aspiring writers and, if WD had any
integrity at all, they would have nothing to do with them.
37 thoughts on “Writers Digest Completely Sells Out”
Who out there has a legitimate writing contest anymore? It seems as though everything is falling under vanity presses and such. I had to quit reading writer’s digest about 2 years ago because all it seemed to do was advertise scams and no informative information, any suggestions on a good publication for writers? Thanks.
The only time I used to pick up Writer’s Digest, was to check out new markets. I don’t even do that any more because of the POD/Self-publishing love going on.
What a “prize”.
Thanks for writing about this. I’m a novice and it’s seemingly impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Really, Lee, how do you feel about this?
You’re right. Outskirts Press is the exclusive sponsor of the Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Contest Collection. We have been for four years. We are not affiliated with the trip to New York or the editors/publishers meeting with the winner. To suggest otherwise is somewhat irresponsible, as is the notion that our sponsorship has any effect on the legitimacy of Writer’s Digest (or vise versa).
When Tiger Woods began wearing Nike apparel, did he play less well? No. Did his love of the game decrease? No. Will people who buy Nike shoes ever golf as well as Tiger Woods? No. Should they stop wearing shoes as a result? No.
Nearly all professional, individual athletes are sponsored, just like nearly every professional contest is sponsored. Writer’s Digest could have chosen any company to be the sponsor of their Writing Collection. The fact that they chose Outskirts Press demonstrates that they recognize our benefits, and they’re in a position of knowing.
Your publication success is wonderful, but this blog is somewhat similar to Tiger Woods chastising people on a public golf course for playing his game and wearing his shoes: “Go back to being barefoot and impatiently waiting for a cobble-maker to bestow shoes upon you!”
Nike offers a exemplary product and service that helps people look, feel, and be their best as they live passionately in pursuit of their dreams. So does Outskirts Press.
Outskirts Press, Inc.
So basically you’re saying that Outskirts Press has children in Chinese prison camps sewing your books?
You write: “Writer’s Digest could have chosen any company to be the sponsor of their Writing Collection. The fact that they chose Outskirts Press demonstrates that they recognize our benefits, and they’re in a position of knowing.”
That’s exactly what bothers me. WD should know better than to let a vanity press sponsor a writing contest…which dramatically illustrates just how little credibility they have left as a magazine that’s dedicated to the best interests of writers. If they cared about writers, they wouldn’t accept advertising from vanity presses or allow a “pay-to-be-published” company to sponsor a contest (and offer a publishing package with the company as a “prize”). You are not a publisher. You are a printer. You aren’t making dreams come true…you are emptying wallets to fatten your own. You take advantage of the gullibility and desperation of aspiring writers and, if WD had any integrity at all, they would have nothing to do with you.
I wish I had more time to engage in this destructive dialogue. However, I do not, so this will be my last post on the subject — which is unfortunate because your blog would improve by offering a different perspective. Rather than cultivating an opportunity, you chose to insult me. I would like to believe you aren’t this rude in person. Blogs are funny things; they cause people to demonstrate personality traits they might otherwise find reprehensible, even with their photo and name attached to it.
I will concede that not everyone who uses our services finds success if you can manage to concede that many of them do. That doesn’t mean everyone who uses an on-demand publisher instantly finds success, just like everyone who swings a golf club is not instantly Tiger Woods, no matter how much they long to be. A good book comes first, and that’s a requirement no matter where one chooses to publish. We cannot make a bad writer good, but we can help a good writer succeed. Since the old-fashioned publishing industry places bets on sure-things, they cannot bet on every horse that enters the race, even the ones that show promise. So when books come to us, many find success where they otherwise would not.
I am first and foremost a writer. I have been writing since I was six. I empathize with the passion and frustration that many writers feel. So I began Outskirts Press in my quest to solve a problem I was having, and in the process I found out that many other writers wanted my help, too. My books are the guinea pig for every publishing and marketing service Outskirts Press offers. So when my book “SELL YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON” succeeds, I know all our authors have exactly that same opportunity. Is my book on the cover of any magazines, or on the New York Times bestseller list? No. It just handsomely exists, bringing in monthly royalties, earning book awards, and leading to speaking engagements as I take time to promote it. Some would call that “the writer’s life” and it didn’t happen because of a traditional publisher. It happened because of Outskirts Press.
Outskirts Press, Inc.
