Really cross with school - Young Writers

(72 Posts)
Dancergirl Thu 03-Mar-11 10:09:18

Has anyone else had a child whose work has been published in a Young Writers book?

Young Writers are a publishing company who claim that 'your' child has had a piece of writing selected to be published in a book. A small paperback book which costs £15.99 plus £2 postage!!

It's all done through the school but parents had no knowledge of entries being put in until we received letters saying our child had been selected. Parents (myself included) are angry because a) the school gave out our names and addresses to the company without permission....and b)we are now pressurised into buying this massively over-priced book.

My younger dd also had a poem published in one of these books last year and again parents were cross that details were given out. The teacher admitted it was an oversight and apologised (sort of) but this same teacher has done it again this year!


Jazzbaby Mon 29-Sep-14 22:03:39

I now feel massively relieved after reading these son, 6 years old, was entered by our very highly regarded school into a Young Writers competition without our knowledge or permission. He then came home with a lovely certificate, information pack and yes, you guessed it, a request for money. £16.99 per book. He was over the moon, felt so special and had absolutely no idea that so many other children in his year had also been awarded the same accolade. They are very clever in their wording and make out that your child is really very special and it is a great feat to have been asked to have a story published.

We were all set to pay up and order books for us and Grandparents but I was really suspicious of the price and the information which looked like junk mail!! Needless to say, we didn't, but now I am left with a very disappointed son. This is so unfair and extremely irresponsible of the school.

To make matters worse I just found an article on the internet which details the bankruptcy of a company which sounds like it was the predecessor to Young Writers..same area (Cambridgeshire), same price for books etc etc. So, they lost everything, owing huge amounts to customers and colleagues and then set up again under a different name!! Unbelievable and really scary!

Anyway, I just want to alert everyone to boycott these people and to try not to let your child get too excited about the whole thing. It's a scam.

soundbites Fri 12-Sep-14 14:11:36

I know this is an old thread but we've just got a letter from them – book is £15.99 etc. We slaved over a story that was sent home as homework at the end of last term and I thought it might be an initiative from the council (it was well laid out with tools to help plan the story etc.). I was excited on opening the letter but began to think that they must need to publish a lot of stories to make a long enough book and got a bit suspicious! Then mentioned it to a work colleague who said his daughter had got caught up in it a couple of years ago. It is hugely expensive for what it is, and the letter had grammatical mistakes … hmmm, don't know whether to make a fuss of DD or not now. And whether to tell the school to keep their distance?

wooldonor Fri 29-Aug-14 22:49:48

Thanks LondonLees, I have considered a PM but tbh I don't feel I know the person well enough to know how she would react. We used to work in the same place but it was a fairly large office and we weren't in the same team.

I think I'll just have to hope for the best, she's so proud of her daughter it makes me cross to think it's just a con

LondonLees Fri 29-Aug-14 22:16:59

Wool - I sent my friend a private message when the exact same thing happened. Kinder than posting a comment on her post. I included a link or two and she was v grateful to not be conned but not lose face.

2kidsintow Fri 29-Aug-14 21:29:33

Blimey. We've used We Are Writers (Scholastic) and keep the cost of the books down to £5. And there's no competitive aspect, every child has a poem published in it, and that is know upfront.

wooldonor Fri 29-Aug-14 21:27:27

I know this is an old thread but a friend has posted on facebook that her daughter has been selected to have a price of work published in one of the young writers books.

I don't want to burst her bubble by commenting on her post but equally I don't want her to be conned. Does anyone have any recent positive experience with this company?

Dwerf Mon 19-May-14 12:28:21

One of mine had a poem published in it also. I didn't buy either.

The other year our primary school took a poem/short story from each child in year 6, had them published on lulu or similar, and flogged them at school for less than a fiver. A much much better idea.

Bilberry Mon 19-May-14 12:23:01

I'm confused. The children own the copyright of the piece of work they've written so how does it get published without the parents agreeing on the child's behalf?

LadyEnglefield Mon 19-May-14 09:51:05

Sad to say that they are still going strong.

DD1 had a letter at the weekend, her face really lit up when she read it.

After chatting to some of her friends who had also 'won' we became suspicious and googled the company.

Absolutely furious with Young Writers and with the school for not looking into this fully before entering the children's work and for giving out home addresses to a third party without our consent.

MinimalistMommi Sat 10-May-14 17:06:15

They have been doing this for years. I was supposedly selected 20 years ago.

purpleshinyone Sat 10-May-14 15:45:06

We also received our 'winning' letter on a Saturday. Interesting that they seem to arrive on a day when the kids will be in to pick up the post.

