Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Victoria Strauss -- Eber & Wein: Another Vanity Anthology Scheme

Last November, readers of, among others, Parade Magazine and Cardmaker Magazine saw an announcement for a free "open amateur poetry contest". Poems of "24 lines or less" could be sent to a New York City address, and would then be eligible for $100,000 in prizes. A perk of entering: all poets would receive a "personal critique" of their poem.

There were warning signs. For one thing, the organization or company conducting the contest was not identified. Entering contests when you can't verify who's behind them is a major no-no, not just because you have no way to judge the contest's prestige, but because you can't assess its honesty. (Many people, unfortunately, seem to have assumed that because the publication where they found the contest announcement was reputable, the contest was reputable too.)

For another, short poems and big-money prizes are a hallmark of vanity anthology schemes. These schemes, which are legion, all work pretty much the same way: Ads announce a free poetry contest. Everyone who enters is "selected" as a semi-finalist, which qualifies them to be published in an anthology--and also to buy various of the company's products. Sometimes publication is contingent upon purchase, sometimes it's "optional"--but either way, author purchases are the main, if not the only, source of sales for these anthologies, which are neither marketed nor publicized, and never cast a shadow on a bookstore shelf. Because there's no editorial screening, publication in a vanity anthology is not a real writing credit--in fact, it can be a negative writing credit, since these schemes are widely known. If you list one on your writing resume, many people will conclude that you are, at best, gullible.

Last week, poets who entered the contest began hearing back, and surprise, surprise: it's definitely a vanity anthology scheme. Their responses came from Eber & Wein Publishing, located not in Manhattan, but in Shrewsbury, PA. I reproduce the letter in full, because it is such a classic piece of scheme-speak, complete with appeals to God:

Dear [name redacted],

Thank-you for sharing your poem with us. You've penned a wonderful verse, and I am excited to inform you that your poem has advanced to the semi-final round of the National Amateur Poetry Competition. Please take a few minutes to fill in the Official Contest Entry Form and return it in the enclosed self-addressed envelope. Within the next few months, we will award 126 cash and gift prizes; a list of prizes is included in the contest rules. We're looking forward to announcing the grand prize winner of $2,500.00 and feel there is a good chance it could be you.

As a semi-finalist, you've earned the honor of being published in a volume of contemporary poetry called Verses and Visions, and in a few weeks you will receive an Author's Proof. Please proofread it, make any corrections your poem, and return it to us if you wish to have your poem included in this collection. At this time, you will receive a brief critique of your poem from the editor who has been assigned to you.

Verses and Visions is a multi-volume collection of new and notable poets from around the world that will be available for sale on Amazon.com and the Barnes and Noble web site. This is a unique opportunity for you to receive a world-wide audience for your poetry. We've also included a form for you to tell us a little bit about yourself and your poetry; it is important to take this opportunity to tell the reader what inspired your writing. The statement will be printed directly below your poem. There is a small fee for this service; however, it is not necessary to have a statement included.

If you wish to purchase a copy of Verses and Visions now, we've included a pre-publication discount order form. By placing your order now you'll receive a $10.00 contributor's pre-publication discount. Please note we've selected your poem for publication because we feel it makes an important contribution to this volume. There is no need to make a purchase, and your poem may still be published even if you do not purchase a book. If you choose to own a copy of Verses and Visions and are not completely satisfied upon its arrival, then we will refund your purchase immediately.

Once again, congratulations, and may God bless your home and family. We hope you'll continue writing and reading poetry. Today there are many option for publishing your poetry, and we appreciate that your considering Eber & Wein.

Sincerely,
John T. Eber Sr.
Managing Editor


Cost for Verses and Visions: $49.95.

At least with the established vanity anthology companies, such as the gigantic Poetry.com, the prizes really are paid out, and you can be certain of receiving the anthology (or other products, such as a plaque with your poem mounted on it) if you order it. Poetry.com, Iliad Press, Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum, The Amherst Society, and many others have been around for decades, in part because they grasp the principle that so many purveyors of literary schemes fail to comprehend: you can sucker people out of their money, but if you want to stay in business, you've got to give them something in return.

Eber & Wein, on the other hand, does not appear to have been around for more than a millisecond in schemer time. This cached version (the original listing has expired) of its incorporation announcement reveals that it filed incorporation articles on January 20, 2009--nearly two months after the contest ad ran.

Of course, Eber & Wein may not be as new-minted as it seems. Existing vanity anthologizers sometimes expand or branch out out under new names, a la the endlessly-replicating Who's Who operations. Right now, though, there's no way to tell--and thus no way to judge Eber & Wein's track record of product delivery. Of the many reasons to avoid sending money to this company, that's one of the biggies, in my opinion.

114 comments:

Bradley Robb said...

With the advent of modern technology, one would hope that such an operation would at least incorporate the name of both the poem and the poet into the email.

Good catch, as always.

behlerblog said...

What's especially insidious about this is that it's advertised in a reputable magazine, which gives it an air of legitimacy. Great post, Vic. As usual, we cross-blogged. You sure you're not doing a Vulcan mind-meld?

Victoria Strauss said...

Mind melders never tell.

CAO said...

Here's the State record of the filing: https://www.corporations.state.pa.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?2724781

Jane Smith said...

Every week it seems that new versions of old nonsense arrive on teh internetz.

I had lunch with an independent publisher a few weeks back and he said that he's been struggling to keep going: last year was very hard and there's no immediate prospect of things improving. He could see all too well the temptation that people face when considering the vanity scheme: it's such easy money compared to publishing properly. And instead of having to validate every editing decision or choice of jacket design, he could just say yeah, whatever you want, so long as you pay for it.

