Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

ILP's Latest Scam

Poetry.com (aka International Library of Poetry) strikes again. They emailed this message to my dog Jack on March 8 and again yesterday. You gotta give ’em credit—they’re persistent.

Dear Jack,

Not long ago you sent me a submission for entry into the International Open Amateur Poetry Contest. Your poem, Wolflings, qualified as a semi-finalist, and you indicated that you might be interested in having your poem critiqued by a professional poetry editor. Since then, we have assembled an editorial staff whose qualifications and experience in the field of poetry is unparalleled. Our editorial staff consists of well-respected poetry professors with Ph.D.s in literature from leading universities and award-winning authors.

What are their names? I hope they write better sentences than that last one: “with Ph.D.s in literature from leading universities and award-winning authors.” How does one get a PhD from an award-winning author, anyhow? Oh, here’s that winning poem of Jack’s:

A howl!
Really a growl
For a snarl,
As gnarled nose
Reaches high,
Flings sound awry
And far. Shows
Rousing cries-
Foul.

Wolves wend wayward
Over tedious tundra
On their journey
Far and wide.

Yeah, real semi-finalist material! It certainly shows a certain doggedness, though.

All writers need editorial assistance from time to time, and all great poetic works have been written and rewritten many times before they were deemed finished by their author. That's why we have assembled an excellent staff so we can provide this service to you. Remember, this is your creative artistry, and our professionals are only here to help you become a better writer and to assist you in creating your very own poetic masterpiece!

The names of the excellent staff? Anyone actually on the staff? What’s with the exclamation point?

A limited time opportunity to have your poetry reviewed by professional poets!


You may submit any poem that you have written for this one-of-a-kind, personal poetry review from our professional editorial staff. Please type your poem in the form provided and proofread it before you submit it. Since we are only accepting a limited number of poems, we must charge a nominal fee to cover the cost and fees associated with having your own personal professional editor critique your poem. Just think, you will have your own one-on-one critique from a qualified editor who is well-versed in the literature and writings of great poets.

I’m waiting for some names. . . .

Within a few weeks of submitting your work , you will receive your poem printed on fine ivory linen paper with handwritten notations and a certificate showing that it has been reviewed by our knowledgeable editorial staff. You will also receive a full-page critique of your artistry in a beautiful presentation folder for you to keep as a valuable reference for future writing. Also, at no additional cost, we will provide supplementary information to help improve your poetic craft.

I’ll bet everyone gets the same “supplementary information.” Heck, I’ll bet everyone gets the same critique.

And there is more! We've created a special competition exclusively for those who had their poetry critiqued by our professional editorial staff . . . a contest for our elite and most talented poets . . . poets just like you! Jack, once you review your critique and make any changes that you feel improve your poem, then you will have the opportunity to enter this special contest. This competition will be our most competitive contest ever, and I know you are ready for this challenge. This exclusive contest has a Grand Prize of $1,000.00, and the winner will be interviewed for a feature article in the Poetry Today magazine.

C’mon. Jack is a dog. An old dog. “Elite and most talented poets”? Yeah, right.

There's one more thing that is included in this limited-time, exclusive offer . . . a special gift! You will receive The International Library of Poetry Pen. This fine writing instrument has been elegantly crafted using heavy metal casings, a silver chrome-finished cap, and a polished black lacquered barrel. The official logo of The International Library of Poetry is carefully etched on the chrome cap. In addition to its exquisite design, the pen contains refillable black ink. This smooth, tapered pen is packaged in a stylish black box with our logo stamped in gold. This piece has a retail value of over $35.00, and it can be yours for free if you proceed with this offer to receive a review of your poetry.

I hope the critiquers don’t indulge in such adjectival overkill: silver chrome-finished cap/ polished black lacquered barrel/exquisite design/smooth, tapered pen/, stylish black box. You’ve just described hundreds of generic pens.

Jack, your poetry is important to us and we know it's important to you also, so we are offering you feedback on your poetic writing from the most educated and experienced poetry editors available today. We are very excited to offer you this rare opportunity, and we are anxiously waiting to read what happens when you combine your talent with their expertise. The results will be phenomenal.

Sincerely,

Howard Ely
Managing Editor

P.S. Our professional editorial staff has a limited amount of time to devote to this very special opportunity, and we are only honoring this offer to those poets who act quickly. Please submit your poem now to receive the professional critique, including a review certification, the beautiful presentation folder with information to help you improve your poetry, and the free limited-time offer of The International Library of Poetry Pen.


Clicking the form leads to leads to the Personal Poetry Review Ordering Information
(A Limited Time Opportunity) which displays this message:

Yes, I have elected to receive a professional critique of my poem from a qualified editor who is well-versed in the literature and writings of poets. By critiquing my poem, the editorial staff will assist me in creating my very own poetic masterpiece. I will receive a full-page critique of my poetic artistry in a beautiful presentation folder, supplementary information, and The International Library of Poetry Pen. In addition, I may submit my corrected work to the exclusive poetry contest especially created for those who had their poetry critiqued. Since there are a limited number of poetry critiques available, there is a nominal fee of $79.95 to cover the cost and fees associated with this one-of-a-kind product.

Nominal fee?! Oh, my dog!

And what's an elderly mixed retriever gonna do with a pen anyhow?

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