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Rated: E · Article · Biographical · #1781627
writing competition scam
The old scams are the best ones. Let me tell you the story of how I fell a victim to one. A few years ago I developed an enthusiasm for entering writing competitions. I was particularly addicted to one competition which offered monthly prizes, as well as feedback from the organizer {although this was usually confined to a sentence scrawled in biro.}  There was always an impressive list of winning titles and prizewinners, as well as the names of a panel of distinguished judges. The fee for each entry was £4, with the assurance that the profits went to charity.

I sent in four stories. Each time, I was assured by the feedbavk, I was placed quite high, but I never quite managed to make the top four.

One day I rang the organizer on his mobile number.

He was in the library, he said. I asked about my latest story.

"You didn't win," he said straight away.

I asked him if I could email my stories.

"I don't have a website," he said.

He said he only had access to a computer once a week.

"But you have to send the cheque anyway," he said.

He seemed particularly anxious about this.

My suspicions were aroused by this phone call. I asked the advice of a friend in the writing world.

"Be careful!" was his reaction.

He told me that ninety eight percent of writing competitions were scams.

I am much more cautious these days.
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