SCWinEgham Sat 10-May-14 15:38:54

just received the letter today - still £14.99 per book with a 3 for 2 offer. My 14 year old very excited, suspect all 250 in Yeear 10 will have received the same certificate

distraction required

Dunlurking Mon 10-Mar-14 09:10:33

Bump. They are still around - latest poetry book will be £14.99 - deadline for sending permission is 28th March. The letter looks very professional and convincing.....someone tell me it isn't worth it please!

Glad I remembered this thread. Will pass the link on to my dd's English teacher and discuss it with her as well, I think.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Tue 07-Jan-14 11:52:12

I was all thrilled with DS' "winning entry" at first.

We didn't buy it.

Bumbez Mon 06-Jan-14 17:59:53

Oh bugger I've just ordered two copies, as both my children have had poems chosen to be printed. Wish I'd googled first.

CaterpillarCara Thu 12-Sep-13 21:55:22

Our school did this, and my son was STILL not chosen - hey ho... (who says the PTA chair's child gets everything???)

goodtoknow Wed 11-Sep-13 11:05:34

Noticed the marketing ploy in the first letter and tried to hide my synicism when reading out this 'achievment' to my dd. Later researched the company after a rather odd follow-up letter. Saw it was a scam and declined their offer. my dd had mentioned however the school makes a small amount of money for each acceptance so that could be what colours the judgment of otherwise decent schools.

beafrog Sat 29-Jun-13 23:48:43

We had this at our school - the books are so cheap and shoddy. The company freely admits that a high percentage of children "win". I think schools could actually print their own books for a fraction of the price which would be far better quality. I really can't understand why so many schools fall for it - but maybe parents need to make their feelings known to the schools about the quality of the books and the cost.

SuffolkGirlie Sat 29-Jun-13 13:24:34

Our school has subscribed to this con yet again and has also given out our childrens personal details to a third party without consent. As a mum whose child struggles and does not achieve easily I have been made to feel cruddy for not praising his wonderful achievement. All 25 'entries' submitted from his class were 'selected'. This is not a competition and I would argue has little educational merit. Schools can do much better using other resources that do not involve parents being tricked into buying over priced publications. We warn our children of the dangers of the internet and to be aware of falling for online scams etc, how scary is it when the people we trust to educate our children freely pass on their personal details and cannot spot what is clearly a money making ruse that thrives on parents and childrens emotions.

Angelwalking2012 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:10:59

Stephen Kings books sell for less money than our childrens pieces. Bet he's wishing he submitted his books to this firm who can charge so much ! Can you believe our books sell for more than famous authors ? No. Neither can I !

Angelwalking2012 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:43

Well,its now in Scotland. We certainly had not heard of it until it dropped through post today.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 28-Jun-13 21:44:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Angelwalking2012 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:37:03

If in fact this company are doing this out of care for the children...why are they OVER pricing the book ? Having worked in a bookshop I know full well how much it costs to make a book. Now all the books we get in are priced around £5.99-7.99 for paperbacks. A4 books cost around £11 selling price . HOWEVER this includes price that goes towards the "writers". May I put to this company,now trading under different name that the price is NOT paying the writers as you are taking the work from kids. Round of applause I do so hope whilst they dine on fine things that indeed the parents have paid for , you realize parents are not all stupid. Wording the award letters stating " Your child's work has been selected " in a competition is in fact a lie. Competition means they are competing for something which in fact is a lie. EVERY child in the class gets "selected". Gosh, how do you possibly decide of a class of 30 that 30 pupils get published ? ... Ahem... Furermore local publishers can print books at a profit for £5 so I would dearly like to know who prints your books at such a very high price ? Hardback books are more expensive yet your format is the 'cheaper' version. I would send this to you to print in on one of your many competitions online but I am more do we say " Advanced " and do things digital ;)

Tanyad Wed 24-Apr-13 15:18:31

Just an update, i emailed Young Writers and asked for a full refund, and low and behold, they replied after a couple of days and refunded me via paypal, with no questions asked!

Tanyad Wed 17-Apr-13 15:49:25

I am really miffed at myself for not googling this first! I to had the letter through about the "Talent For Writing". I thought this was a real thing as it came through the school!

Unfortunately i had paid via paypal without looking into this first as i thought it would be genuine (until my daughter came home yesterday and told me most of the class got one!)

I intend to email the company to see if they will refund my money, if not i will be lodging a dispute via paypal to get my money back!

I will keep you posted, hopefully it wont get to that.

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