Luckily he loves the books he publishes and isn't likely to change: but eugh. Really. Eugh.

BuffySquirrel said...

It's nice to know that the poems may still be published even if the author doesn't cough up. So reassuring.

Mark Orr said...

May I commend to the populace the following website, wherein vanity poetry scams are taken to task:

http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/we_guidelines.php

Feel free to examine my own feeble effort, which took an honorable (?) mention in the 2003 contest, which was, of course, the year before honorable mentions received a cash prize:

http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/2003/we03_orr.php

Victoria Strauss said...

Adding a link to Mark's comment.

Sally Zigmond said...

There was a lovely gentleman who belonged to a writers' group where I used to live. He was recovering from a stroke, had difficulty in talking and was the kindest and loveliest man I ever wished to meet. And he wasn't a bad writer either.

Somehow, he sent his poem into one of these vanity anthologies and he was so so proud when he got the letter to say he'd been selected to be published. He bought ten copies for his family and I know it was an expense for him.

Nobody had the heart to tell him the truth so we didn't. It was actually a fine and moving poem and it broke my heart to see his huge pride and his happiness.

People who make easy money out of decent people's hopes and dreams make my blood boil. You could say that nobody was hurt. The old man was so happy his pale eyes shone but even so, I am still angry on his behalf.

Tonya Root said...

It's scary. I just blogged the other day about scam artists in other industries. Just as noted in your Excuses, Excuses blog the other day, the truth is that this type of economic downturn will bring scammers out of the woodwork because this is when many people are most vulnerable. Sad that people feel the need to take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable point.

just being me said...

Okay, so now i really feel stupid. I entered and received the same letter that was posted here. A lesson learned, thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous! Why would someone take their time to post a fraudulent competition for poems? Sick.
What caught my attention right away was that "poems MAY BE published" if I BUY the anthology. Oh-and it's my lucky day because I get a 10% discount.
The company didn't even register legit until 1/20/2009...

t said...

I was young(like very young think KID young) and naive and actually took poetry.com seriously. My mother and I had just moved from India and we had no idea about vanity anthologies. I have since TRIED to become a serious writer and am worried about the poem I put up on poetry.com(simply as a credentials issue aka: this guy actually fell for it). Will they erase it if I ask?

Victoria Strauss said...

t, do contact Poetry.com and ask to have your poem removed--it's your poem, you have the right to do that. However, don't be too hopeful. According to what I've been told by people who have tried, Poetry.com is...not very responsive.

I wouldn't worry too much about this, though. If you don't mention your youthful Poetry.com indiscretion, odds are no one will ever know. Plus, it's not just gullible people who fall for this scheme. You definitely aren't alone.

Anonymous said...

I too was gullible, sent in the poem and received the letter you have posted. Sigh.

Victoria Strauss said...

From the UK, another recent vanity anthology scheme, this one targeted at children.

Anonymous said...

I to sent a poam to them and just got my mail today i was weak due to lost of baby sister and need a way to vent out but to you all for posting this info i didnt send a dime there should be a law to fine and charge these crooks and to fine the news paper that post untrue add and dont check out it self,i hope there check bounce when they pay them.thank you internet..mine was the philadelphia daily news i wii never trust what in this paper again

arlene said...

My name is Arlene and my friend Jay who suffers for Muscular dystrophy and writes beutiful poems . he sent one in and recieved the letter he too was so happy but then i told him that it was a scam . the federal government should find these scammers take the money that was gained by them and reward all them to the people that wrote these poems

World Changer Seeking Adventure said...

UGH! I feel like such a dumbass! This contest was posted in the Indianapolis Star & I received the same letter, sent in the $20 fee for getting your poem published. I feel like such a stupidhead b/c I fell for this too.

Anonymous said...

I too was excited to receive the letter stating i was a finalist. glad i googled the company and read the comments. it has really dumbfounded me to know that all the effort i put into this is for not. i will wait and see if they still publish by poem without me sending anything in. thanks to all for the info.

Anonymous said...

I entered the same contest and I was surprised to find out that my poem made it in. Then once I got the notification I decided that I should look up the company and found out they were a scam. Thank god I didn't send any money in, they were asking for way to much. Hopefully an investigation will go through and they'll be caught.

JediMormon said...

Poetry dot com sounded legitimate as h*ll, so I sent in a poem about Halloween I had composed long ago. After receiving an excitement-laced notice from them that I was a semi-finalist, I Googled them. (The poem, I knew, while not being 'bad', was certainly not the caliber of a contest winner, either.) A combination of being an old coot who raised 5 teens, (gullibility level=0)and the information Google provided me about Poetry dot com, made me say "yeah, right" to the breathless tone of the semifinalist claim. For the next TWO YEARS (or thereabouts), and with no encouragement from me, I received various excited emails and snail mails from them announcing this or that discount/workshop/convention/wearable vanity item/just published book with my poem in it/etc. that I should jump at the chance to fork-over $$$ for. Thankfully, they finally gave up on me. Maybe Lulu dot com will be more forthcoming people.

Anonymous said...

How sad...my 7 year old daughter received that same letter that you posted, and yes today was the next letter with the editors critique ( great peom by the way) imagine that... She was so excited!
I thank you for posting something about this, as first time parents get excited over any "contest". This has made me aware and I will let my daughter know she wrote a beautiful poem.

Thanks again for sharing this info....

autonomous7304 said...

Wow, suckered once again.

