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Old 12-06-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
Lauri B
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Hopewell Publications, LLC / Eric Hoffer Award / US Review of Books

I received the following lame-o book awards spam today. You can read the whole thing there, but listen: Writers Notes magazine has NO presence in the publishing world. None. So if you want to spend $40 to buy a gold seal, then go buy $40 worth at your local store. This kind of awards competition is strictly a money maker for this particular person. Don't waste your money. Fake awards programs like this drive me absolutely nuts, because I get resumes in all the time from people who list things like this as legitimate writing/publishing credits. They aren't. You can make up an award, too, if you want, and call it anything you want. You, too, can charge people the "low entry fee" of $40 and then send someone a gold seal. There are very few legitimate publishing awards out there, and this ain't one of them.






SECOND CALL
THE WRITERS NOTES 2007 BOOK AWARDS

ATTENTION: SMALL PRESSES * ACADEMIC PRESSES * MICRO PRESSES * SELF-PUBLISHERS -- $1,500 GRAND PRIZE

Each year, independent publishers release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. Writers Notes Magazine, an extension of the international free resource tool at www.WritersNotes.com, recognizes excellence in publishing with the Writers Notes Book Awards. SINGLE REGISTRATION gives you THREE WAYS TO WIN: genre, press, and grand prize. (see submission guidelines below or check our listing in Writer’s Market)

* $1,500 GRAND PRIZE * Low Entrance Fee of $40 * Many Categories *

AWARDS/BENEFITS:
* $1,500 GRAND PRIZE
* Winner and First Runner-Up Awarded for Every Category Winner
* Honorable Mentions for Every Category
* Individual Awards for Micro, Small, and Academic Presses, as well as Self-Published Books
* Coverage in Writers Notes Magazine and on www.WritersNotes.com
* Gold Seal Certificates
* Worldwide Exposure

CATEGORIES: Art, General Fiction, Commercial Fiction, Children, Young Adult, Culture, Business, Reference, Home, Health/Self-Help/Religion, Legacy. (see descriptions below or visit The Writers Notes Book Awards page.)

WRITERS NOTES has a large and diverse registered membership from around the world, and we anticipate continued expansion in 2007. The WRITERS NOTES ANNUAL BOOK AWARDS is an integral part of the magazine, and another service for readers craving exposure to innovative and inspiring titles.

Here is what a the critics say about Writers Notes Magazine:

*** Readable, thought provoking, and organized in an interesting way. Emerging writers will especially appreciate the non-snobbish approach. - The Compulsive Reader
*** Absorbing Read. - TimeOFF Magazine
*** The new Paris Review. - Robert Gover, author OHMD

Read previous contest coverage and view past winners and press releases at www.WritersNotes.com.

Our famous U.S. Library Mailing List is NOW ON SALE. Purchase our super clean mailing list for unlimited use. Visit www.WritersNotes.com and click on the “Ultimate Library List” link.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (entry deadline January 15th, 2007):

AWARDS ARE OPEN to academic, independent, small press, and self-published books that were released or copyrighted in the last 2 years, including unique books with small print runs. (Books over 2 years enter the LEGACY category.)

AWARDS/PRIZES: One grand prize will be awarded for the entire contest. In addition, each category will be awarded a winner, runner-up, and multiple honorable mentions. Individual press awards may or may not include category winners.

FOR EACH ENTRY, submit the book, entry form, and $40 fee (check or money order) to Hopewell Publications, LLC, PO Box 11, Titusville, NJ 08560. Be certain to specify award category. All entrants will be notified of winners, after March 31, 2007. Submissions must be postmarked by January 15, 2007.

JUDGES may include authors, editors, agents, publishers, book producers, artists, experienced category readers, and health and business professionals. Note: Contest closed to the staff of Hopewell Publications and previous WNBA winners. At the low entrance fee, it is not feasible to provide judge’s critiques for each entry.


