"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Monday, November 8, 2010

Forward Press - Riddle me this...

Can someone please explain to me what the deal is with Forward Press?
A year or to ago, a poem of mine was selected to appear in a publication of theirs called The Lyrical Laboratory, a children's poetry anthology. I received a pre-order form, telling me, that as a contributor, I could get the book at a special price. Scam? I've been told you should never have to pay for a copy of a publication you're contributing to. If they have 100 contributors, and everyone orders 2 copies, that's 200 books sold immediately and its done as print on demand.
Recently, I was selected for 2 other anthologies and received the same pre-order form. To be fair, inclusion in the book was guaranteed and not dependent on my ordering. But its still a sort of scam, yes?
But how, then, does that get reconciled with the highly respected Forward Press prizes for poetry. Seamus Heaney was a recipient of one, I believe. Poetry competitions like the Francis Ledwidge and the National Poetry Competition nominate their 3 best poems to go forward to the Forward Press prize.
Can someone explain this to me?


  1. They're not related at all. Forward press is a sort of a vanity press. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/apr/24/forward-press-afterschoolclub
    and the Forward Poetry Prize is funded by the Forward Arts Foundation. Not sure who they are though http://www.forwardartsfoundation.org/index.htm
    I would avoid the Forward press

  2. I'm with Emerging Writer. Being asked to pay for what would normally be a complimentary copy sounds precious close to vanity publishing.
    Your poem above is lovely. So many blog poets take themselves sooooooo seriously, even when their "prompt" blogs say "Have Fun."

  3. Thanks Kate - cleared that one up!!
    Ada - oh, I'm as capable of disappearing up my own back passage as the next poet!