I would have more sympathy for Mr. Sampson’s position if his company didn’t maintain that they were “publishing” people’s books, rather than just printing them. His company is not a “Press” in the meaningful sense, but a printing house — it has much more in common with Kinko’s than it does Random House.
And that’s fine. Kinko’s provides a great service. And a printing house like Outskirts could do the same.
But it’s misleading to tell aspiring authors that they are “publishing” their book — in exchange for a fee, of course — when in reality they are not.
You can SELL YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON??? Why didn’t John Irving or Lee Goldberg or Stephen King think of that? They could have bypassed all those measly royalty contracts and kept all the ginormous profits (except for the exorbitant printing costs, the editing costs, the marketing costs, the artwork costs, the book tour costs, etc., ad nauseum) for themselves. Nothing says “first class” like cheaply glued binding and amateurish book covers.
I received an e-mail from WD today touting Outskirts Press. I immediately hit the reply button and asked them to remove me from their e-subscriber list. I reminded these folks that they should be looking out for the best interests of writers, not preying on them for advertiser dollars. And that using the the list to spam writers in the guise of providing information is dishonest.
Brent wrote: “Rather than cultivating an opportunity, you chose to insult me.”
I don’t see any opportunity here, Brent…for me or for aspiring writers. There is no benefit for a fiction writer in using your printing service. And for a non-fiction writer, there are far cheaper alternatives than Outskirts press for printing a manuscript as a POD paperback.
You make some good points about self-publishing. Many liken it to so-called “talent agencies” for Hollywood wannabes that charge outrageous fees to “represent” their clients. One must be careful, do one’s research, but above all have a manuscript that is worthy of being published at all. Regardless of genre or writing style, when I pick up any book at BN these days, I am amazed that such drivel gets published at all. Publishing houses don’t care about quality or high literature, they want to sell books, as we have seen with some of the most over-rated modern day equivalents to the “penny dreadfuls” ala chick lit and their ilk. My point is this: self-publishing can be an unconventional avenue for unknown writers to realize a seemingly unattainable dream, even in a small way, and be a stepping stone for regional appeal publication, such as shown in the story of Vince Flynn’s success, who is now an internationally best-selling author. And it can also be a sham. However, modern day lit agents and “legit” publishers are not the true measurers of talent or art, just what is popular at the moment. Happy writing!
I have been fooling around for several months with so-called publishers. Dozens of them, and many are not even professional in a response, SASE. There are 5 publishers that control 50% of all books published. Let’s face it, publishing using Print on Demand is the way of the future and the big publishing houses can continue printing out their junk. I will be sending Brent Sampson An Analog FROM ADAM TO NERO for publication
Hi Lee; just read Brent Sampson’s “Sell Your Book on Amazon” and it certainly gave me some great ideas to market my book. I am a self-published author: “A Broad Abroad in Thailand: An Expat’s Misadventures in the Land of Smiles” and none of the “big guys” would review my book. I did however hire a publicist that got me some reviews via professional reviewers online, and have since won a couple great awards for my book. It’s a hard decision to make: Try to find an agent (years) then if she’s lucky enough to find a publisher (years) you still can get tossed the day before the printing. (I don’t have that long. I don’t even buy green bananas anymore. I chose to go it alone. I had faith in my book, and I don’t think that by virtue of getting a “traditional publisher” it makes your book any better than any other. Your book just happened to fall into the category of what the sales dept. felt they might make some money from. I have to admit, at first I was discouraged about the whole process, so I decided to go with BookSurge, mainly because they were affiliated with Amazon and I felt that would help sales. However, when they sent me my “author’s copy” I nearly fainted. It was an abortion in the truest sense of the word. The test was so unreadable that I cried. After the first letter in every sentence, the next letter was at last two spaces away; the other letters of that same word were so crowded together you could not read the word. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was the “Author’s Copy,” the copy that they send me to get my okay to print the other books. Did they not even check it? NO! Did they even open it up for a quick glance before they stuffed it into a padded envelope to mail to me? NO! Did they not have a quality control person? NO! I called them, talked to a machine of course, and told them where they could stick their author’s copy and to refund my money post haste. Well, to their credit, they did credit my card immediately, but this is the kicker! They still send me emails and snail mail, telling me what a great customer I have been and do I have any more books that I would like to send them for printing!
SHEESH! Oh, FYI, I had a friend of mine, who is a small publisher of Railroad History books, put my mss in the Quark Express book format and then saved it to a pdf. So, there was no way they could have screwed up my text…. BUT THEY DID!