ENTRY FORM (submit one entry form per book):
You may also visit www.WritersNotes.com and click on “Book Awards”

Book Information

Title:
_______________________________________
Author:
_______________________________________
Publisher:
_______________________________________
ISBN:
_______________________________________
Category (see below):
_______________________________________

Press Designation (check only one; see description below):
Self-Published __ Micro __ Small __ Academic __

Contact Information

Name:
_______________________________________
E-Mail:
_______________________________________
Phone:
_______________________________________
Fax:
_______________________________________
Address:
_______________________________________

_______________________________________

_______________________________________


AWARD CATEGORIES (select one per entry application):

* ART: titles involving the experience, execution, or demonstration of the arts, including art, fine art, graphic art, architecture, performing arts, design, photography, coffee table books, and poetry.
* GENERAL FICTION: non-genre specific fiction, including literary, short story collections, and mainstream.
* COMMERCIAL FICTION: genre specific fiction, including mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, religion, romance, and horror.
* CHILDREN: titles for young children, including stories and picture books.
* YOUNG ADULT: titles aimed at the juvenile and teen markets.
* CULTURE: titles demonstrating the human or world experience, including multicultural, essay, women’s issues, sexuality, gay, lesbian, memoir, aging, travel, recreation, true crime, and current events.
* BUSINESS: titles with application to today’s business environment and emerging trends, including general business, career, computer, and Internet.
* REFERENCE: titles from traditional and emerging reference areas, including history, psychology, biography, education, sports, recreation, training, travel, and how-to.
* HOME: titles with practical application to home or home-related issues, including general home, gardening, cooking, parenting, family, interior design, animals, and pets.
* HEALTH/SELF-HELP: titles regarding the elevation of mind and/or body, including health, fitness, religion, sex, and inspirational.
* LEGACY: titles over two years of age that hold particular relevance to any subject matter or form. (Unlike major trade organizations, we think good books last more than a single season.)

INDIVIDUAL PRESS AWARDS (select only one):

In addition to the above category awards, books will be singled out for additional awards in the micro press, small press, academic press, as well as self-published arenas. Please check one of the following types on the application.

* SELF-PUBLISHED – title from author or association producing 3 books or less per year.
* MICRO PRESS – title from a press producing 24 books or less per year.
* SMALL PRESS – title from a press producing 25 books or more per year.
* ACADEMIC PRESS – title from a press with an academic or library affiliation.

If you don’t see your category or cannot determine your press designation, please e-mail us with a description, and we’ll let you know where it fits. A great book will supersede any category designation. Category designations may be reassigned to better suit the submission. Judges may include authors, editors, agents, publishers, book producers, artists, experienced category readers, and health and business professionals. After the contest, books will be donated to libraries, schools, and hospitals where appropriate, which are fine places to promote your book!

QUESTIONS:

E-Mail: WNMawards@yahoo.com
Fax: (609) 818-1913
Writers Notes Magazine
PO Box 11
Titusville, NJ 08560

************************************************** ******************
We want to help you. Writers Notes is a free and largely volunteer service helping readers, writers, and independent publishers, and we thought you would be interested in this unique opportunity to promote your book(s).
If you no longer want this annual notification, please use the easy unsubscribe link below or reply to this email with REMOVE in the subject line. Be certain to use the e-mail address to which this message was sent; otherwise we can’t remove you from our list. Thank you!!!!
************************************************** ******************

Last edited by Lauri B; 12-06-2006 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:53 PM   #2
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Phhhht. You, too? I wish these guys would just stop already.
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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My crystal ball says we may have a visitor soon by the name of Christopher Klim (or maybe one of his staffers).
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:52 PM   #4
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I sent them an email, telling them to take me off their list. Here's my email and the response I received. Apparently I'm a victim of past bitterness. Not sure how or why, though. I checked their site again, and as far as I can tell, they plan to provide one winner with $1500. Does that mean they plan to receive only 4 entries? I'd like to know where and how they intend to promote their winners and participants. Advertising in their own publications won't cost them anything; sending out press releases online is also free. If they are an entirely volunteer organization, then how and why are they having a book award that is meaningless in the first place? It's a huge amount of work for no real gain for them.

