Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to easily ruin your online credibility: The prize that was never delivered.

photo from google

I received an email one day inviting me to join a 55 Fiction writing contest. I love writing short stories, in fact, it's one of my strongest writing skills. But I had not written a short story of only 55 words before – ever. So I visited the website to see what was in store for me and I was impressed with all the collective literary works that I saw. The site isn’t really big and is still thriving to grow but I joyfully subscribed for their newsletter and became a regular visitor.

The invitation was very enticing and challenging. Whenever I had some free time at work, which was very rare, I wrote my drafts. It didn’t take long and I came up with my 55 fiction - Last Grip.

I devotedly campaigned for my story. My friends and colleagues supportively read and reviewed my work in the forms of comments below my entry. Several of my competitors were puzzled with my story. They commented that my 55 fiction has a unique take. Indeed it has and it was well-received.

The judgment day came and I won the Best Read award. I had hoped to win the first or the second prize; but my story was only the most voted entry. I was sad but that was fine.

All the winners were said to receive a book as prize. Being the Best Read, I was supposed to win the book of a rich Indian woman who chose the man that she loved over her family’s wealth but only to be abandoned by the same man that she fought for. I was eager to read her story because I wanted to know how she survived all the challenges that she faced and managed to rise above them. I knew that she eventually succeed.

Several months passed but the book never came and I never heard anything from the organizer since she asked for my mailing address. I waited and waited. Four months later I decided to send her an email inquiring about the status of the book. It probably was miss-sent and I wanted to know. But I never heard anything back.

It’s exactly one year now, the month of October, and the book never came. The book isn’t expensive, just an autobiography of an unknown woman therefore it isn’t its monetary equivalent that I am chasing of. However, I felt that after the traffic and the publicity that the site and the sponsors received, the organizers failed to handle the post-contest responsibilities, e.g. monitoring and making sure that the prizes were delivered as promised. Or, if in some reasons, the sponsors decided after the contest that they could not afford to part with their books for free, at least, they should respond to email inquiries.

I lost my trust. Obviously, I stopped my subscription.


  1. Online scams are all the rage these days...unfortunately.

  2. Really! That is so rude and false representation! Don't worry your reward will be far greater! I get your point though, it's the principal! ;)

  3. Online scams are ridiculous, and there are so many of them. Sorry it didn't work out.

  4. Oh that sucks! It sounds like a very interesting book for sure, I would have been disappointed too if I was looking forward to something that was never delivered.

    But congrats so much on your success with the short!!

  5. That's crazy!
    And I totally want to read your short story. I love short stories and this totally intrigues me.

  6. At least you increased your traffic by joining the contest:)

  7. i like your thoughts .....never give up my dear.. i know you have a capability to achieve your goal....GOD bless you..


Thank you for your time. I'll get back to you soon. :)