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James I. Harris

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Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross
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The year: 1731. Three Franciscan missions struggle to establish themselvs on the San Antonio River despite Apache raids. Missionary Fray Marcos and an Apache woman warrio..  
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13 Warning Signs of a Bad Poetry Contest
Monday, April 05, 2004  11:04:00 AM

by James I. Harris

13 Warning Signs of a Bad Poetry Contest

The main goal of a bad poetry contest appears to be extracting money from poets rather than honoring excellence. Bad contests typically show several of these warning signs. When in doubt, check with your local poetry society.

1 Unusually large number and size of cash awards (e.g., $58,000/year)

2 Contest sponsor tries hard to sell you products that incorporate your work, like anthologies (example)

3 Contest is free to enter, but 'winners' have to pay a high price for own copy of book

4 Contest turns up on "Scam Warning" pages when you search for it with Google

5 Hard to contact sponsor with questions - responses are slow or evasive

6 Low standards - not choosy about who gets published

7 Name is close to that of a prestigious contest but for a small difference

8 Prize is not money or publication, but 'agency representation' or something you must pay for

9 Hard to find work of past winners to judge their quality for yourself

10 Small prize relative to reading fee (e.g., $5 fee for a $50 top prize)

11 Advertised in mass market magazines unrelated to poetry

12 You win a prize - but have to pay to attend a convention to receive it

13 Only short poems (30 lines or less) are accepted - the better to pack them into an anthology

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 More News about James I. Harris
To Kill an American ~ - 12/22/2002 2:21:00 PM

Stopping Harassment! - 11/12/2002 2:50:00 PM

Writers' Opportunity - 11/8/2002 10:49:00 AM

The One Dollar Bill ~ - 9/5/2002 2:16:00 PM

Jeylan's Poetry - 8/30/2002 8:16:00 AM

Hacking & Thievery ~ - 8/29/2002 1:46:00 PM

Poetry w/ Music - 8/23/2002 4:27:00 PM

Special Poetry Display ~ - 8/23/2002 7:48:00 AM

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