"Dear Ms. Berkenkamp:

We are volunteer organization that was specifically
designed to help writers/publishers promote their
books. All of the money goes into the prizes and
promoting the winners via our international magazine
and various media outlets. Next year, we are merging
with the Eric Hoffer award foundation. Please visit us
at www.WritersNotes.com and www.HofferAward.com. And
please don't allow past bitterness to shade your view.
Please use the opt out buttom at the bottom of our
original message.

Sincerely,
E. Martin

--- Lauri Berkenkamp <lauri@nomadcom.com> wrote:

> Hi there,
> I was spammed by your awards today, and wanted to
> find out why on earth
> you would start an awards program, other than to
> make a quick buck, or
> why you'd send it me. Please take me off your list.
>
> Lauri Berkenkamp

Last edited by Lauri B; 12-07-2006 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:10 AM   #5
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It's all a front for Hopewell Publications, LLC. http://www.hopepubs.com/
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:15 AM   #6
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The sad part is that aside from the few of us who are wise to these types of scams, most people that come across this will fall for it.

These companies are misusing trust and killing dreams to make a profit. (I know its cliche, but its true! )
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaoPaux
It's all a front for Hopewell Publications, LLC. http://www.hopepubs.com/
The electric blue text on the olive green background actually started to shimmy and blur before my very eyes. Good choice, whoever designed this thing. Motion sickness always makes me want to buy something!
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:27 AM   #8
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rom E. Martin's reply to Nomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad
We are volunteer organization that was specifically
designed to help writers/publishers promote their
books. All of the money goes into the prizes and
promoting the winners via our international magazine
and various media outlets. Next year, we are merging
with the Eric Hoffer award foundation. Please visit us
at www.WritersNotes.com and www.HofferAward.com.
Sounds like they've been merged for sometime. If you click the Hoffer Award link and, once on the Hoffer site, then click for their list of winners, it takes you to—Guess Where!—the WritersNotes site where all the "Writers Notes Book Award Winners since 2004 are listed.]

And way down at the bottom of the winners list is this:
Quote:
Writers Notes is a legitimate business.
Uh, do real legitimate businesses post that they're legitimate, or is that a given?

Seems like the Writers Notes site is owned by Hopewell Publications:
http://www.hopepubs.com

Getting to the bottom of who owns what is kind of like peeling an onion. A legitimate onion.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:55 AM   #9
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Well, I emailed E. Martin back with the following message, and received his reply:

Hi again,
Okay, but HOW are you helping authors and publishers promote their books? How do you distribute your magazine? Who reads it? What is your circulation? How will you promote the authors who win the awards? And if you're awarding one person $1500, are you only expecting 4 entries to the competition? In-house advertising in your own magazine and/or website doesn't cost you anything. Will you place ads in Publishers Weekly, for example?

I have been in publishing for many, many years, and I've seen awards programs like this come out of the woodwork--the only result is that someone makes money and it isn't the authors or nanopublishers.

I shouldn't have to opt out of receiving unsolicited spam. Please take my name off your list.
Lauri Berkenkamp


Dear Ms. Berkenkamp:

We have been around for 10 years, covered in national
magazines for our service. We give the winners
worldwide press in various forums.

My apologies. I would have guessed that you were new
to the business. We here at the reservation sincerely
wish the creator to help guide you through the rage
that presently defines you.

Peace,
E. Martin.

Hmm. Not sure what to make of him, but you'll notice that none of my questions have been answered. And while I will admit to some irritation, I wouldn't waste any good rage on this thing--it takes too much work.

But I might not be being fair to Mr. Martin, so I'm happy to open the floor:
Anyone out there ever submitted to this award? What was your experience? What kind of promotion/publicity did you receive? Was it worth your $40 investment?

I am happy to eat crow if this is a great opportunity for anyone, or if anyone out there who entered the award can show us where and how they received excellent promotion and publicity in a printed publication.
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Old 12-07-2006, 04:27 AM   #10
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I actually met Mr. Hoffer in the way back. What a shame his name is attached to such s**t.

Regards,
Scott
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.S Greer
The sad part is that aside from the few of us who are wise to these types of scams, most people that come across this will fall for it.