So, just another kiss of death for the PODs!
Dodie Cross: http://www.abroadinthailand.com
I stumbled upon this blog by mistake and just had to respond to some of the POD bashing going on here especially as it relates to Outskirts Press. I published my book “The Martial Arts Murders” through Outskirts Press and the sequel “Life and Money Heist” is in the printing stage as I write this. First, to Richard Cooper who states Outskirts Press uses “cheaply glued binding” and “amateurish book covers”, he is dead wrong. I get compliments on my book’s cover constantly and people always ask me “how did they do that?” I love my book’s cover and so does everyone who sees it and buys my book. To Lee Goldberg who says of Brent Sampson (President of Outskirts Press) “You aren’t making dreams come true…You are emptying wallets to fatten your own. You take advantage of the gullibility and desperation of aspiring writers…” First, I take offense to the implication that I am gullible. Second of all, Outskirts Press HAS made my dreams come true. After I wrote “The Martial Arts Murders” I researched 30 commercial publishers and ALL of them told me to not even send them the manuscript without an agent. Some even state right on their websites to not even bother submitting a manuscript on your own because it is their policy to reject manuscripts submitted by authors and not agents. When I received the free author copies of “The Martial Arts Murders” I held one in my hands and almost cried tears of joy (and I am a second degree black belt in the martial arts so I do not cry easily). Outskirts Press DID make my dreams come true, I have been in two newspapers, on the radio twice and I have been on TV twice which are dreams in and of themselves that Outskirts Press helped make possible. The book has not made me rich, but dreams are NOT always measured in dollars and cents. People who have read my book (save for one) love it and are anxiously awaiting the sequel mentioned above. People stop me all the time and ask for my autograph and some people as far as 2 hours away recognize me and I love the notoriety. So Lee Goldberg just has to recognize that dreams don’t always have a dollar sign attached to them. To Dodie Cross, I am sorry you had such a bad experience. Unfortunately, BookSurge is notorious for shoddy quality books and poor customer service. I have seen countless experiences like yours on the internet, some are even worse than yours. Give Outskirts Press a try! Their rates are pretty reasonable and they are very professional and they even offer a free author representative who helps you every step of the way. My author representative is very courteous, very helpful, very professional and very patient. Dodie, your dreams CAN come true if you find a POD who is reputable. There are others out there besides Outskirts Press who are very good as well. Just do a bit of research first. I don’t know where Lee Goldberg and Richard Cooper get their delusions from, because I can tell you from personal experience that Outskirts Press produces quality books and are NOT out to rip people off. Commercial publishers are in the business of turning their backs to new, unknown authors. Print on demand publishers do the opposite and commercial publishers should take note of that because their own business model is sending good authors to POD and subsidy publishers. Commercial publishers need to be more accepting and open minded with new, unknown authors. Some of the POD bashing on this blog is out of hand. Yes, unfortunately there are SOME POD and subsidy publishers who are evil, but there are some VERY GOOD ones out there and Outskirts Press is one of them.
The review your book on Amazon explains why you had to go to POD and supports everything Lee Goldberg has said.
“You can open to any page of this book and see an example of how not to write a book. Aside from the typos throughout the book, the grammar and sentence structure is horrible. I wanted to take a red pen to the pages and send him an edited copy…
…I enjoy reading excerpts from this book to brighten my day because it is just that bad. Andy would seriously benefit from taking a writing class or joining a writing group.
If you want a quality book, DO NOT BUY THIS ONE!!! If you want to laugh at someone’s elementary attempt at writing, this is a great pick.”
Only a publisher you pay would “publish” a book in that state. But if that wasn’t enough, here’s an excerpt from your book that proves you aren’t ready for a real publisher:
“”The ninja and Mike’s eyes locked solid. Both looked determined, but Mike saw cold black pools of hate and anger, soulless black pools of deep nothingness. Mike gazed back at him firmly with his blue eyes, he could see the man was definitely Japanese. The ninja spoke with a thick, raspy Japanese accent. “When we meet again, I will kill you!”
FYI – his eyes can’t be black pools of hate and anger AND also soulless black pools of nothingness. That’s a contradiction. They are either pools of hate and anger OR soulless black pools of nothingness. If they are pools of nothingness, that means nothing: not hate, not anger, not Folgers Instant Coffee. But if there’s hate and anger in those pools, that’s not nothing. Bad writing, bad editing, bad all the way around. You might say the paragraph is a black pool of bad writing and cliche.
