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Young Writers...such a con, feel so stupid!!!!

(20 Posts)
hulahoopsilove Mon 15-Dec-14 11:13:48

OMG DS age 9 sent off his story to Young Writers to receive a letter saying an extract was being published and that he could have a copy for �15.99.

Was so proud as he has struggled last year with his writing and he really put 110% into this piece of work.

I even went to see the Head today saying how proud I was only for him to tell me that it was one huge con, they dont do this anymore as they have found that every child gets this "your child has been chosen to have their work published"

I feel so stupid and embaressed I bet the Head thinks stupid pushy parent!!!!

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 15-Dec-14 11:15:55

Most likely the head feels more embarrassed than you do, because it sounds like the dishonesty over how it was presented is precisely the reason they stopped doing it.
And if he doesn't, he should.

KarenHillavoidJimmyswarehouse Mon 15-Dec-14 11:18:17

I think HT is right but your son doesn't have to know this. If he has put so much effort in, would there be any harm in buying the book anyway so he can feel a sense of achievement? Preumably he'd only show it to people like his grandparents etc? On the other hand he may want to take it in to shoe and tell which could be awkward (but manageable I'm sure).

I bet the HT doesn't feel you're stupid or pushy. I bet he is angry at this kind of gimmick.

KarenHillavoidJimmyswarehouse Mon 15-Dec-14 11:18:54

*show and tell.

hulahoopsilove Mon 15-Dec-14 11:23:40

We did it independant outside of school not done through school - they stopped this years ago the Head said when say 100 pupils submitted work and 100 pupils got "the" letter!!!

The Head said that to show DS and get him to see him tomorrow and he will give him lots of praise...as it will boost his confidence also as he did it independantly outside of school he is the only one to get a letter

AmeliaPeabody Mon 15-Dec-14 11:33:04

I didn't know Young Writers were still going. Lots of people have been taken in by them, recalling old posts on here. And some schools still use them. It's not really a scam, I'd say, but a form of vanity publishing.

The parents at the school my friend sends her children to refused to pay for the book. Though that was a few years ago now

SapphireMoon Mon 15-Dec-14 12:39:34

Our school did this once. I fell for it as did many other parents.
Not been done at our school since.
Sure Head does not think you are stupid. They have fallen for it too in the past so know how easy it is to be conned.
Still congratulate your son on being in print though.

DeWee Mon 15-Dec-14 13:46:51

Amelia I would say it is a scam because it's presented as a competition. If they said "we're doing a book of poetry for the South of England and your child can have a poem in it if they want to". That's one thing.
But they present it as a competition... "we had 40 000 entries and 4 000 winners are in this book" I seem to remember. What they don't tell you is that the 40 000 is all over UK, and you get the regional book.

It's cleverly worded to fool parents (and yes, schools too) into thinking it's a genuine competition and their child is one of a few. Only after they've gone into school and found all (or all bar 1 or 2, which are clearly selected randomly) are in, it becomes clear. they even send it to your home addresses rather than giving out through school so parents have often ordered the books before they find out. If they are challenged, they can say it's all true, but the way it's presented gives a different image.

OP, you're not the only one to be fooled. I remember when my dc's schools did it, fb was full of photos of proud parents, saying they were buying x numbers of books, going out for a meal to celebrate etc.... until the sheer volume of children getting it gradually dawned on people. I was lucky, I'd come across it before and so knew about it when it arrived.

AmeliaPeabody Mon 15-Dec-14 14:03:25

Yes, fair point, Dewee. They don't seem to present exactly what it is in the most honest light. It's probably misleading at best.

hulahoopsilove Mon 15-Dec-14 15:27:15

I felt so proud then so deflated when the Head informed me of it and then felt so embarressed!!!! Im still going to show my DS and the Head has told me to tell him to go and show him so that's nice but how silly of me not to pick up on this

TheReluctantCountess Mon 15-Dec-14 15:37:41

My pupils like to enter, and we have had kids that have entered and not had work selected.

DeWee Mon 15-Dec-14 16:11:37

My experience of my dc's schools is that they pick 1-2 per form not to be picked to preserve the illusion of competition. On the basis that the children who weren't picked were not the ones who would struggle at such things, I suspect it's randomly picked. Heck, in my dc's school one poem wasn't even finished and it got "picked" to be in.

I think that is actually worse than giving them all-just think how those dc feel when they find that not only did theirs not win, but nearly everyone elses did. Really humiliating for a child.

9Bluedolphins Mon 15-Dec-14 16:14:20

I had to explain to my DD's school that this was a con, as they thought it was a big deal that my DD and some others were getting their work published! I refused to buy the book, but the school bought it.

KarenHillavoidJimmyswarehouse Mon 15-Dec-14 16:19:47

OP you're not the only one to be conned. See this thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/education/a1163112-Really-cross-with-school-Young-Writers

Greyhound Mon 15-Dec-14 16:31:20

This makes me so angry.

I am a published poet myself and know that any poetry "competition" that offers regular prizes etc is a scam - put simply, no genuine poetry magazine / publisher could afford to do this.

It's bad enough when adults are conned, but scamming a child is just wicked.

Nothing wrong with vanity publishing, as long as it doesn't pretend to be anything else.

Callmegeoff Mon 15-Dec-14 19:28:55

I fell for it too and ordered two copies but to be fair to the company I was able to cancel my order and get a full refund.

mrz Mon 15-Dec-14 19:34:15

Lots of schools have been taken in by these "competitions" over the years so there is no need to feel stupid. The head has learnt from experience.

hulahoopsilove Tue 16-Dec-14 15:50:43

Told DS today and he was over the moon...couldnt wait to show his class teacher. I told him to pop along to the head teacher and also wrote a wuick note to his class teacher explaining that I'd spoken to head and that I knew it was a con but hadnt let on to DS - any form of praise can only do good Im thinking and as we'd done this at home and not as a class he is the minority ... he really was happy though and def boosted his confidence!

Heels99 Tue 16-Dec-14 15:57:07

Your HT sounds fab, and £15.99 to boost your child's confidence seems a small price to pay. Yes it's a con but if it gets your son writing then perhaps it has achieved its purpose?!

velourvoyageur Tue 16-Dec-14 15:57:25

My school did something like that and not everyone got a letter, maybe 75% did.....
One of the brightest kids, best all rounder, in the year didn't get one.

I think it's lovely he's so pleased with it hula must be nice for you to see him smile

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