I'm in high school and a few years ago I fell for poetry.com. And here I am and I fell for this one too.
I even sent in money.

pathoulilose@yahoo.com said...

Received my second letter from Eber & Wein with false information which lead me to this site. How can People like this get away such false hope? They mention GOD, in their letter well guess what GOD, doesn't like ugly... The best part to my story is, I didn't send MONEY!

Thank GOD
LOL

Anonymous said...

Well, it seems I have finally fallen prey to a scam also!!! Thought it would never happen??!! I got the letter today and decided to look up the company---yes, it is a scam! Well, at least I didn't send them any money!!!!

I guess one is never too old to be taken-HA! M G Brown

Anonymous said...

stupid idiot says,I was scammed by Eber & Wein. Poets are very sensitive people. If someone were to commit suicide over their scam they would have a wrongful death suit on their greedy hands..

Anonymous said...

I also sent in my poem and believed it until I luckly checked the website and found it was a scam. Shame on Eber & wein. Poets are very sensitive people and if someone actually took their own life over this scam they would have a wrongful death law suit on their GREEDY hands.

Anonymous said...

Hello,fellow poets! i sent in a poem to poetry .com, and i got a letter in the mail, and it had Eber & Weins name on the letter head! Thats funny, i was so excited about the letter they sent me stating that my poem was the best, i sent in money right away, so i could get a book w my poem in it!Scammed again! By both companies! I should have went on the internet first! signed, miss Laz!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post. I received "the letter" a couple of weeks, if not a month, ago, and only sent the registration sheet, not the one with the discount of the anthology. I was beginning to wonder why my "critique" never came in.... Stupid me, should've done some research earlier.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

i just got my letter , but thought twice when it asked for me to pay for a copy with my poem...yea right. i said hell no and did my research, also wrote them and told them they are not auth to publish my poem.

Anonymous said...

My 14 year old submitted her poem and she got her letter back yesterday. How am going to tell her this is a scam. It's going to break her heart. She already told people about the letter.

katiebug7211994 said...

I'm only 14 years of age. My family keeps telling me that I have a real gift for poetry. My mother is reading the Houston Chronicle once day, and points out the contest to me, and I figure I'll give it a try. I just got my letter yesterday, and when it told me I was a semi-finalist I was so happy I felt like crying because I felt like I accomplished something. I told all my family, and they were so proud of me, and now I find out it's nothing, but a scam. Now I feel like I don't deserve the proud feeling my family gave me. I'm heartbroken because I felt as though this was a huge accomplishment for me. World sucks huh? Got that right.

Anonymous said...

I,too received a letter from Eber & Wein for my poem. However, instead of my poem to be published in "Verses and Visions", it was to be published in a volume of contemporary poetry called "The Wishing Well". My letter read exactly the same except with this exception. My letter is dated May 20, 20009. Has anyone else received this letter with "The Wishing Well"?

Victoria Strauss said...

Eber & Wein now has a website. For an outfit that claims to be a "publishing services provider," the book covers look pretty amateurish.

Emily Veinglory: said...

Note that the domain Poetry.com is now simply self-publishing/Lulu, not that scam publisher Watermark (which is now closed).

Anonymous said...

I received the 2nd letter from Eber & Wein. When I learned after receiving the 1st letter that the whole thing was a scam, I was a bit flabbergasted. Go Figure! Now, they want me to pay them to mount my own poem?! Excuse me E & W I'm quite capable of mounting my own work. Never have or will send any money. Now IF they ever proven themselves to be legitimate, IF I actually won a prize,If I received a bank check and IF I find the book in Barnes and Noble, THEN I'll buy the book at the store. Do not see that happening in my lifetime. Perhaps I'll incorporate myself and become my own publishing company! Good luck to you all.

Victoria Strauss said...

Folks, I'd be really interested in having copies of any letters or solicitations you've received from Eber and Wein for my files. Please contact me at beware@sfwa.org.

All information and documentation shared with Writer Beware is held in strict confidence.

JairusJames said...

I was gullible as well. I sent in a poem and later recieved a letter stating that I was a semi-finalist. Man, was I dissapointed when I saw this post. Thank GOD, that I did not send in any money for the book or the small background history. Why do people waste their time and do stupid stuff like this? I don't know...

Anonymous said...

Well, I got my 2nd letter today. The 'typeset' proof had 5 glaring errors in it - misspelled words, mixed couplet line repeated, omitted words, etc. Hope they used the original to do their 'evaluation'! Oh well, live and learn.

Anonymous said...

I to recieved a letter in the mail from Eber & Wein Publishing just yesterday. I have already been taken for money so there was no way that I was going to give this place a penny. I don't even understand how they got hold of my poem in the first place! My last poem was about the death of my mother and at the time I was kinda shaky still so to relieve that I wrote this poem and send it off to
something international. They said that the poem would be in a book and other things to. I like a idiot sent the money and waited for months and nothing. I am glad that I found this site to air my words. Thank-you!

Cindy said...

It's ashame that this site was'nt easier to find because I think that alot of people could be saved from being taken by these scam artists if they knew about them before hand. I think that it's great that people who put these sites together are wonderful,keep up the good work!
Cindy

Anonymous said...

I too received the "Wishing Well" letter....Thanks for the heads up everyone..Just received the letter today postmarked July 6..

Anonymous said...

i enetered on poetry.com and bought the book and then i found out it was a scam. I kept getting letters from them FOREVER! So then today i get a message from eber and wein and i look it up to see if it was a scam and here i am! SCAMS SUCK!