Out of curiosity, what were Mike’s eyes blue pools of?
I will tell you that my mother has been scammed for years with her poetry and books. The ‘fake’ publishing companies tell her that she wins an award, but has to pay for the books. This has been going on for years. She used to pay and buy tons of books that included her poetry, but not so much anymore (she can’t afford it).
I decided I would be fair, and not judge without experiencing for myself. so, I decided to enter one of the poetry contests, (poetry.com) to see what would happen…well, to my surprise, and not so surprised, I was told I won the highest award. I was invited to a banquet to receive a medal, meet celebrities, etc etc, blah blah. well, the hardest part, was to tell my mother it was a scam. when I did, she responded, “oh, that one must be a scam”. as if the other one’s are not.
I don’t have the heart to tell her, they are all scams. If they ask you to pay, it is a scam.
to make it worse, she just told me today that she won second place for her play in the writers digest, out of 17,000 people.
well, my mother is not a great poet, nor a great writer, so, how can her play win 2nd out of 17,000. I wish it was legit, but it can’t be so. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but, it’s the unfortunate truth. They are playing with her emotions. I have decided not to tell her that writers digest is also a scam…I figured that she has always wanted to be recognized as a poet and writer, most of her life, and it never happened, not with a real publisher that is. she did self publish a book on amazon, though she really hasn’t sold any copies. but, I am proud of her for atleast writing a book and self publishing it. Even if it doesn’t sell, and the book isn’t all that great, it’s still an accomplishment.
The problem is, ‘these’ people believe they will be recognized for their work and become financially successful..even if they say that’s not the case, it is. I don’t like to criticize ‘them’. though it’s easy to do, we shouldn’t point out their flaws in judgment, even if you are trying to help. It’s just that they want to believe so badly that they are great at something…it’s their passion, and their egos. It’s human nature.
Even though I did point out to her about the poetry.com being a scam, I left it at that, she has to figure out the rest on her own, and most likely, she will keep believing that she really won something. If it gives her pleasure and self esteem, then that’s fine with me. The only way I would interfere, is if she paid more than she could afford. so, if you are a writer or poet or artist at heart, it’s okay if you didn’t really win a real publishers approval, it’s amost impossible to become a success in the industry..just enjoy what you do, but don’t pay financially for it. Goodluck.
THIS REPLY IS for SCHWEPPS (I apologize for the caps, but I want to ensure if this individual comes back to this site the he or she sees my reply. First and foremost, on what authority do you have it to critique and try to embarass someone’s work like that. What have you published that makes you a judge of someone else’s material. A person published a book on their own with their own money… WHY IS THAT AN ISSUE TO YOU BONEHEADS ON THIS WEBSITE??? Aside from writing the perfect book (which is the Bible, maybe if Schwepps followed its word he or she would not be so judgemental) and having a publishing house, play or production company fund it with its own money, most projects and starter business are normally self-funded with their, unless one receives Gov’t grant perhaps. It looks to me that Andy did a few things right in my opinion. Andy must work somwhere daily and saved money to fund the book on his own. That is hard thing to do today in this unfortunate financial downturn. And he was able to implement a project and see it to its end, another thing a lot of people either cannot make the time or effort to do. Also and most importantly, for some people, this is a dream, and for Andy, perhaps this is a dream come true. Whether it sells or not may mean nothing to Andy for all we know, but to be judgemental like that in a forum like this where Andy was simply describing an experience he had with Outskirts is just wrong, Schwepps. He was not trying to push his book on anyone, so your comments about this book are not appropriate for this fourm. What have you done that is so special??? I am sure not much. I can see that simply by reading your childish and judgemental words. Grow up!! And Schwepps, please, if you see these comments, reply back.
He put his crappy book out there for people to buy so he should be prepared for it to be reviewed. I don’t need to be published to judge his material. He is selling a book, I am a reader, his intended customer. It’s clear to me as a reader and potential customer that the reason he couldn’t get his book published is because it sucks. He doesn’t know how to write. He should have spent his money taking writing classes. He didn’t accomplish anything by going doing this. Anybody can type thousands of words of incoherent drivel and pay someone to print it for them. That’s hardly a great accomplishment. The only thing he has done is embarrass himself in public with his illiteracy and stupidity.
Whoever wrote THE MARTIAL ARTS MURDERS ought to enter the BULWER-LYTTON BAD WRITING CONTEST.