These companies are misusing trust and killing dreams to make a profit. (I know its cliche, but its true! )
You are SO right J.S. Most writers don't know about watchdog sites like this one (as I've said elsewhere, I didn't until a couple of months ago or less). I researched several of these, due to the Poetry.com scam hitting my family. But many of them sound so close to legitimate that you're left wondering if you're just an untrusting person.

I am, but a lot of folks aren't.

Rah, Lauri, for showing the light on another one.

And, WHAT reservation? Are there reservations in NEW JERSEY? I never knew...
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad
Well, I emailed E. Martin back with the following message, and received his reply:
Whoopsie. Should have looked at this before I sent my own letter of "what-a-rip-off-take-me-off-your-list" letter. I did offer that he needn't reply, but after seeing his correspondence with you, Lauri, I daresay I'll be receiving a "you're wet behind the ears" notice as well. Ah well, I'll post his reply if I get one.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
AWARDS/PRIZES: One grand prize will be awarded for the entire contest. In addition, each category will be awarded a winner, runner-up, and multiple honorable mentions. Individual press awards may or may not include category winners.
All these guys need are 40 desperate/clueless/naive people to fork out their cash and their single, solitary cash prize is covered off and they're in profit.

Quote:
Here is what a the critics say about Writers Notes Magazine:

*** Readable, thought provoking, and organized in an interesting way. Emerging writers will especially appreciate the non-snobbish approach. - The Compulsive Reader
*** Absorbing Read. - TimeOFF Magazine
*** The new Paris Review. - Robert Gover, author OHMD
Being a Brit, I've not heard of any of these magazines/people. Who or what are they and why are we supposed to care?

Quote:
JUDGES may include authors, editors, agents, publishers, book producers, artists, experienced category readers, and health and business professionals.
May include? That's the big clue gun, right there - a competition where they don't have named judges with credentials you can look up and in fact, don't seem to have any judges actually lined up at all.

Quote:
After the contest, books will be donated to libraries, schools, and hospitals where appropriate, which are fine places to promote your book!
Wow. 40 USD in exchange for your book possibly becoming a charity case. Why not just donate USD 40 to your local library, school or hospital instead?

Quote:
All of the money goes into the prizes and
promoting the winners via our international magazine
and various media outlets.
So ... you pay USD40 and if you "win" you're promoted in a magazine that they own and all of the money that they make from this goes towards paying the promotional costs of their magazine and some unspecified outlets that could be anything from a card in your local supermarket to more spam. Lovely.

Yuck. The whole thing is tacky, tacky, tacky.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
My apologies. I would have guessed that you were new
to the business. We here at the reservation sincerely
wish the creator to help guide you through the rage
that presently defines you.

Peace,
E. Martin.
From the Scammers Handbook: Chapter 13: Correspondence

Email

When questioned by someone who obviously knows the publishing business, never, EVER give any meaningful answers. Your best bet is to imply that they are noobs and wish them well in a nasty, back-handed sort of way.

This will accomplish two things: 1) it is guaranteed to infuriate the correspondent, and 2) it will brighten your day.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad
My apologies. I would have guessed that you were new
to the business. We here at the reservation sincerely
wish the creator to help guide you through the rage
that presently defines you.
Last refuge of the charlatan: make it look like it's the other person's fault.

Sheesh.

- Victoria
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneTGC
And, WHAT reservation? Are there reservations in NEW JERSEY? I never knew...
That's news to me.

And, actually, I did a doubletake on that one, too. Titusville, which is their postal box address, is located near Washington Crossing State Park; my husband goes by or through Titusville on his way to work in Trenton (state government job).

Hopewell, NJ, is in Mercer County, just outside Hunterdon County. It's actually not too far from Titusville, but the Jersey traffic probably makes up for that closeness. There's a great liquor store in Hopewell, though.

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Old 12-07-2006, 11:51 PM   #17
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Well, I just heard from E. Martin even though I hoped he'd refrain. As can be seen in my email, I was neither confused, hostile nor enraged. I felt I was asking legitimate questions that came from myself and my editing staff. He also failed to answer any of my questions. Ah well, scratch another one off the list.

