by Ginger Marin
This scam alert involves a company operating on the Internet as Writers’ Literary Agency & Marketing Company. It’s a scam talent agency duping writers into believing that they could get representation through their company and then hits them up for a $95.00 critique fee. They first lead people to believe that there are two different companies involved, one acting as a talent agency and the other acting as the Critique company. In truth, they are the very same company and all the people you end up communicating with are also one in the same. First of all, they do everything via email. There is no phone number; they don’t want to actually speak to anyone until you are supposedly further along their process and they have allegedly assigned you an agent. Of course you never get to that point since all they want is your $95.00.
Writers’ Literary Agency & Marketing Company operates from the website http://www.wlwritersagency.com. Its screenplay division operates from the website http://www.wlscreenplayagency.com. The other company name that they operate under where the money is actually collected is Writer’s Literary & Publishing Services Company at the website: http://www.writersliterary.com.
Here’s how the scam works.
You fill out an online form where you list your pertinent details and the subject of your screenplay (book, TV show, whatever). A few days later they write back telling you whether they liked what they read or not. No doubt, they like everything they read, but I suppose it’s possible that they will send a few negative responses just to perpetuate the feeling of authenticity. In any case, they reported back that they liked the screenplay summary and followed up by sending a contract that you have to fill out and email back to them. Subsequently, they email it back to you with their printed “signature”. Now you believe you have a legitimate contract with them. Then you send them your actual screenplay, which oddly they don’t bother to read. Instead, they ask if you have a formal written critique of your work which follows a standard format. In most cases, the writer hoping for representation will not have such a document. They then offer a link to a company they say they do business with (Writer’s Literary & Publishing Services Company) that will give you a critique at a “discounted rate” of $95.00. You are instructed to make payment via their link to PayPal (their preferred method). Now they have your money. You wait patiently for your critique which never comes.
Since the deadline for your receiving the critique has passed, you start your enquiries only to discover that your contact at the critique company does not respond to any of your emails. Her name was “Joan” by the way. Suddenly up pops someone named “Vicki” who says she never heard of a “Joan”. This Vicki comes up with excuse after excuse as to why your critique was not done. When you point out numerous contradictions in her emails, she never actually responds to any of the facts. When you demand a refund, you are ignored. When you email your contact at the Literary Agency (“Andrea”) who referred you to them, you are ignored just as you are when you contact the alleged owner of the Literary Agency (“Sherry Fine”). This person “Sherry” is the one who allegedly makes the decision on your work then throws it over to her flunky, in this case “Andrea”. By now, you would have guessed that there is only one person, maybe two, operating this scam. As I said, everything is done via email with long FAQs (frequently asked questions) attached so you get a good deal of information as to their “process” without ever having the opportunity to speak to a human.
Back at the Agency’s website, all the email links have been disconnected and the email addresses being displayed have spaces and odd commas in them so that if anyone sent an email it wouldn’t get there. Of course, it doesn’t matter, since no one will respond unless you’re identified, I imagine, as a new potential customer (new blood).
Many, many companies on the Internet are reputable ones. Unfortunately, Writers’ Literary Agency & Marketing Company is not one of them. It is their purpose in life to leech off the dreams of talented individuals who just want to have a legitimate chance to getting their works read and represented.