Report: #136372

Complaint Review: Creative Communication

  • Submitted: Fri, March 25, 2005
  • Updated: Fri, March 06, 2009
  • Reported By: Greer South Carolina
  • Creative Communication
    1488 North 200 West Logan, Utah 84341

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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 didnt buy the book because I have heard of thes 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 doesnt have a contest they just try to get the writter to buy their books. When you dont they wont use your poem.

Greer, South Carolina
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/25/2005 10:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

complaint is sincere and understandable but misguided

AUTHOR: Danceattakjg - (U.S.A.)

I am an ex-employee of Creative Communications. My job was to take packets of essays or poems, read through them, edit for grammar, and reject them, accept them, or put them somewhere in the middle for later decision by the owner.

The complaint filed above is very understandable. First, the girl did not in fact plagiarize a poem. Of, course, from our perspective at Creative Communication, when we run a google search on the words of the poem and find an exact copy attached to a different name we simply cannot trust the excuse given above, as legitimate as it is.

Second, the concern about Pay to be Published scams is very legitimate. Let me tell you why this company is not one of those scams.

1. The owner sends a free book - or at least in 2006 this was the case - to every teacher whose class gets 3 or more entries published (most of our packets come from, say, a fourth grade teacher who gave her class a prompt resulting in 25 poems on a similar prompt). If I find 9 good poems, great. The class will get a free book so that none of the kids' parents HAVE to purchase anything in order for the kids to see their poem in print.

2. If I get a packet with only 1 or 2 good entries in it, my instructions from the owner of the company are to find a 3rd entry to publish, even if it is a bit below par, in order to make sure that the teacher receives a free book. This can result in an occasional poor piece slipping in, but the result is that those kids don't have to buy the book to see their work.

3. This is for k-12, not adults. Any adult publishing company who forces you to pay for a book when your poem gets printed is most definitely a scam and probably accepting nearly ever single legible or readable entry they receive. For these kids, we publish a separate book for different grade levels, so I would obviously reject a 12th grade poem that may be better than a 4th grade poem I'd accept in a heartbeat. But on average I accepted about 55% of entries.

4. When I started working there I was concerned about the high number of publication, 55%. As a student of creative writing and a future MFA candidate with a strong interest in getting kids excited about writing poetry and essays, I strongly support Creative Communications in what it does. We regularly get letters from teachers who say their kids look forward to the contests and love learning to write poetry and essays. Awesome! Tom, owner of the company, has devised a perfect way to increase young peoples' involvement in the arts, all while making a profit large enough to maintain a company. He's involved at the local university, he works hard, and he asks us to bring him all the letters from teachers who are so pleased with the structure of the contests- so he can read them- I suspect for the very reason that he works too much for far too little financial payoff.

5. When you send essays or poems to Creative Communications they will be read carefully by one of only about 5 readers, most of whom are college age students who care about writing. This is not a big corporate scam. It's a small business to which I used to ride the bus in cold Logan mornings, often to be bored by tons of poorly written things I'd have to reject, occasionally to be inspired by a shockingly well written poem or essay by some 10 year old Virginian who will hopefully, after seeing his or her work in print in a free copy of the book, be motivated to make a habit out of putting his or her thoughts in writing.

There are ways this company could be different. It could be an actual literary journal, publishing 1/200 entries it receives, funded by grants and collapsing into nothing after 4 years like most literary journals do. This would result in a high quality, short lived publication that would be available to the artists published in it for free. It would have a circulation of about 600 and be read by even less people than that. It would have ZERO effect as to inspiring young writers.

But for the purposes of maintaining a viable and honest business AND increasing interest in writing among young people this is absolutely a fantastic enterprise, something I strongly support as a writer.
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Creative Communication is Legitimate

AUTHOR: Drtom With Creative Communication - (U.S.A.)

I see that this report was filed 4 years ago. However, as I just found it I wanted to respond. I am the editor at Creative Communication.

First of all I am sorry that this mother had a negative experience with our compnay. 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 435-713-4411 or email me at

Tom Worthen, Ph.D.
Creative Commmunication
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