On the upside, they did agree to remove us from their distribution list.


We're sorry that you are so confused. Why should a book be nominated for the Writers Notes Award? The Writers Notes Award exists as a platform to honor independent books of exceptional merit. (Please read our mission statement.) Since its inception, the Writers Notes Award has grown in prominence each year.
Winners of the are given prizes, honors, and worldwide media exposure. All of the honored books are covered in the annual anthology, Best New Writing. Our entire organization works in a volunteer basis. We are honestly here to help, and are not used to hostility and are not interested in laying false charges on your press (does this last part sound like a threat?). Honestly, we believ that if you visted our organization and met us face to face, you would not be enraged. Please use the opt-out at the bottom of the original e-mail. May the creator bring peace to your life. -E. Martin.


--- Lynn <lynn@behlerpublications.com> wrote:

> After perusing your site, I'm left wondering how you intend to promote >your
> winners and participants. If you're telling people that you'll
> advertise, my response would be big deal because advertising costs in
> your publications would be free. If you plan on doing press releases,
> to whom will those be sent? Bookstore chains? Indies? Or will they be
> online? If so, that's also free. So basically you're receiving a tidy
> sum from your entrants with little financial outlay to the "winners."
> Lastly, no one has heard of you within the industry, so why would buyers care about your
> awards?
>
> Regardless, you needn't reply. Please remove us from your list.
>

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Old 12-08-2006, 04:59 AM   #18
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An Alternate View...

Hello. I generally find the wealth of information provided on this site engaging and educational, and I thank you for taking the time to genuinely help aspiring writers like myself.

Today, however, I’m writing as a previous Writers Notes Book Award winner (General Fiction—2005—Jonathan DeCoteau—Sing Of The High Country—yes, a PublishAmerica book) and Writers’ Notes Magazine reader because I genuinely believe that the emerging consensus about this particular organization is well-intentioned but misguided. Frankly, I feel from what I’ve read thus far that this thread has become a “beware” without first completing a fair and unbiased “background check.”

While I can’t debate your collective acumen about the publishing world, which far exceeds my own experience in quantity and quality, I wish to review the facts from my personal experience, which I’ve had, if only as an award winner and magazine reader. I stress that I base this not on quick links, terse emails, or superficial Internet research, but on concrete facts, some of which can be verified by reading some of the actual source material (magazines, winning books, etc.). Frankly, I’m surprised no one considered this—or even asking those with experience with the organization in question to post— before slamming an entire competition as a potential fraud.

While I commend asking questions about circulation and distribution and agree these warrant a fair, objective reply, and understand that many of you are publishers / writers with experience, allow me to give a differing perspective on this competition addressing comments already posted. Though I admit the italicized comments are to a degree decontextualized, I feel I attempted to be fair to the points being asserted.

The sad part is that aside from the few of us who are wise to these types of scams, most people that come across this will fall for it.

While this appeared as a comment directed generally at the book awards market, to me, “these types of scams” implies that this award is a scam of the same vein. Honestly, when I won, the check and certificate came quickly. Granted, I paid $40 to enter, but won $100 and the check cleared. Sounds like money flowing towards the writer to me.

You, too, can charge people the "low entry fee" of $40 and then send someone a gold seal. There are very few legitimate publishing awards out there, and this ain't one of them.

Your criteria for legitimacy? I resent the fact that a poster apparently equates winning a competitive award—hardly an easy win—with just anyone slapping a sticker on my book. While I concede that who’s judging the competition might be indicative of its prestige, I don’t concede that it’s the deciding factor. I won over some good small press, POD, and self-published material—which I know, because I read the runner up’s book—in a national competition. My impression is that these are literary enthusiasts honestly reading all submitted books and doing their best to determine literary merit. Additionally, previous winners include authors like E.M. Schorb, winner of the the Grand Prize for fiction from the International eBook Award Foundation, and E.L. Doctorow and David Finn. Even if these authors hadn’t won, does this make the awards less legitimate? I respectfully question your use of the term.