Austin Wilkins said...

Thank you for this blog. When I receaved the Wishing Well letter I felt the fishyness of the thing. I did some research and this blog was not hard to find. Your doing great work. I was actually forced to enter this poem for a grade by my AP high school english composition teacher who apperrently found the ads somewhere and forced my class to take part. She could have just unwittingly scammed my classmates and its a shame. I'm going to inform her and generally complain to anyone I feel has to do with this. Thanks.

Victoria Strauss said...

Austin, please refer your teacher to this blog--and also to the Vanity Anthologies section of the Writer Beware website, which explains in detail how these schemes work: http://www.sfwa.org/beware/contests.html#Vanity. And feel free to pass on my contact information; if your teacher wants to know more, she's free to write me: beware@sfwa.org.

Schools and teachers are often solicited by these schemes.

I'm still building my documentation file on Eber & Wein. Please contact me at the email address above if you'd be willing to send me copies of correspondence, etc. you received from Eber & Wein, or send it directly to PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004. All information and documentation shared with Writer Beware is held in confidence.

Anonymous said...

I got the first letter yesterday. Thought I'd better check it out because I, too, fell for the poetry.com scam. I'm not falling for this one. Thank you for sharing this information.

Ajay said...

Well there were several scammers that had similar deals. I submitted, but then smelled a skunk (forgive me, skunks) and never sent a buck to them. Cons are cons and will continue in every way.

Albert the author.

Julie said...

luckily i caught this crap before any money was sent. it's sad that in this day and age, we live in a world where everyone is trying to get one over on everyone else. this is such bullcrap. not only is this a money grubbing scheme but it's hurtful. here i thought hey maybe i do have a slight bit of talent, but now to find out i really don't and it was just a lame scam to try to get my money.....it just makes me want to run rampant with a machine gun upon whoever thought it up. in short, i've lost my faith in ever getting anything past my own eyes, and maybe in writing all together. this. just. makes. me. sick.

Anonymous said...

thank goodness for the internet!! i too got the wishing well letter posted july 28, these people will pay at some point, in this life or the next...

Anonymous said...

I just received this letter today for the Wishing Well book. Thank you for this post or I might have fell for this as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi..I sent in my poem back in Jan. received the same letter, then in March received my second letter in march, today I received my plaque 2day with my poem mounted on it. They do not have rights to my poem, so I being optimistic, I am keeping the faith maybe I or someone will win.

flowin2words said...

I just received a letter today from Eber and Wein with the same thing everyone else is getting. Mine was for the Wishing Well. Luckily I looked them up and found this web site. I didn't send any money and once I read he letter, I thought something was stank about the letter. It Looks like a standard letter sent to everybody. The address I sent the poem to was in NY, however the return address was from Shrewsbury, PA. Learned something new about contests...

*Peach* said...

I'm so glad I googled this "publishing company" before I sent the letter back in. Thanks!
Peach
reunited adult adoptee
www.PeachNeitherHereNorThere.blogspot.com

msb said...

Thanks everyone. They never asked me for money but still. One good thing came of it, I found this blog. what a score.

Anonymous said...

I found mine in Soap Opera Digest. Thank you for the information. I received my letter yesterday. I am surprised that these magazines do not check out these things. It could also cost their reputation.

JairusJames said...

They actually sent me an e-mail saying that the "Feedback" was Great! Can You believe that? They also said that there were still a few books left and that I could purchase one.

Richard Fahey said...

Dear Victoria,

Thank you very much for your investigation. I am a aspiring poet, and quite serious at that and I have a few questions surrounding this sort of thing. First being, if I submit a poem (as I have now submitted two to Eber and Wein) and I recieve the prize money, as I have, and they publish my work, it seems that I am able to make money and get free publishing for my poetry. Why is this a bad thing? And what would be a more "reputable and exceptable" path to take in regard to publishing my poetry if not through mediums such as this? Doesn't everyone have to start somewhere? Do you really think it hurts my reputation as a poet, it seems t me like a way for a writer to actually make money off his work, and have things copywritten on their dime. Sure if I bought a dozen copies they would be making money off of me, but if I do not (and purchase is optional) than I am making money off of them...
I do not mean to dispute your findings, and I purely inquisitive and looking to get my work out there. Please email me and we can talk further... rfahey@uvm.edu or reply on this site if you do not wish to engage any more questions.

Sincerely,
-Rich Fahey

Victoria Strauss said...

Hi, Rich,

First being, if I submit a poem (as I have now submitted two to Eber and Wein) and I recieve the prize money, as I have, and they publish my work, it seems that I am able to make money and get free publishing for my poetry. Why is this a bad thing?

It's not a bad thing, as long as you aren't looking to acquire genuine publishing credits, and don't mind being solicited to buy the book your poem appears in. Companies like Eber & Wein make their money by selling books to contributors. Because of the need for a lot of poems to include in the anthology, there's little if any editorial gatekeeping. For that reason, publication in one of these anthologies won't count as a real publishing credit.

And what would be a more "reputable and exceptable" path to take in regard to publishing my poetry if not through mediums such as this?

Here are some helpful links for poets:

- Some excellent tips on how to sell poetry, from published poet Neile Graham.

- Good advice on writing and publishing poetry, from the Academy of American Poets.

- An article on how to submit poetry to literary magazines.

- A website that lists chapbook publishers.

- My own article detailing some of the schemes and pitfalls poets need to watch out for.

Do you really think it hurts my reputation as a poet

I'm sorry to be blunt--but it doesn't do anything for your reputation as a poet, one way or the other, since it's not a legitimate publishing credit.

