Despite the company's claims to have awarded over $425,000 in cash prizes to selected poets over 8 years, nearly all writers who submitted works were accepted regardless of artistic merit, and they were required to buy the anthology (described in one NBC4 story as resembling a "yearbook" and being printed on "Xerox paper") in which they appeared in order to receive a copy of it; in addition, they had to pay significant fees to attend the contests' award ceremonies. The Winning Writers website lists the Famous Poets Society as service that aspiring poets should avoid, while an article in the Boston Phoenix described it as an outright scam, stating that its presumptive founder "[had] been preying on the naïveté and vanity of poets for 20 years."
- "Contests and Services to Avoid". Winning Writers. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
- Rivenburg, Roy (November 24, 2002). "There Once Was a Poet from L.A." Los Angeles Times.
- "Acquisitions Procedures: Print on Demand". American University Library. Washington, D.C.: American University. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
- "FPS Convention Winners". Archived from the original on October 27, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
- Crenshaw, Liz (February 25, 1999). "Poetry Contest". Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
- Silverstein, Jake (August 2002). "What Is Poetry?". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
It was felt that poetry was needed now more than ever. It was also felt that there would be no full refunds of the $495 registration fee, in the event of a canceled flight or a distraught flier.
- Wright, Chris (July 5, 2001). "BAD ART: A verse-case scenario". Boston Phoenix. Retrieved May 30, 2022.