Besides, even awards as prestigious as the Pulitzer charge either entry or reading fees to be considered. Is there any evidence to indicate this “low entry fee” is anything but that? I’d post some concrete facts (rather than Internet “truthiness”) before I made any claim stating or implying that a competition isn’t legitimate.

While I won’t claim agents came pounding on my door or the press swarmed me
in hopes of an interview, I will say that I found the awards program to be exactly what its founders claimed it to be: an organized effort by writers helping writers who might otherwise go overlooked.

Writers Notes magazine has NO presence in the publishing world.

I don’t claim to know their distribution, circulation, or sales, but I have read the
magazine. In the 3rd Issue, Jason Rice interviewed Tim O’Brien. No small feat for a magazine whose “presence” is so quickly dismissed. Perhaps someone might read the material before dismissing it. I feel that quality (while a subjective assessment) should also at least be considered (“presence” or “NO presence”) and I can say that I honestly found the material inside to be of quality.

Do any of the cited posters have any info supporting any claim that this magazine is anything other than a small literary magazine? If so, please post it, referencing your sources. Otherwise, why knock this group? What actual experience / factual info is this based on? So they’re small and working to build an audience? That’s not a scam: that’s the reality of independent publishing, as many of you know far better than I.

Generally, I think writers owe your site and frequent, informative posts a debt of gratitude—just not in this case. I think that more than SPAM and terse email
replies are needed to condemn a competition. I’m reading a great deal of supposition and conjecture with little concrete evidence. Given the influence of this site and its proponents, I honestly hope future posters do the level of research of which they are capable before rendering such harsh verdicts.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WritersNotesAdvocate
Generally, I think writers owe your site and frequent, informative posts a debt of gratitude—just not in this case. I think that more than SPAM and terse email
replies are needed to condemn a competition. I’m reading a great deal of supposition and conjecture with little concrete evidence. Given the influence of this site and its proponents, I honestly hope future posters do the level of research of which they are capable before rendering such harsh verdicts.
You're wrong. A company that sends out spam and venomous, hateful emails like the ones cited above in response to honest inquiries by the person *they've* spammed is distasteful and should be avoided. On principle, if for no other reason.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:36 AM   #20
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Respectfully Disagree...

Re: You're wrong. A company that sends out spam and venomous, hateful emails like the ones cited above in response to honest inquiries by the person *they've* spammed is distasteful and should be avoided. On principle, if for no other reason.

I disagree. While I certainly don't consider SPAM a viable promotional tool,
simply stating "You're wrong" and listing one point does not negate the other myriad points derived from direct experience with this competition.

While I don't want to comment on the emails without receiving more context, I ask you this: would you want to be judged on a few emails?
Especially your worst? At least consider the entire picture before jumping to a sweeping condemnation. Frankly, if you can debate any of the
other points I've made based on actual experience, please do so.

However, simply stating "you're wrong" on one principle you (and most, I'd imagine) hold doesn't mean the entire competition is a fraud.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:37 AM   #21
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I second soloset. Sending spam is the wrong way to go about doing business. And yes, acquiring a mailing (or e-mailing) list from a third party is just as bad. There are a couple of other things that bother me about this.

They don't have their own URL. They're a sub-URL from an ISP. That is terribly unprofessional for a group that charges for contest entries - or a company that's selling $18.95 annual subscriptions to a magazine. They can at least pay for a domain name and inexpensive hosting. They're asking for donations on their site. Where does the money go?

There's a $40 entry fee for a possible $1500 prize. That seems very high. What does the prize get you other than the money? Yes, the Pulitzers have an entry fee, but there is an incredible amount of prestige involved. Do you think these prizes have that sort of potential?

I see they have an anti-spam policy, but how did they get the e-mail addresses to spam?

This may be a legitimate contest, but on the surface things just don't add up.

Last edited by JulieB; 12-08-2006 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:08 AM   #22
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I second soloset. Sending spam is the wrong way to go about doing business. And yes, acquiring a mailing (or e-mailing) list from a third party is just as bad.

Certainly, I don't condone the use of SPAM. I'll concede this. I don't want to start too much of a debate--I'll lose --just open conversation about the benfits and drawbacks for those considering entering.

