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Poetry Rivals To not buy a book with my daughters "winning" poem

(59 Posts)
coorong Wed 02-Oct-13 06:54:31

All of the KS2 students at my y4 daughter's school submitted poems to what they were told was a national poetry competition with a grand prize of a laptop. I was pleased. Yesterday we had a letter from the competition organisers explaining that my daughters poem had been selected for a "special edition" of poems. I would have to give permission for the poem to appear in the book, and bu the way "would I like to order a copy for £17.95".
I was amazed that she'd done so well, but then confused when my daughter explained almost all of her class, had been specially "chosen".

I rang Poetry rivals, who said 75% of poems submitted gets published, so it's not really a completion - simply vanity publishing tapping I on parents guilt.

I don't want to support this enterprise, what do I do?

Theas18 Wed 02-Oct-13 06:56:52

don't order it! we didn't. it's a scam and it is something I feel the schools should not engage in but they do..

I think we'd got a copy of the poem anyway..

MarjorieAntrobus Wed 02-Oct-13 07:00:51

Don't buy the book. If your daughter is disappointed by that, then explain the scamminess (new word!) of it to her. Maybe let her buy a book for herself from Amazon or bookshop. Also take it up with the school.

SpookyNameChange13 Wed 02-Oct-13 07:01:46

I think everyones poem is 'selected'

cashmiriana Wed 02-Oct-13 07:03:40

My DD1 has had work selected for similar publications for the past 3 years. We've never bought one. It doesn't bother her.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Wed 02-Oct-13 07:07:14

What a total scam! I can't believe the school are supporting it. I would be having words.

cogitosum Wed 02-Oct-13 07:11:51

The worst thing is of 75% 'win' what about the other 25%. That's quite sad for them.

ProfYaffle Wed 02-Oct-13 07:12:07

We've had the same (though thinking about it, I don't remember seeing one last year so maybe they've stopped now) I always just ignore it, and the subsequent reminders. My dds have never really noticed. tbh I found all the fb posts from other parents along the lines of "well done to my clever dc being picked in a national poetry competition" the most upsetting aspect of it.

Pagwatch Wed 02-Oct-13 07:15:23

Oh god . I should send this to my adult neice.
She is an absoloute arse, endlessly posting what she thinks are intellectual musings and poems on Facebook.
She has the emotional depth of a cabbage and no talent.
She could get published. She'd be so happy

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 02-Oct-13 07:16:03

Don't buy the book. No one will ever read it and they don't deserve your money.

Offer to type up your daughter's poem on nice paper and frame it for her if you think she'll be bothered.

KatOD Wed 02-Oct-13 07:25:22

Come on Pagwatch, give us an example, I'm intrigued.

Btw OP it does sound like a scam. If you don't want it don't buy it... Maybe offer to let your DD choose a pretty (cheap) frame for her poem so you can put it up in the house?

DorisShuttAgainstGhosts Wed 02-Oct-13 07:38:12

I won a local poetry competition when I was young.

Totally useless piece of information and totally not place marking in case Pag posts a poem.

And OP you are NBU. Scams like this exist only because people buy into them - I'd be more inclined to buy if the school did a "school" fund raising version IYSWIM.

ThePuffyShirt Wed 02-Oct-13 07:47:21

These books are just a money making load of old tosh.

When we were naïve, we bought the book for ds1's year. So many parents cottoned on to the fact they'd been conned, the school doesn't participate in it now.

Tattiesthroughthebree Wed 02-Oct-13 07:48:30

Don't buy it. But Poetry Rivals aren't a "scam" in the usual sense of the word. They use the money they raise from this vanity publishing to provide prizes etc for the "next round". DS got through to the second round a couple of years ago, and though he didn't win the laptop he and DH had a nice day out, and met a "real" poet. The 50 who got through to the next round were all given something towards their travel costs to go the event too. (Only £20, IIRC, which didn't cover it, but still, 50 x £20 is £1000 all told.)

So the first round is vanity publishing, but the second round IME isn't.

pierpressure Wed 02-Oct-13 07:54:27

My daughter was thrilled to receive a letter to
Our home address telling her that her poem was
Selected. She was pretty disappointed to get to
School and find that everyone in her class had also
"Won".
I complained about that and also that the school
Had given the company our home addresses, and
Our school stopped taking part.
Had no idea it still went on, this was 17 years ago !

Tattiesthroughthebree Wed 02-Oct-13 07:54:28

To add - DH thinks they were given £50 towards travel costs, not £20. Still not enough to cover travel for an adult and child from any distance, but a nice gesture.

pierpressure Wed 02-Oct-13 07:58:12

Have no idea why my phone is doing that weird spacing,

PS Pag, my stepsister is similar to your neice.
She has a blog.
I won't read it but my children (quite big now)
torment me by reading bits of that and her self
Important Facebook status out loud,
Toe curling.

Whereas I am an author/storyteller, trying to work with schools to publish anthologies of students work as school fundraisers, and because of these scammers I can't get past the school secretaries.
I can't believe an appreciable number of parents part with £17.50 for these books, my research put the best price point at no more than £5.
Then again, mine's not a competition, just children working together to make a collection of stories, poems and illustrations depending where their talents are.

CeliaFate Wed 02-Oct-13 08:01:02

*She has the emotional depth of a cabbage and no talent.
She could get published. She'd be so happy*
Brilliant! grin

I got conned by one of these, only 4 children from ds' class got picked though. <preens and nurtures obvious genius son>

CeliaFate Wed 02-Oct-13 08:01:16

His poem was quite shit, mind.

diddl Wed 02-Oct-13 08:03:47

Perhaps your daughter's class could just make their own book?

When my son left primary, all the class submitted a piece of work, which was copied, collected & "bound" with a spiral & laminated covers iyswim.

All the kids got one as a memento.

Llareggub Wed 02-Oct-13 08:15:52

Inmysparetime, I went to a primary school that did this for a term. We spent a lot of time writing and illustrating out book with a poet, and then a poet recital for the parents, poor sods.

It must have been nearly 30 years ago. My best friend and I loved learning about haikus and have communicated this way on an occasional basis ever since. Best thing we ever did at primary school.

wonderingsoul Wed 02-Oct-13 08:18:25

my son had this but it wass only a handfull of people who got picked.

i brought the book purely becasue my son wanted to see his work in an actually book. which is priceless imo

i agree yours sounds liek a scam BUT your daughter was picked and ybu not to buy a copy.

coorong Wed 02-Oct-13 08:24:58

Thank you for your replies everyone. I rang Poetry Rivals and asked them how many of the poems submitted get "selected". They said 75%, which is from my understanding, all the poems with parental permission and don't have rude words get through. So there is no selection process. I have ignored the letter and offered to frame the proof they sent home - my daughter is happy with that. I also offered to buy her a book of her choice instead - much better outcome.

Tattiesthroughthebree Wed 02-Oct-13 08:33:02

IME there's no selection process at the printing stage, but of those printed, some get through to a second stage. The lap-top is awarded to the winner of the second stage. At least, that's what happened with DS.
He was invited to an event, at which he had to read his poem in front of an audience. He and DH had a great day out.

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