I really liked this post of yours. The naive writer in me has tried the competitions. I just wrote something on my blog about my personal experience as a writer submitting to WD. Never again. Lesson learned. I’d be interested in your thoughts about what I found.
I read your comment on my blog. Your message to me was rude. Yeah, I GET that I made a mistake for trusting that it was a legit contest – um, that was kind of the gist of my message. I’m a trusting soul.
I will remove the link I have on my blog to your site – I thought you were a fellow writer who could appreciate where I was coming from, but again, I was wrong.
Um…you *asked* for my thoughts on your blog post and I gave them to you. I wasn’t rude at all. You wrote in your post that you’ve been paying $20 and submitting to the contest for *years*. What I didn’t understand is why you kept submitting even though you were treated like crap and the prize was publication with a vanity press.
You also wrote in your post: “Like all writers who must learn the true meaning of risk taking and subsequent rejection, this sort of competition really involves putting myself out there; it requires doing my best work, revising, revising, reviewing and revising, Oh, about a hundred times.”
I pointed out that submitting your work again and again to this contest is not “putting yourself out there” and learning the “true meaning of risk taking.” If you really wanted to experience those things, you should submit your work to a magazine or publisher.
If you find that kind of straight-forward honesty rude, then you are in for a very hard road in publishing.
“Who out there has a legitimate writing contest anymore?”
Yeah, Amazon. Four finalists got contracts from Penquin last year. Of course they’re no Outskirt Press, but then who is?
Give ’em hell. I’m tired of these sucker holes out there for people who want to get their work published legitimately (ie based on its own merit as an artistic/creative work). I remember Poetry.com several years ago and a letter I quickly realized was too good to be true. Predatory jerks.
I made the mistake of self-publishing my first book with Outskirts Press; thought I did enough “comprehensive research” but obviously I didn’t. The costs of everything, of course, ended up costing more than what I had budgeted and I also made the mistake of paying for and relying on their “editorial services” which was a joke – the first version of my book was released with multiple errors. It was a very painful, learning experience.
As I said in my first post, I came across this blog by accident the first time and I did not realize replies had been made to my original post so I apologize for the late response but I felt the need to defend myself.
To Craig: yes, I was simply describing good experiences with Outskirts Press so SCHWEPPS did not have the right to drag my book through the mud like he did but I will come to that in a moment.
To PizzaEd: I’ll bet you haven’t even read “The Martial Arts Murders”. It’s too late to enter the book into the BULWER-LYTTON BAD WRITING CONTEST because I believe it would have had to be entered the year it was published. Anyway, maybe I should have entered it because that would probably have earned some respect from you when it DIDN’T win.
Now on to SCHWEPPS: it’s obvious you haven’t read any of my novels “The Martial Arts Murders”, “Life and Money Heist” or “Moral Executioners” and here is how I know. All you did was paraphrase a one star review from Amazon.com and the writing sample you used to criticize me can be found on Amazon as well because it was posted by Outskirts Press as part of my press release. Since anyone can find that information on Amazon.com I think it is safe to say you haven’t even read the book! And by the way, you COMPLETELY IGNORED the five star review posted on Amazon.com right next to the one you paraphrased. Why? Because acknowledging a five star review does not aid in your criticism of me just because I defended Outskirts Press.
What SCHWEPPS did was use an old debate technique used by politicians (it has a name that escapes me at the moment) this technique is used when a person can’t attack their opponent’s position on a subject so they wage an attack on some other aspect to try to make their opponent’s original position look bad. SCHWEPPS can’t attack my logic in defending Outskirts Press so instead, he uses someone else’s words to drag my book itself through the mud in retaliation for defending Outskirts Press.
Is “The Martial Arts Murders” perfect? No, I admit that, HOWEVER it is NOT the train wreck SCHWEPPS is making it out to be (again, all the evidence points to him not even having read the book). Try editing a 275 page novel that you wrote and find EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY typo. It’s a nearly impossible task. My writing has improved with the last two books in the trilogy “Life and Money Heist” and “Moral Executioners.” They are not perfect but again, NOT a train wreck.
As far as the writing sample cited by SCHWEPPS, I will now spoon feed this to him. I have met about five people in my life who have “soulless” eyes. They are NOT bad people (four of the five are actually nice people) but they just have the types of eyes that look “soulless”. So it is perfectly possible to have the TYPE of eyes that are “soulless” and appear to be eyes of “nothingness” and it is also perfectly possible for someone with these TYPES of eyes to have emotions of anger and hatred in them. The TYPES of eyes are separate from the EMOTIONS they are displaying. So this is NOT a contradiction.