It's nice to know that Eber & Wein does pay the promised prize money (a few of the less reputable anthology companies don't even do that). Just be aware that apart from the poets themselves, and perhaps and their friends and families, no one will ever see these anthologies.

Richard Fahey said...

Dear Victoria,

Thanks for your suggestions and imput. They do distribute their anthologies through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com, I don't know if this adds any value to their publications, but you can check out the website, they have a whole section dedicated to "Vanity Anthologies" I'm still working on my manuscript, but I figured that at least I could get a few published here and there and make a little money. Also the link to
"- An article on how to submit poetry to literary magazines" took me to an alternative energy website but not to the article.

Thanks so much for your work, it's truly a wonder to have people like you aiding young writers like myself and for that I am grateful. I will take a look into your sources.

Sincerely,
-Richard Fahey

BryanStewart said...

You mean to tell me that my poem and I were scammed.....wow that pisses me off.....I was under the impression that I had actually won something but now I am just angry that someone would run such a disgraceful and evil operation like this.

M.Mclean said...

M.Mclean; Boy do I feel stupid. I was so excited that I promptly bought 2 books. I will send you all the letters that I have received. Hopefully some other poor fool will not make the same mistake. The letters will go out in todays mail.

M.Mclean said...

New news. I e-mailed Eber & Wein yesterday and received a phone call from someone there to answer all my questions. I told him that the list of winners that I pulled up yesterday not one of them were in the book that I purchased. He explained that I had the wrong list. That list was from the July winners and pointed me in the direction of the December winners. Again, I checked out the first place winner, all the 2nd place winners and at least 1/2 of the 3rd place winners and not one winner is listed in my book "The Wishing Well Musings". I will continue to check the rest of the names, but this leads me to believe that unless I buy the other books in the series and check the names I will never know if this is a list of real winners or just a bogus list, or that the book my poem was printed in was for the losers only?

Anonymous said...

Please don't buy any of the books, I also submitted a poem and believe me it's all about the money. I have not sent $ which is the best thing to do, go to your nearest book store and and check the list, but please don't buy. This is how they make their money ... good luck!

lil'momma said...

Today I received a letter from Eben & Wein Publishing stating that my poem had won third place. It was listed on a sheet of paper with the first and second place winners and on top of the list of 50 other third place winners. I won a $25 saving certificate to use to buy one of their products or services. My husband and I laughed when I showed him the letter. I sent a poem in just to see how crocked they are. They sent me a letter back just like the one published here. I never edited my poem or sent it back for publication in their silly journal. The poem was full of typo erros where they had re-typed it incorrectly. I just hope they didn't publish it in their journal with all the errors.

Rain/Kaoru said...

Oh yes the poetry.com i was only a freshman i believe when i came across their website and decided to try it out. So yes i fell for it to but when the anthology arrived i could tell scheme was written all over the cover. So today i checked my mail and got a letter and Eber & Wein letter and glad i came on here to look before doing anything. The poem i would love to have published i consider it my baby that i can't see it to be misused such as the vanity issue. So thank you people. ^_^

billyjoe36863 said...

I receaved "The wishing well" in the mail Friday and I was verry impressed. My poem was published as stated. Not a Scheme. Read my work on page 151. Thanks Billy

lil'momma said...

The word you misspelled in your post is "received". It's a "scam" not a "scheme" and you are naive and gullible. Eber & Wein used your vulnerability to steal your money. I will never read your poem because I will never buy their poetry journals. We all live and learn, but don't give up. Do some research to find a legitimate means to publish your poetry. Success never comes easy.

Peter Arborgast said...

Lil'Momma, for some people this is what they are looking for. They are happy with the book they receive. I am a librarian and books of all types interest me. I too, purchased a book from Eber and Wein Publishing. I am pleased with the quality and I enjoy the poetry inside. I understand these are armature poets and that make the book even more interesting to me. I think you are a bully. You have no information that support your claims and you only said them to embarrass BillyJoe. My guess is you are projecting your anger on him because you are unsatisfied with your own talent short comings. I'd like to hear from you or any others who disagree with me petearborgast@yahoo.com. This type of publishing is a completely reasonable alternative for people who write as a hobby or are new to poetry.

lil'momma said...

Dear Peter Arborgast, I am aghast that you think people really are looking to be scammed by publishers like Eber & Wein. You may be as gullible as BillyJoe. I needn't try to embarrass him, he's done that himself by admitting he bought a journal from these poeple, and so have you. At my age, I am very informed about publishers who prey upon young writers naivete'. I also sent a poem in to Eber & Wein, curious about the legitimacy of yet another vanity press. I received a letter asking me to edit my poem for publication. It was full of typo errors where they had retyped it. Of course, they asked for money, but I never sent my edited poem back. Recently I received another letter stating that I had won third place. My name was at the very top of 49 other third place winners. My prize was a $25 certificate only good towards purchasing an item from them. My only fear is that they published my poem "The Young Sparrow Hawk" with errors and all. It's an award winning poem that I cut down to satisfy their 21 line requirement. If they did publish it, it's just another attempt on their part to get me to "part" with my money. Thanks, Lil'momma

Anonymous said...

WOW...thanks for the info. I received an unsolicited letter about a poetry contest from them, asking me to submit a poem, that would of course,be "critiqued",etc.

just before actually submitting anything, I decided to do a quick search (sounded fishy and it WAS unsolicited)and found your blog...
VERY HELPFUL. A few years ago, I already fell for the poetry.com scam....no prize won, but I did purchase the "book" (crappy!) with my poem included. Live & Learn!

