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Really cross with school - Young Writers

(123 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!


OP’s posts: |
CameronCook Thu 03-Mar-11 10:36:59

Not sure if it was the same company but yes something similar happened in our school - letters saying your child has had work published etc etc - parents really pleased, forked out a lot of money only to find that the whole class had actually had their work published so it wasn't quite the unique specially selected chosen work that it first appeared to be.

DS was off that week so missed out on becoming a published writer but lots of parents did complain and it didnt happen again.

flybynight Thu 03-Mar-11 10:39:08

We had exactly the same situation. I did pay for the book, but it never arrived, I never got an answer on the phone or via email. I was hopping mad.

meditrina Thu 03-Mar-11 10:44:52

I would be irate if a school passed on personal information without consent. At worst it's a breach of the Data Protection Act, and is definitely poor practice. Anyone know if it's a safeguarding "fail"? Especially as it's a repeat event?

CameronCook Thu 03-Mar-11 11:19:23

IIRC the letters came from school which is slightly different to your situation.

CameronCook Thu 03-Mar-11 11:19:43

But yes I would be furious with school giving out personal info without permission

rollinginthedeep Thu 03-Mar-11 11:30:07

Something similar happened at our school but we were given copies/snippets of what our childrens' work before buying the book.

I didn't buy the book because DS was only 5 and I knew that he hadn't written the poem! It was the teachers who were asking questions and filling in the answers!

cumbria81 Thu 03-Mar-11 11:38:38

I had this as an adult. Submitted a poem, received a letter saying it's been selected for publication, when I looked into it the book was enormous so I knew they must have selected everyone's and it's just a cash cow. Steer clear.

propatria Thu 03-Mar-11 12:22:51

These are nothing more than vanity publishers,schools should have nothing to do with them

pinkgirlythoughts Sat 05-Mar-11 10:29:28

When we did this at our school, all of the children were listed as having the school as their address, so no personal details were passed on.

And we as a school also fell into the trap of going "wow, that's amazing, 87 children have been selected to be published in the book! Hang on a minute, how many children are in the year group? Oh, that's right... 87" grin

BehindLockNumberNine Sat 05-Mar-11 10:37:59

They are vanity publishers who make money by pulling on parent's heartstrings. "Buy this book, your child is in it...amazing opportunity..." etc
Nothing to do with genuine achievement, after all the whole yeargroup gets published.

Dd's old school did this last year and lots of us parents agreed not to buy the book.

Don't buy the book! Honestly. It is a rip off and a bit of a con imo.

Choose another one of your child's creations, buy an IKEA frame, frame it and hang it on the wall. Your child will be just as pleased having their work on show and admired.

As for the school passing on your address, yes, that is something to take up with the school.
We did and as far as I know the school are not doing any more Young Writers stuff.

mrz Sat 05-Mar-11 12:56:08

We were "conned" by one of these companies into believing it was a real competition until the order forms turned up (we didn't give out home addresses) so I simply binned the lot!

bettyboop1 Sun 06-Mar-11 12:28:54

Good for you mrz. I have been sucked in by this too. Ended up paying £30 for 3 books. Thinking that it was a great achievement for dd to have poetry publishes when in fact the whole class virtually made it.

UnquietDad Sun 06-Mar-11 12:34:30

These appalling people again. I have had ongoing correspondence with them, which I'm happy to share if anybody wants to see it.

Basically, they are different branches of a vanity press based in East Anglia. They've targeted adult writers in the past under names like Forward Press and New Writing. They've moved into schools in a predatory way in the past few years. AVOID!!

Hassled Sun 06-Mar-11 12:35:58

I fell for this scam last year. And it really is a scam. So unfair - DS2 was of the opinion his poem had genuinely "won" something.

mrsrizza Tue 08-Mar-11 17:16:17

Hi all don't know if anyone knows anymore than me, but I have recently read that this company have gone bust taking my £33 with it. If anyone has any phone numbers for this company where they have actually managed to speak to someone it would be much appreciated if they could forward to me. cheers

Themumsnot Tue 08-Mar-11 17:25:15

Interesting reading here

cat64 Tue 08-Mar-11 19:26:02

Message withdrawn

activate Tue 08-Mar-11 19:26:58

marketing scam

don't buy

complain vociferously to head

UnquietDad Tue 08-Mar-11 22:23:54

That article is fascinating but

"Glenys Bowel, an English amateur poet living in Canada..."

"Glenys Bowel" ?! Sounds like a name The Daily Mash would use!

jamesjoyce Fri 18-Mar-11 13:15:46

Got letter from Young Writers 17.3.11 saying that they had had twenty thousand stories submitted from the UK and abroad and our daughter's work had been chosen for publication. Easy for proud parents not to see beyond the weasel words but I was immediately suspicious especially when I saw the price (£15.99), the 2 for 3 offer and the pressure to buy before publication, when the offer closed.

As I looked at my daughters certificate from Young Writers with its legend 'a creative piece of distinction', I thought for sure that the parents of twenty thousand kids throughout the country would be looking at these too.

The letter states that the children had the added challenge of using 50 words or less in their story. It's tempting to swell with parental pride at your child's skill isn't it and not realize that Young Writers are merely trying to get their printing costs down. I would like to write to these vanity publishers and say 'It's OK we don't want any books, my daughter will look at one of her mates books if they decide to buy'. However, I would bet a pound to a penny that if you don't buy the book , your child doesn't get published. I have also seen on other internet sites that some parents don't even get the books when they have paid for them.

tethersend Fri 18-Mar-11 13:19:50

There is definitely a safeguarding issue here. If a child was in care and had their name passed to this company, there would be hell to pay. Rightly so.

chesterfield Wed 23-Mar-11 18:18:23

interesting reading

dholik Sun 27-Mar-11 16:59:26

My god, is Young Writers still going? Exactly the same happened when I was a 9yo, and my parents bought the book etc only to find that about 95% of the class had had their poems published. It is just a huge scam.

zorro76 Tue 29-Mar-11 21:34:48

yep, scam, us poetry also, have passed on our knowledge to friends in years below. Surprised this the first time i've seen it discussed, it was clear it was a Beadle moment soon as I flipped through the book (s). Really really upset at our school sanctioning the scheme. Good scam though, i'm a dad on mumsnet so Iv'e not been totally honest either, live and learn x

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