I'm cross posting this response that I made on A.C. Crispin's post here in case folks don't click over and read the latest comments:
Ms. Crispin, I was forwarded your email by one of the volunteers that you sent it to and she was kind enough to include a link to this page. My name and contact info is available on the Contact Us page at NaNoWriMo.org and I am the moderator of the forums (a full staff member). If you sent it to the admin address, it may be mired in with all the other webmaster emails.
I would love to have some input on how to help us educate and empower our writers. Not all are new to writing (in fact we have quite a few published authors in our midst). Many gain an incredible sense of 'possibility' during the challenge and once they've written a book and found that they do have a voice, they want to share it.
I am not aware of a 'significant percentage' of our writers falling prey to scams, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. If you have some specifics on what's been happening (PublishAmerica, Noble House Press or some other questionable scheme), I'd like to know.
We currently have the following in place:
* When any writer signs up for the site or clicks through to renew their participation we mention quite clearly about Literary Predators in our Terms for the site.
* Within the forums there are numerous threads already available regarding resources (including at least eighteen pre-existing links to your Writer Beware alone before this blast) in multiple forums, including one that I requested be drafted at the beginning of the season and stickied to the "Marketing & Self Promotion" forum.
* The forums are available all year round, so conversations and resources are available for continued support and reference.
* At the end of NaNoWriMo we launch a page called "Now What" which will include resources, advice and of course cautions about scams.
* Currently on our Young Writer's Project (ywp.nanowrimo.org) site we have a large resource page (Amber's Virtual Library) that includes some frank and easily understandable information about scams and cautions about contracts/publishing for our younger writers.
* Additional text and resources adapted from Amber's page have been made available to our regional volunteers to share with their groups either through the forums and/or via email.
* Each year LuLu.com has extended an offer for a free book to all winners, my hope is the POD/Self-Publishing route such as this mitigates writers paying to see their work in print. The LuLu.com forums have additional support and advice about writing scams and their community appears to operate with similar vigilance to warn their peers.
* We scrub the forum to keep predators of all kinds away from writers – they are not allowed to solicit writers on the site nor post in the forums.
* And of course since your emails and postings the forum conversation on the topic has amped up.
Our writers hold you and your organization in great esteem, as you are consistently mentioned along with Preditors and Editors each year as the best resources for writers ready to begin their submission process. Now that you've seen what steps we currently employ, can you tell us how else we can help writers empower themselves (without scaring them off of writing, off course)?
Hey NaNoWRIMo--You're Doing the Right Thing!!!
Pulled from the comments column of the preceding post!