Terrell said...

I've been readin this blog for awhile now and I don't understand why these guys are causing so much hooplah. I mean, it seems that they make some people happy, and other people don't wanna do it. I've seen people say they send the checks they promise, and they don't make you buy the book if you don't want it. I just don't get why people get so mad about this. I mean the guys that didn't even win a prize are all excited and the person who got a shout out for her work is upset. I bought a book myself and even though I didn't win nothing, it was fun just to do it and see my work in a book. I don't think i'll be famous or anything but so what. Can't we just have some fun?

Deanna said...

Having had a most untoward--and instructive--experience with Poetry.com, reciving a Poetry Contest letter yesterday from Eber & Wein, thought to check their particulars. Thank you for yours and others' thoughtful comments. Ultimately I went through the BBB to press Poetry.com to stop even any communication from them. I published a collected poetry work in December 2008 with a publisher with integrity.

Chris said...

I just recieved a letter from the infamous Eber & Wein. Thank you for your informative info. I am an amateur poet and one day hope to have a book of my original poetry published. Thanks again.


Sincerely,
Chris A. Karambelas

Cynthia D. Vaughn said...

Wow! I am so glad that I decided to check into this. I received a letter in the mail on yesterday from Eber and Wein. Honestly, I had some misgivings but I was going to send in a poem anyway. I had no intentions of spending any money other than the cost of the stamp to mail my entry, but now, I won't even bother doing that. I have already done the poetry.com thing and even attended a couple of the conferences that they sponsor. The anthology that I purchased and the plaques that I received are still gathering dust on my bookshelf. Thanks for reminding me that if something sounds too good to be true, then IT PROBABLY IS!!!

nicole said...

I'm really glad I read this. I too have fallen victim to poetry.com and Eber and Wein had sent me a letter in the mail. I suspected it was a scheme but was going to send a poem in anyway. Now I'm not going to since I know that I was right. This is ridiculous it is so hard for writers to be published now a days and people are profiting from our misfortune. There are some really sick people out there.

Melba said...

I am so disappointed because I am so gullible. This is the second time I have been scammed. I didn't even question it until after I sent my money. I did not even send it to Eber &Wein but to "Winning poets" which made me wonder how it got to them? Can't these people be held accountable? It's not even the money that makes me angry but the things they say that makes you feel so stupid.

Anonymous said...

I checked with Barnes and Knoble in Fairfield California, and the anthology is a text. An alternative to purchasing the book, is to ask your local library to purchase or request the book to be a part of a catalogue. This contest, if you are selected, is also good opportunity to be involved with this years i pad. Be it vanity or not, flipping a page on a computer is as new as the material submitted.

Anonymous said...

I did write a wonderful poem, entered it in the eber & wein contest. It cost me a stamp. I didn't HAVE to buy anything! Now I've seen the book and seen my poem and name in print. It's a wonderful feeling, and an accomplishment some will never know. What is the harm in this? Whether I choose the buy the book of original poems is my decision. The book although a little pricey is a finished product. Eber & Wein followed through with all they promised to do.

Anonymous said...

Victoria,
Thank you for posting your comments. Since I have been bitten by the Poetry.com and their partners in London system where you have to buy awards I am very aware of the scams and now check them out. You might pass along that awards paid for are not awards. I hope others avail themselves of the valuable information you have provided. I presume poetry.com has provided my home address so that is another concern, the proliferation of personal information previously provided.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the heads up. I was researching the company after I received the confirmation letter. I thought it a little strange when Your warnings popped up instead of the actual company's website. I actually wanted to contact the co. b/c I forgot the poem had been published in my Community College's lit. mag. and didn't want to be dishonest. Thanks again. Amber Vires

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this it is a HUGE relief that my brain was right. I just received a letter from them yesterday, and my brain went into suspicion mode automatically, the first thing I thought was how did a publisher get my address when I haven't sent anything out, yet. The second thing was I noticed the return address was NY NY but the postmark was from Harrisburg, PA. Same as the former poetry.com scheme. Thank you for helping me not fall for it again.

Anonymous said...

I wasone of the schleps that got caught with poetrydotcom. Not once but several times as it was before computers and googling was a thing. When I learned about it being a scam it broke my heart.But I learned to look around now when I see something about publishing.I now just got eber&wein letter out of the blue--- So time to get the fingers moving on checking out to see if good or bad. Guess another one of those throw in the garbage letters.
I wish some one would come out with a legit place to get some poetry done where you don't have to wait a million years to get published. Book publishing companies sre screaming for scripts but yet it takes so long to get anything done when you do send something in.
Anyways glad I found this site before I fell for another scammmer place. I must of learned some thing from the first business.
Frankie

Wesley said...

I got a letter in the mail the other day with "Eber & Wein" in the upper left corner of the envelope. It was asking me to submit a poem to their poetry contest. So I was suspicious.
Years ago, I fell for Poetry.com. I finally caught on, and submitted a poem under a pseudonym entitled "Trash."

Trash

I thought I'd write a piece of trash
That's not worth much to me
Except to give me writer's cramp
And lift my vanity,
Then in a contest enter it,
Perhaps to win a prize,
And see folk praise as "masterful"
What's worthless in my eyes;
And when I have submitted
This worthless poetry,
They'll post this trash upon the Web
For all the world to see.

Corry S. George

Anonymous said...

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW...fml. I got both letters. the one saying im a semi-finalist and the other with the critique. I didnt send in any money though.I guess it was just too good to be true. I guess I'm too much of a Romantic for my own good...