To echo Craig’s words, yeah SCHWEPPS what have you accomplished that is so special???
As far as SCHWEPPS calling me stupid and illiterate, let me see, oh yeah, I hold a second degree black belt in the martial arts obtained through fourteen years of training, learned ten weapons, published three novels with a fourth on the way, I’m a college graduate from Winona State University and was on the Dean’s List for three consecutive quarters. But somehow I’m stupid and illiterate. WHATEVER! Come on SCHWEPPS, really! As they say on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown: “C’mon man!”
As an objective observer who just got here by searching for information about Writer Digest’s annual contest, I just have to say if you can’t get published for real by actual publishers, not printers, it doesn’t count (or it shouldn’t). I’m sorry, but that excerpt about all the eyes like “pools” is just terrible! Does the beginning of that novel start with “It was a dark and stormy night?”
Almost everyone may want to be a published writer, but hardly anyone has the talent or dedication needed for the vocation.
I want(ed?) to enter the Writer’s Digest contest, but yeah, they’ve gone downhill in terms of who and what they recommend. FanStory. com and Writing.com made their list of 100 Best Websites for Writers, but those sites are just misleading and nothing but crap IMHO.
Hi Liz, Andy Schoepp author of “The Martial Arts Murders”, “Life and Money Heist” and “Moral Executioners” here. No, “The Martial Arts Murders”, nor any of my other novels begin with “It was a dark and stormy night?” Just to answer your question and as an FYI.
What a great blog, Lee Goldberg, and thanks for keeping the scammers in the spotlight. Anyone who writes genuinely, i.e. with proper grammar, spelling etc, and with some talent and regard for literature, needs a built-in crap detector to protect themselves. I always say if it sounds too good to be true it usually is. And these poetry.com and Writer’s Digest/you-pay-us printers have no idea what good writing is all about, and they don’t care, so writers, don’t embarrass yourselves by succumbing to their grandiose sales pitches.
I came here after seeing a contest for Writer’s Digest and researching to see if it was a scam. I have to say, some of the people who have left comments are so bitter. It’s kind of hilarious.
If you’re looking to rain on the parades of other writers because you’re bitter and frustrated about the way your career is going, you should take up a new hobby. I heard stamp collecting is a lot of fun, and there’s a better chance that the other old people actually want to hear your boring stories.
Andy Schoepp. You sir, are a terrible writer. The fact that you even wrote, much less kept, the whole “eye pools” bit in your book is well, sad, to say the least. I’ve done some terrible writing in my life. Who hasn’t? You, though, are a skilled butcher of the English language.
Also, I noticed you said your book got ‘raving reviews’. Jersey Shore is one of the most watched shows on television. In a society where sub-par entertainment receives top-notch ratings it’s hard to believe that the people giving these ‘raving reviews’ have any intellectual credibility.
Don’t get me wrong though, you wrote a book, it got published, that’s an accomplishment in any sense of the word. Though, Being able to complete a task does not mean you’ve suddenly become proficient at it. I can drink an entire bottle of wine, but it wouldn’t make me a Sommelier.
Just a thought.
I think I won this thing, but I’m still awaiting prize money and they’re acting weird. I found this blog AFTER “winning.”
It’s a fucking scam…outskirts press and writer’s digest are no more than the Sham Wow of bullshit writing contests. Fuck You!
hmmm… Amanda Hawking (Try Google) – ’nuff said.
I entered two times and still couldn’t win, either year. Do I think its a scam, possibly. Only if the winners didn’t receive there prize. Do I feel ripped off yes and no. At least they read the book for 100 dollars each time. Plus they sent me a review each but whether they actually take the time it takes to actually to read all these books I’m not sure. I think they just skim through the pages and read the back of the book. I thought I had a fair chance at winning with promise ring. it was the best I could do at that time. That’s why I didn’t bother to enter a third time with the sequel book. Plus I knew it was full mistakes and typos so knew it didn’t have a chance. Since it was rushed to be released. I’ve finished writing a fourth book by now but don’t know how I’m going to publish this time around. I feel the new book is too good to release it thru a p.o.d publisher. which most are owned by corporations by now. And I can’t seem to get a major publisher for it. Or get one to sign me period. I’m thankful for the p.o.d. publishers because i wouldn’t have gotten published if it was for them. Because I’m not good at figuring out the technical side of self publishing on my own.