Fraudulent literary agent Martha Ivery has been sentenced to 65 months in federal prison, plus three years of probation. She was also ordered to make restitution to her victims. A.C Crispin, of  Writer Beware and Science Fiction Writers of America, attented the sentencing and blogged it here.

Ivery’s scams duped hundreds of writers, and included a fee-charging literary agency, expensive vanity presses, kick-backs from other vanity publishers, and paid services that were never delivered. According to Writer Beware, Ivery solicited business and payments under several aliases, harassed writers for fees, threatened them with blacklisting when they didn’t comply, and fabricated wild excuses for her nonperformance and lack of real sales. She even faked her own death!

Estimates put the amount she raked in at around US$730,000, from almost 300 writers across America. Writer Beware admin was instrumental in the case, had been investigating Ivery since 1996, and also received threats from her (including a strange one that referenced the film Death Becomes Her).

Visit Writer Beware for more info.


The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is Australia and New Zealand’s only guide to the writing industry. While providing submission and contact details for the print media and publishing industry.

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