Anonymous said...

AWWWWWWW...i got both letters, the one about me being a "semi-finalist" and the one with my critique. Good thing i didnt send any money though, i was just about to before i decided to look them up.THOSE BASTERDS!!! I guess it was too good to be true...heres the poem i sent in

My Canvas: A life's work

I wonder how long my canvas is.
20,50,80 feet?
Soon I'll be able to grasp my brush
And paint a portrait worth being proud of
Enough
Now!
But how?
Intuitively of course
With every oppertunity
There's a new color added to my plethora
My palet
Although, my brush grows heavy like a malet
When I dip into certain colors
I shall not be smothered by their weight
Or appearence
But sway my tool with expertise
With every experience
A portion of the masterpiece
Some large
Some small
As I crawl towards the daunting tower
In my infantial state
I await my rainbow
Standing in the glow of my canvas.

Anonymous said...

Eber and Wein is fake they send everyone a letter confirming they are in the semi-finale then they complain how you need to buy there books so there company can still be in bussines i order one and didn't even recived me book and you don't even know who was the "arthur who gave u a comment and i didn't even recieved me letter there fake don't do it"

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I just got my "follow-up" letter today that I may win A Best Publishing Poet from 2010. No thanks, Eber & Wein!

Anonymous said...

Actually had a letter sent my house about the 2010 contest, with a signature (if you could call it that) and everything, never saw it in a newspaper or anything but I fell for Poetry.com years ago and they probably still had my name on the mailing list, har har. Good thing I did some research first and I will not send Eber & Wein anything. Sadly, my family bought a lot of Poetry.com stuff and I cringe whenever I look at the books and CDs now; and scammers get more sophisticated all the time. But I must say that the new LuluPoetry thing for Poetry.com looks way less legit. Hope they are shut down after about...what, 10 years?...of scamming innocent people!

Anonymous said...

Eiber & Wein is owned and operated by Eric Mueck, a former employee of Watermark Media Group- the former owners of poetry.com, National Library or Poetry, International Library of Poetry, Noble House Books, etc. That company was owned by Howard Friedman, Scott Tilson and Jeff Franz. They later sold it for millions to John Herman who ran it into the ground, fled to Ohio, then sold the assets (leaving many customers without product and vendors with millions in unpaid bills) to another company who currently runs poetry.com. Once Mr. Herman ran it into the ground, Mr. Mueck started his own company called Eber & Wein. Just google "Eric Mueck poetry.com", "poetry.com scam", "National Library of Poetry", "International Library of Poetry" to see with who/what you are dealing. I will let you all decide if you think it is a scam or not.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 12/8/2010, could you contact me please? beware @ sfwa.org. Thanks.

Brittany McIntosh said...

Oh shoot! I sent in a poem of mine as well! Hey, does anybody have any experience or success with contacting them? I do NOT want this company to have rights to my work!!! I haven't heard back from them after emailing them relentlessly...

Little Miss Fashionista said...

I entered in this contest and heard back from them today. Thank you so very much for letting me know this!! I will be telling my parents not to order a copy. I found this online and the website seemed reputable, but evidently not. Tjamls!

Anonymous said...

my daughter received this letter and was almost scammed until I saw the God reference.....now I know and will have to break her heart to tell her about the scam ! Thanks so much for having this blog

nomodrama said...

Idunno guys, I bought the book used on Amazon for like 20 bucks...and I'm definitely in there. Contest aside, I'm pretty excited that something I wrote is being sold on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. It's pretty rewarding anyways I don't know why there needs to be all of this drama. Maybe it's a "Vanity Anthology Scheme" but I'm gonna take that recognition.

Brandon said...

I posted a poem on the website and i just got my letter today, for some reason i looked them up again to see if anything changed and i find this, thank god i havent sent a letter back, i was proud of this fact to until about 10 minutes ago, thanks for bringing this to light

Anonymous said...

I feel like an idiot. I suppose the World Poetry Movement is one of those scam things?

Anonymous said...

yup, got my letter tonight. was excited until i did some research. oh well, what crap.

and nomodrama... what was the name of the book you bought with your poetry in it? because i search for a "beacons beyond" and it is NOWHERE.

Anonymous said...

someone please tell me if eber adn wein is legit i mean has anyone EVER received a prize???? and to me it looks like most of the complains are around 2009. i can't really find any complains right now that are after 2009....and also i got the same letter but in the letter it says they won't charge me to have my poem bublished and they do say that to have 500 word statement or something like that will require a $20.00 fee but it is not necessairy to do and i will still be published regardless if i include a statement with $20.00.....so please someone tell me is it legit or not?? it seems that these problems were more in the past and also when i got the letter it said it was from shrewsbury,pa which is what the blog says it was located at so o'm so confused if it's legit or not...please if anyone has any iformation please anwser...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I also received a Beacons Beyond semi-finalist letter, I'm published etc. However, I entered the contest through a website. I sent my form to enter the contest, but not the order form for the book or the comment section (where you tell about the poem). So, I'm curious to see what happens. I will not send them any money though. If it gets published, that's great, if it doesn't, then that's ok because they won't get a penny of out me. I e-mailed the woman from writers beware who is posting in the blog, so hopefully she gets back to me.

Thank you for the information.

