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Creative CommunicationFraud and cheating

My 10 year old daughter wrote a poem and I liked it so much that I decided to enter it in some contest. I put her poem online for display on one site but being untrusting of the internet I was not going to put my young childs name online with her poem. Later, I enter her poem in the contest on creative communication. The first tell you you could be a winner in a contest and you will be published in their book. They sent me a letter offering to buy the book saying her poem was chosen. There was no letter telling who won the contest.

I didn't buy the book because I have heard of these poetry scams before. Then they sent me a letter saying that my 10 year old copied someone elses work and they seen it on another site under my name. I tried to explain why I put the poem in my name and not hers but they continued to accuse my 10 year old of coping someones work. This company doesn't have a contest they just try to get the writer to buy their books. When you don't they wont use your poem.


  • Thank you for your comment as you are correct that a hard cover book does not cost $27 to print. Just like your high school year book does not cost $30-40 to print, but that it what it sells for. However there are other costs involved, we hire teachers as judges, typists, layout editors, mailing the book, etc. Once you enter in the overhead of creating the book, then there is not much profit. If we wanted to be a scam then we would publish every entry instead of the top 45%. Our main objective is to provide an outlet for students and to motivate writers. From working with thousands of teachers, I feel we meet that objective.
    Tom Worthen, Ph.D.
    Editor, Creative Communication

    0 Votes
  • Go
    GOBOLGobol Jan 21, 2016

    A hardcover book does not cost $27 (period)! THIS IS PURE SCAM. If you are so noble, do public service - but, this is your business, and you are preying on children's emotion.

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Paul Xie Jun 06, 2014

    I think it's worth it to publish. my daughter is one of those 45% lucky writer. I think it's huge boost to her self esteem and and it's fun to have her poem published along with many other young writers. in the end $21.95 is much worth a while than say you publish her poem book by yourself.although that's also very awarding. but by published by a third party organization which still carefully select and verify it's not someone else's work I think it's totally worth the time. and for money, you don't have to buy the book. so there is no loss if that's the concern.

    0 Votes
  • To
    Tom in Utah May 15, 2012

    Sorry I am responding late to some posts from a year ago. I am the editor at Creative Communication, a university instructor and former school board member. Creative Communication does not own any rights other than one time permission to publish the poems. The student owns the poem and can enter it where they want or publish it or copyright it. We work to keep the price of the book down as it is not a million copy best seller and have the same price as we did over 10 years ago. $21.95 for a hard bound book is less than a used video game and promotes and motivates writing. As you don't have to buy a book to be published, we are not making money "hand over fist". We don't make promises that our students are going to be famous writers. The fact is, as we only accept 45% of what is sent into us, we can promise that if you are accepted to be published, your writing is better than 55% of your peers. A good writer may be accepted every time they enter. There are many writers who have yet to be accepted after many tries. Please call with any questions [protected]. Tom Worthen, Ph.D.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Danstp48 May 18, 2011

    My daughter is the next Stephan King...she has submitted 12 pieces, and all twelve have been selected to be published!!! yeah right...I think this is how they make their money...think about it, if each person pays $30 for each piece that is published they are making hand over

    1 Votes
  • Vt
    vtgmom Mar 30, 2011

    My 1st daughter was published twice and my younger daughter just got notice that she will be published as well. What I'm wondering is, does Creative Communications own the rights to the poems/essays. Why do the writers not receive royalties from the sales of the books? These books are expensive. However, I do believe it can be a confidence booster so it's not all bad. I'm just concerned about publishing rights and royalties. I will be reading the fine print when I get the info today.

    0 Votes
  • K8
    K80 Jan 27, 2011

    I LOVE POETIC POWER !! Thank You Tom For Creating Something That Encourages So Many Young Kids And Teens To Be Creative In Their Writing. English Classes Now A Days Are So Focused On Terms, Structure, And Analyzing Writing Instead Of Learning To Be Creative And Writing Original Works. It Is Very Encouraging To Know That Someone Else Thought My Writing Was Good Enough To Be Published. Poetic Power Has Given Me The Confidence To Continue To Write Poems, Even If They Don't All Get Published. I Hope This Business Continues To Spread Joy And Confidence To Young Writers. I'll Pass The Word Of This Site On.

    Sincerely Thanks,

    1 Votes
  • Kd
    kdphil3 Jan 22, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am a 4th grade language and writing teacher. When we cover our poetry unit, I give the students an option of submitting a poem as an extra credit assignment. I have had a number of students published, of whom were not able to afford to buy anything. For having so many students published from my class, I received free anthologies. This poetry contest helps in keeping the students engaged when we cover the unit. And so far, the ones getting published have been beyond excited! It is always great when those kids who normally don't get recognized because they struggle, are accepted to be published. It helps build their confidence in their writing capabilities and they try so much harder. I am completely pleased with! Thank you!

