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Success! ... Or Spam???

edited January 2013 in Writing
Well, well, well! Had an e-mail in last night, telling me I'd landed a "high" Runner-Up Spot in a United Press poetry competition, and that I'd be getting a letter confirming this by February! Ooooer!!

Apparently, all Runners-Up will be asked to publish the verses in a new book coming out, titled "Homeland"... Sounds like an interesting bonus!

Anyone else on here had the same success?... Or am I being spammed?


  • edited January 2013
    I think it's legit. Congratulations!

    They do publish prizewinners and runners up in books - which they'll invite you to buy. These books are how they make their money. You don't have to buy them of course.
  • There's two threads on here about them. Not sure what to think!


  • Congratulations - I hope! :)
  • They are legitimate, but they make their money from selling the books to the people who are included in them.

    For example, put their name into Amazon co.uk , and only this one comes up: http://www.amazon.co.uk/National-Poetry-Antholgy-United-Press/dp/0857810189/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357411905&sr=8-1
  • Cheers! I did think it seemed too good to be true, but if they try to extract prices like that, they'll get a 'short' mail back from me, that's for sure! What's that old maxim we use? "If it's good enough for print, it's good enough for paid publishing"? Be damned if I'll pay to see my own work in obscure books!
  • The link to the anthology Carol gives isn't that expensive, so maybe their prices have come down. I would definitely send your poem elsewhere as well.
  • I got something similar from them last year and the cost of the anthology was £17. I didn't take them up on the offer.
  • [quote=SusieM]the cost of the anthology was £17. [/quote]

  • Sounds a bit like some publishers who write to tell you they are taking your book, BUT....you are asked to contribute something to the cost! Heaven forbid you regard them as Vanity publishers.
  • I entered a competition of theirs years ago. I didn't win any of the money prizes, but they said I'd made it to the semi-finals and therefore I'd be included in the latest anthology. Even sent me a proof to check and correct. As payment they sent me a free copy of the book. The only money I ever spent on it was the cost of the stamp to submit my competition entry. They must have changed since then.
  • I do think- and this is only a personal opinion- that they didn't want to be tarred with the same brush as Forward Press and all that fall out, so improved their terms.

    I know that UP sent out details of a competition- a few years ago now- and they did say they were giving a free copy to those included, so perhaps it was the same competition as your T_S.

    They do seem to be pushing their self-publishing service now...
  • edited January 2013
    If I can twist their arms (by e-mail blackmail to adversely publicise the scam) into sending me a free book, then fine - but if I have to cough-up to see THEIR use of MY work for THEIR profit (and no royalties to me), they'll know about it, and so will the rest of the world!

    Isn't it a sickener that such schemes are still out there? And what's even worse - I entered this "FREE" competition from a link that someone posted on the Writers Talkback Page on Facebook!!! So, someone's either been conned that way too, or is in cahoots with United Press... :-(
  • Maybe. It was around 2004, Carol.
  • United Press seem dodgy to me.
    Is it true that some magazines just can't afford to send free copies to the accepted author? I've had poetry accepted by a mag that doesn't do contributor copies.
  • I would think so. If mags gave free copies out to all and sundry they'd never make any profit.
  • edited January 2013
    BLZ, they are NOT DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL- they are working within the law. (THIS IS AN OPEN NOT PRIVATE THREAD)

    It's why you should always be clear on the terms and conditions of any competition you're considering entering.

    You would be better asking them directly whether you will receive a free copy of the anthology if you agree to your work appearing. They may be willing to do so. And if a free copy isn't being given, the cost of, and where and when the anthology will be available.

    Not everyone is aware of UP's long history, BLZ, so I wouldn't assume it's a matter of them being conned/or in cahoots.

    They HAVE changed a lot when you look at their website- their charity element.

    But sadly inclusion isn't going to be a plus on your cv, because of the past.

    I'd have more faith if they made the books widely available...

    The best poetry magazines usually will give a contributor copy- I have a poet friend who has had a number this way. But there are bound to be mags struggling in this tight financial market who can't afford free copies.
  • IMO if a magazine is going to publish your work (and make money by doing so) the very least they can do is send you a copy. What other industry expects people to do something for free so someone else can make money? Bonkers.
  • I think so as well. I'm not going to buy the mag or subscribe. I'd feel as if they were taking something from me and then selling it back to me. But at least the work'll be out there.
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