They don't have their own URL. They're a sub-URL from an ISP. That is terribly unprofessional for a group that charges for contest entries - or a company that's selling $18.95 annual subscriptions to a magazine. They can at least pay for a domain name and inexpensive hosting. They're asking for donations on their site. Where does the money go?

You know far more about this than I. While I adovocate where some of the money goes--to winning writers--these are all valid questions. I wouldn't claim to be affiliated with them to the point of knowing this. Perhaps I'm showing my naivete here, but I wonder if this info might be found out, perhaps by inviting people more familiar with their expenditures to post a gerneral reply or emailing a polite request to find this out, mentioning that the info would be appreciated (as much as they'd share) for an objective appraisal on sites such as this one? AbsoluteWrite carries respect. Couldn't this be found out by a publishing executive rather than determined by speculation? I'm sorry if a poster had an insensitive email, but might one of you who aren't personally or professionally involved thus far inquire on all this info to at least give them a chance to address this?
I just think it'd be fair to hear from the other side before deciding all is not well.

Yes, the Pulitzers have an entry fee, but there is an incredible amount of prestige involved. Do you think these prizes have that sort of potential?

I claim that the prize is legitimate, which I define thus far as paying money to writers and honoring their contest commitments to winners. Assessments as to its overall value aren't for me alone to decide. I think it helped with future queries, but I'm not exactly the New York author some of you are. If it doesn't equal a Pulitzer, does that negate its value or legitimacy? What's wrong with a small organization sponsoring small press or self-published authors? I honestly feel that all the right questions are being asked, but conclusions (not necessarily from your last post, as from posters slamming the contest already) are being prematurely drawn. I just feel that, if possible, this info should be obtained before speculation decides the matter.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WritersNotesAdvocate
I disagree. While I certainly don't consider SPAM a viable promotional tool,
simply stating "You're wrong" and listing one point does not negate the other myriad points derived from direct experience with this competition.
Joe likes puppies, writes love poetry, and beats his wife. I am perfectly comfortable with disliking Joe based on that particular point.

I'm honestly not sure exactly what your other points were. And I thought Nomad covered why this is a bad idea pretty succinctly in her opening statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WritersNotesAdvocate
While I don't want to comment on the emails without receiving more context, I ask you this: would you want to be judged on a few emails?
Especially your worst?
What could possibly be the context that justifies the venomous, nasty emails above? And, although I don't usually answer personal questions, I will this one. Yes, I would be perfectly comfortable being "judged on a few emails" sent in a professional capacity as these were. As any business should be comfortable when corresponding in a professional capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WritersNotesAdvocate
I claim that the prize is legitimate, which I define thus far as paying money to writers and honoring their contest commitments to winners. Assessments as to its overall value aren't for me alone to decide.
Fortunately, AW has lots of knowledgeable, well-informed publishing professionals who can help us make that decision. You can even see some of them near the top of the thread, discussing the nasty emails they received from this supposedly legitimate company you're suggesting that we should give the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WritersNotesAdvocate
I think it helped with future queries, but I'm not exactly the New York author some of you are. If it doesn't equal a Pulitzer, does that negate its value or legitimacy? What's wrong with a small organization sponsoring small press or self-published authors? I honestly feel that all the right questions are being asked, but conclusions (not necessarily from your last post, as from posters slamming the contest already) are being prematurely drawn. I just feel that, if possible, this info should be obtained before speculation decides the matter.
I'm glad to hear that it helped with queries. A valid answer to a valid question, IMO.

No, the fact that it does not equal a Pulitzer does not necessarily negate its legitimacy. I do believe the concerns that have been raised are valid and like you I hope to see some answers.

BTW, I'm not a New York author either. Nor are most of the people here. Some of us have been published with houses based in New York, but we live everywhere. This is truly a worldwide group of people. And welcome. I hope you stick around.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieB
Yes, the Pulitzers have an entry fee, but there is an incredible amount of prestige involved. Do you think these prizes have that sort of potential?
The Pulitzer entry fee is usually paid by the publisher. Show me an author who submitted his own book and I'll show you a fool.
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