Shakia

If any one has any updated news on the scam (or whatever this is) phillygemini526@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Eber & Wein is NOT a scam. There are REAL winners who receive REAL prizes. I have a friend named James Milliron and he just won this contest. He is very happy and he did receive his prize. It's only a scam if you don't READ the site. Go to Eber $ Wein's website and read through the tab labeled "Poetry Contest". Everything they do is explained and properly carried out. The only reason people think it is a scam is because:
A.) They don't read the site.
B.) They don't win so obviously they must have been scammed since their poem was impeccable.
C.) They don't understand what it means to be a self-publishing company.

All of their books are published. All of their winners are real and receive prizes. It is legitimate. James is living proof.

You can read more about James at:
http://www.poetrynation.com/article_detail.php?id=19

This contest is legitimate, just make sure you actually read what the site has to say.

Anonymous said...

For anyone that doesn't think it's a scam google the following:

Eric Mueck Poetry.com
or
Eber & Wein Scam

You will see various court cases with the fictitious name of Howard Ely (Howard Friedman from Owings Mills, MD's alias), poetry.com, Noble House publishing, etc. Poetry.com, National Library or Poetry, Noble House, International Library of Poetry were all formerly run by Howard Friedman, Jeff Franz and Scott Tilson, then John Herman. Eric Mueck was the operations manager there. (The web site poetry.com has since been sold to new owners). If you are OK with those google results and with Mr. Mueck's reputation and paying to publish your poem in a book that only you and others that have paid to be published will read, then go ahead. No one is stopping you. You just need to understand for what it is that you are paying. Good luck with your writing.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, would you please contact me? My email is beware [at] sfwa.org. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I entered my poem online at PoetryNation.com. I received a letter from Eber & Wein in Pennsylvania. Now how did they get involved? Scam or legit, I really am a starving artist, with no money to send anyone. I was just hoping my poem might be good enough to earn some. I've sent that poem to two other places. Is anybody out there really legit? Some of the big name magazines want up to $20 for each entry.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, you got a response from Eber & Wein because it owns PoetryNation.com. This is revealed on the Contest Rules page (also, PoetryNation's web domain is registered to Eber & Wein). PoetryNation's website looks an awful lot like the old Poetry.com website.

Poets & Writers offers a good list of contests and awards.

Century said...

I feel stupid. I was trying to find creative ways to get money for college along with applying to a lot of scholarships, so I sent in a poem to Eber and Wein.... I was so excited when I got a letter saying my poem would be published and that I had a chance to win some money. I hope these a-holes get caught. This isn't right.

M. CARTER said...

I RECIEVED THE LETTER AS WELL. WENT THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS I FELT SOMETHING JUST NOT RIGHT ABOUT THE WHOLE THING AS WELL. MY NEW AGE NRSERY RHYME WENT INTO THEIR 'FROM A WINDOW BOOK'.I REALLY DID'NT BELIEVE ANYONE WON THE MONEY. JUST A WAY OF PUBLISHING BOOKS USEING OTHERS MATERIALS FOR FREE. FELT LIKE I WAS SCAMED ASWELL. BIG LESSON LEARNED.BUT PUBLISHED MY OWN WONDERFUL KEEPSAKE BOOK "VOICES", TO BE RELEASED IN A FEW WEEKS.THAT EXPERIENCE JUST MADE ME THAT MUCH MORE DRIVEN.

Fit&Wealthy said...

How can I get my money back? I paid the 70 dollars for the book but only because I was under the impression that it was a realy contest and I could win prize money. Any advice?

Anonymous said...

I went through the whole process. First letter (semi-finalist). Second letter (Author's proof). Sent in $49.95 plus $20.00 for the footnote at the bottom of the page. Just received my book today. The only thing that bugs me thus far is no winners list. On the upside, I got my work published. On the downside, I would have liked to feel like it was a competition. The book is available on Amazon (I checked) but not yet on Barnes and Noble.

Robert Kellogg said...

My composition, "The Darker The Danker The Better" was also named as a semi finalist. I did not purchase the book but chose the plaque instead. Still awaiting word. Are there "finalists" or who won?

Anonymous said...

Poetry semi-finalist. My letter was dated 02/18/14 for the Multi Volume Series "Across the Way". I have not purchased anything yet. It stated they have not yet chosen the "Award winners". In the rules sheet, it said that 60 to 70 percent of the entries become semi-finalists which are used in the anthologies and in the letter that the book sales are what support the contest. I checked and have seen some of their previously published series on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, although not a huge amount of them were available. I guess some could consider this a cheap way to go in with others and self publish. The price of a book is way less than trying to publish your own, which some just can't afford to do in this economy. The contest part remains to be seen. I think the fact of the matter is that most of the people that enter want to see their name and work published in a book, and we all don't expect to be picked up first time by a top tier publisher and become a household name on the first try. If you have the money? Self publish a whole book full of your writings, and try setting up a book tour yourself. You can do anything with the right resources. This may be a good alternative to others. Buy one for your local library, and donate it. Others will have access to your work. Will you be compensated? No, but your work could be seen. Anyway, just my two cents, to be taken or left.

Anonymous said...

I to was told my poem would be published in the "across The Way" book. I have not heard a thing since that last letter stating that I could send in another poem with yet another entry fee. wow, how stupid do they think I
we are?? I know a scam when I see it and this is definitely a scam!!

Berma Ussery said...

I entered this particular contest with a very special poem dedicated too my niece and her unborn child who died/ this is so sad to hear because we honestly thought that running the Ad in the Parade flyer would be of a success / you just let me know that all of my hard work and heartfelt sympathy for her loss was stolen through false advertising

Angela Huggins said...

Hello, I am a mom of a 15 year showing much talent in writing. I am looking for some advice on where and what to do. Any and all help appreciated. Thank you