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Warning about sharing work

(32 Posts)
Punkatheart Fri 15-Jun-12 08:13:48

There is a terrible plagiarism story erupting, which will eventually appear in The Times and Writers' News. It has been sparked by a writer called Alex Keegan, who runs a site called Bootcamp (some may know him or have worked with him). He is a tough cookie - so he was horrified to find that someone had ripped off one of his long-ago published stories and was now selling it on Kindle. Stranger still, this person was an OU CREATIVE WRITING TUTOR, a person with a string of academic letters after her name. Further investigation found at least 13 pieces of work being offered on Kindle in her name that had been blatantly ripped off from other writers - including DYLAN THOMAS!

Much of the work from Amazon is now being taken down as she clearly tries to remove evidence. However, the OU have been informed and other writers have been up in arms. Some of the plagiarised work is fiction but there are also academic pieces there too.

The whole thing is clearly very strange and I am sure that a bigger story will emerge - there is more to this than fraud. If you wish to follow the tale, check out Alex's Twitter feed. If you are with OU on their writing course - please guard your work and always, always, be cautious about sharing work, particularly on the Internet. Sadly, plagiarism is rife and as writers we all know how much work is involved in our work.

If anyone has had experience of this woman, please PM me. I am not going to name her here but Alex has quite boldly done so. She really picked the wrong person to plagiarise - he is shouting it loudly! As so he should - it is so odd that the cliche 'stranger than fiction' really applies!

Abra1d Sun 17-Jun-12 13:08:29

The trouble is that you cannot be published and not show your work to people, hopefully tens of thousands of them!

Yes, I hope the backlash to this will not be too destructive. I can't help wondering if mental illness played a role in causing someone to do these things?

Punkatheart Fri 22-Jun-12 07:42:50

The story:

Punkatheart Fri 22-Jun-12 07:43:04

Tau Fri 22-Jun-12 08:50:41

Article in the Telegraph about this:

Tau Fri 22-Jun-12 08:51:52

Ah, sorry Punkatheart, I didn't see your post. I could only load this topic from an old link.. dunno why.

Freaky case!

Punkatheart Fri 22-Jun-12 12:55:12

No worries, Tau. If you tick the 'Convert links automatically' it will link it properly on any post.

I have a soft heart - so I am worried if this lady does indeed have issues. She must feel hunted and haunted right now. I have heard that people like her in person - so clearly there is an issue. Who knows? Maybe desperation for money, or adulation or just the pressure of life. I hope that it sorts itself out.

It keeps happening though - plagiarism in all spheres of the arts. Some more radical people call it sampling and say it is legitimate. But as a writer who works hard to dig out those original thoughts, characters and metaphors - it is frustrating. Writing is not easy. It is the best job in the world, but it takes talent and sweat. Intellectual theft is not a good thing and sadly, it makes some young writers reluctant to share their work - so they will never improve.

PetiteRaleuse Fri 22-Jun-12 14:30:38

There was a similar issue a few months ago - one of the victims blogged about it:

I don't understand why people would do something like that. Apart from the whole ethical issue of stealing surely they must know they will get caught out?

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