Paperbackwriter has a few examples of writers as cheaters on her blog. My first thought? Sheesh, it's my day to learn about creative people and industries behaving badly.

You know about that scam where you pay $50 and your original "prize-winning" poem is published**? Okay, it's not entirely cheating or lying because you do get a nice leatherbound book of poetry. Turns out the borderline-scam of demanding pay for the prize is not just aimed at the wannabe creative types of the world.

I was walking home from school with my neighbor the musician who writes and plays scores for television and he casually mentioned that he's up for an Emmy.

Wow! Oh WOW. This is big time. This is The Pulitzer Prize for television. WOW!

I jumped around for a couple of minutes (and nearly busted my butt on the icey sidewalk) but then he said, "I've won a couple of times before but I've never sent in the money."


Turns out that after you're nominated, you have to send $120 the Emmy people to be considered. Or something. He's never paid before and has won. Maybe other people paid for him?

He doesn't have any statuettes even though he's won. Those cost $500. He thinks this time he'll pay the $120 and, if he wins, see if they still charge him the $500. Maybe they catch the winners coming and going. As he said, "Makes you wonder how much those Oscars cost their winners."

I'm sorry but that's just really, really tacky. I've won a couple of small-time writing contests and no one ever made me pay for my little trinkets, certificates or scrolls. In fact a couple of times I've won money--enough for two pizzas, even.

Congratulations, J! You're an extremely impressive guy and I'm glad you're a winner. I hope you're not a wiener, though. $500? Pfah. (For $400 my kids and I will make you a great commemorative statue of the occasion. You like Sculpey, right?)


** This links to a great Dave Barry piece, btw.
and here's yet another fine International Poetry Winner:

My Cat Has Fleas

My cat is chewing on her butt;
It makes me think she is a nut.

I try to drown the fleas in spray;
They jump and shout and just yell "Hey!"

I try to drown the fleas in powder;
they eat it like it's fine clam chowder.

I try to drown the fleas in gas;
that really burned my kitty's ass.


  1. Holy crap! You have to PAY to get an Emmy??? I'm stunned, really. That's so crappy! Poor guy. Maybe all his friends and family could chip in and get him one for Christmas... it'd make a nice paperweight, eh?

  2. Ooh, I love me the vile poetry. More, more!

    Were you reading my blog back when I put up "Confessions of a Teenage Angstwolf"?


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