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), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

ILP Strikes Again

In the scam that keeps on trying, the International Library of Poetry has named my elderly mixed retriever Jack as a potential “Poet of the Year.” Wow! The ILP has already named Jack an “Editor’s Choice” winner, has offered professional editing for his poem, and has tried to sell him some “Classic Poetry Editions” of dead poets’ work, and now they want to send him to Vegas. Of course, Jack would have to pay for all of this crap.

This is the opener of the email he received yesterday:

Imagine . . . "The winner of $20,000.00, a $10,000.00 book publishing contract, and our next Poet of the Year is Jack Mushkeau!"
Hey, that’s now bad for an old dog. Of course, he’s already been offered a publishing contract by the infamous author mill, Publish America. Anyhow, the form letter continues:

Dear Jack,

There is great news, and I want to be the first person to tell you. You are nominated for this year's Poet of the Year competition. It was not hard at all choosing this year's nominees. Your talent and dedication to poetry make you an obvious choice. We want you to share this momentous occasion with us in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 19-22, 2007 for the 21st Annual International Society of Poets Convention and Symposium. We are just now putting the finishing touches on what is sure to be the biggest poetry celebration of the decade.
“Talent and dedication”? “Obvious choice”? This is too much. "Not hard at all" means they chose everybody they could think of.

Jack, I want you to know that I am reserving a place for you at this year's event. Our Editorial Advisory Board and judges look forward to hearing you read your very best poem in this year's competition. As a nominee for this year's Poet of the Year award, you will be presented with a newly designed, imported lead crystal trophy honoring your outstanding achievements in poetry. There is an excellent chance that you could be one of the winners sharing $100,000.00 in cash and prizes that will be announced live on Sunday, July 22, 2007.
I wonder what the Editorial Advisory Board (why is that in all caps?) was drinking during the selection process. Oh, wait. This is the ILP. Everyone is selected. And, not only is Jack’s potential trophy “imported lead crystal,” but it’s “newly designed.” Whoo-hoo!

"American Idol" Winner Ruben Studdard and Emmy-Winning Comedian Louie Anderson Will Join Us in Las Vegas!

Jack, are you ready for the biggest news I have ever shared with anyone? Ruben Studdard, winner of the hit Fox TV show "American Idol", will be there to entertain you at our gala banquet on Saturday evening, July 21, 2007. When I first learned Ruben Studdard was taking time away from his busy schedule to come to our symposium, I could not believe what I was hearing. Ruben Studdard was a 2004 Grammy nominee and won an NAACP Image Award the same year. Ruben's voice and showmanship should be a real treat. Also performing at this year's event is Emmy-winning Funnyman Louie Anderson. Audiences around the world know him from his years as a standup comedian, as host of "Family Feud", and from his award-winning cartoon, "Life with Louie". Recently, Comedy Central named Louie "One of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time," and we are thrilled to have him with us this year.
I can’t believe that Ruben Studdard is desperate enough to take this gig. Jack, never having watched "American Idol, has no idea who Ruben is.

Viva Las Vegas!

Our host hotel, the historic Riviera Hotel, located on the famed Las Vegas Strip, also marked a huge milestone; they celebrated their 50th anniversary. During the past 50 years, they have hosted entertainment legends such as Bob Hope, Whitney Houston, and Jerry Seinfeld, making it one of Las Vegas's most celebrated hotels. Our planning staff chose the Riviera because of its luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and most of all, the affordable rates. The Riviera has offered our members an unbelievable discount under their published rates.

In addition to the fabulous entertainment, the International Society of Poets welcomes literary celebrities from around the world to enlighten us with seminars, workshops, and lectures. Past Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets David Wagoner, along with Pulitzer Prize winner W.D. Snodgrass, will give the keynote address. Educational Director Dr. Len Roberts, Poet Laureate Dr. Fleda Brown, and Mellon Poetry Prize winner Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, along with other outstanding educators, will lead seminars on topics such as publishing, improving your poetry, poetic forms, and more.

And here comes the offer that an old dog just can’t refuse:

Special Early Bird Savings!

Wow, what a weekend planned just for you! As always, we encourage all Poet of the Year nominees to bring friends and family to the convention so they can share your love of poetry and have a great time with you in Las Vegas. We are offering you a special limited time, early bird discount of $50 off your registration and $50 off the registration of each of your guests if you register by May 14, 2007. We must limit this special offer to a maximum of four of your guests.

Only four? That means the other dogs in the kennel can go, but I can’t. Or else I can go, but we have to leave a dog behind? But which one? Decisions, decisions. . . .

To redeem this great offer, you have to register no later than May 14, 2007. This is sure to be an event you do not want to miss. You may register online or call me today at 410-356-2000 ext. 101 to reserve your place at this historic event.

Steve Michaels
ISP Chairman, Board of Trustees

And there’s more (just in case Jack was a bit hesitant):

P.S. Jack, space is limited. Please register quickly, and if you register for the convention and a room at the Riviera before May 14, 2007, you will be entered for a chance to receive a backstage pass to meet Ruben Studdard at our Saturday Evening Banquet and Entertainment Extravaganza. Winners of the backstage passes will be notified by the ISP two weeks before the convention. To book your hotel room, call the Riviera . . . and be sure to mention the International Society of Poets Convention when you call to take advantage of our discounted room rates or you can book your room online . And don't forget about the great early bird registration fee if you register before May 14, 2007. See you in Vegas!
No, you won’t see Jack in Vegas. A long-haired dawg ain’t gonna go to Vegas in the summer. (What’s sad is that a bunch of folks will think this offer is on the level and will over $400 to attend.)

A fool and his money are soon parted, but you can’t get money from a penniless dawg. And Jack's no fool.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I got the same kind of letter and i didn't fall for the gimmick either if they really liked my poetry they wouldn't have wanted me to pay them money they would have paid me money to take on all my talent. This is total bs!!!

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the same exact pathedic letter! They are such frauds!

4:57 PM  

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