    2 Votes
  • Me
    Melissa Spigener Oct 11, 2010

    My daughter has been published 4 times through Creative Communications. I bought the first book but did not buy the next ones until a year after it was published. Your story shows me that they are doing their research. Good to know.

    2 Votes
  • An
    animalz Jan 16, 2010

    When I read this complaint, I was thinking, "Dude, this lady has got it ALL wrong!" Reading the editor's comment, and the complete details of the situation made it all clear. I have entered the contest recently, got a letter, and was overjoyed. But remembering a movie I watched about a writing scam, I decided to look into it. I now believe this is not a scam, and will encourage people to enter the contest, if they wish.


    1 Votes
  • Cr
    CrazieeBabe Nov 21, 2009

    OMG... I wrote my poem, I sent it... and it got publish... They sent me if I wanted to buy the book but I didnt have money, so well the librarian at my school bought the book and I saw my poem in pg... well I dont remember but I want to see my poem but Idk where I putted :(
    Its a great company... they didnt scammed me!! :)

    0 Votes
  • Ci
    Citizen May 15, 2009

    I entered the Creative Communications Poetry Contest twice in high school. The first time I was selected to be published; the second time I was not. Being selected made me feel good. I purchased and received the anthology. I considered seeing my writing in a nicely bound book worth the expenditure. Whether someone is making exorbitant amounts of money off of this "scam" or not, it is benefiting students. Being selected boosted my self-esteem. Not being selected, though painful, encouraged me to work harder. From a utilitarian perspective, the Creative Communications Poetry Contest is a win-win event. Building character in the many and generating wealth for the few, the contest does good for society.

    2 Votes
  • Co
    cool May 11, 2009

    I don't know if this is a scam, I just got a letter that is extremely close to the one I got from White Oak Press (which is a scam). I think it's stupid that you have to pay to be published, you should be paid to be published. I haven't found any reports of actually buying it and not getting it. I've only heard of people getting the letter and deciding not to buy it. I did find one of the anthologies on called Broken Hearts. . . Healing: Young Poets Speak Out on Divorce and it is real, being sold to more than just the people who submitted their work. I don't know if I'm going to buy it or not, at least if I do and it is a scam I'll be able to warn other people since there is no other confirmation that this really is a scam.

    -1 Votes
  • Creative Communication is Legitimate
    I see that this same report was filed 4 years ago at [redacted] and so I would like to respond to this again. I am the editor at Creative Communication.

    First of all I am sorry that this mother had a negative experience with our company. I am not sure who she spoke with at Creative Communication, but there was obviously some miscommunication.

    In addressing her concerns I will label them as follows:
    1. It is true that we chose not to publish her daughter's poem. As publishers we must be very careful with the issue of plagiarism. Because we care about each entry, we search numerous databases to try to make sure that the poems sent to us are the original work of the students who enter. If we find a poem published under another name, we cannot publish that poem in our anthology.

    In this case we found her daughter's poem had already been published on the web under another name. A letter was written to the poet informing her that we could not publish her poem. When the mother called there seemed to be some miscommunication as it was our understanding that the mother had written the poem and posted it on the web. If it was the mother posting the poem on the web and using her name instead of her daughters, and if the daughter wrote the poem, then we should have been able to publish it.

    2. The mother stated that there was no letter stating who won the contest. That is true as at that time the contest was not over and so the final winners were not selected. The winners are posted on our website at

    3. The complaint stated 'This company doesnt have a contest they just try to get the writter to buy their books. When you dont they wont use your poem.' This is 100% incorrect. We do have a contest and award over $80, 000 each year. We accept for publication less than 45% of the students who enter the contest. If we want to just sell books we would not take the time to pick out the best poems and we would just invite everyone to be published. The last statement that you must buy a book in order to be published is not true. There is no entry fee and no required purchase. Your poem can still be included in the book if no purchase is made. However, in order to be published you must verify that the poem is your original work, it cannot be published somewhere else under someone else's name and you must return a signed proofsheet giving us permission to publish the poem. Without written permission we will not publish the poem.

    I am sorry that this person had a negative experience. There are a lot of poetry scams on the internet. We are not one of them. We are members of the Better Business Bureau and have not had a compaint in the ten years that we have been a member.

    If anyone has any questions concerning this issue or about our company, then please call me at [protected] or email me at [email protected]

    Tom Worthen, Ph.D.
    Creative Commmunication

    1 Votes

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