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Young Writers' - The Poetry Trials (Do I buy the book?)

(9 Posts)
urbanfox1337 Sat 05-Mar-16 20:57:47

DC Y9 got letter in post today saying they had 'won' a competition to have their poetry published. Obviously very proud, certificate on wall etc.

Neither my DC nor me knew poem was being entered in the competition, it was just another homework. DC was surprised they had won this 'competition', as in they opinion it was a crap 50 words poem they had spent five minutes on (I agree its a pretty crap poem). It started to dawn on me that the letter is almost the hard sell of an expensive 'softback', £18 for 1 or £34 for 3 (incl P&P).

So I did some research, can anyone verify/contradict any of this?

School did not get consent to share my private data/address with a business, is this legal? Its not a competition as 80+% of entrants 'win' and are published in regional/area books, could be tens of thousands of poems published. The company makes 95% of its revenue from these 'competitions' and its single shareholder (Ian Walton) is very well remunerated. The poems are limited to 50 words to save on ink costs. The books are sent bulk to schools to save on P&P. They target different schools every year to maximise take up.

Ian Walton was arrested for the fraud of taking money for these books from parents, never sending them out and then liquidating his company 'Forward Press' four years ago, owing two million pounds. Google his name and 'some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe'. Last year Ian's current company 'Bonacia' bought 'Forward Press' for £1, so he still owns the rights to the name 'Young Writers'.

Is this fraud or just 'vanity poetry'? is the school complicit? and given DC was so chuffed should I buy the books. WWYD?

SelfRaisingFlour Sat 05-Mar-16 21:55:34

There have been other threads about this. I suggest you do a search on Young Writers on here and on Google. Basically everyone wins the "competition" and parents get guilted into buying the books.

My school set the "competition" for homework and I sent the head and literacy teacher a number of links about Young Writers and told them that my children wouldn't be entering. They defended it, but it did go quiet after that.

urbanfox1337 Sat 05-Mar-16 22:32:36

Thanks. SelfRaising. Did read previous MN, they are all zombie threads and wondered if anyone had more up to date info. Do you thing your school knew it was a scam?

ohtobeanonymous Sun 06-Mar-16 05:14:30

They are well known scammers but for some reason, some schools keep using them to publish children's work - must tick some box somewhere for something!

Don't buy it - if DC wants to keep the poem, they send the 'proof' page (or at least they used to).

Waste of money!!

HPFA Sun 06-Mar-16 07:49:53

My DP insisted on buying a similar book even though I pointed out it was a waste of money. But DD did enjoy seeing her work in print. If you think your DC would enjoy having it you could just buy it as a birthday present, although you may understandably dislike the idea of giving money to these people!

lilypocket Wed 12-Oct-16 17:36:36

My daughter won a competition also and they said her poem would be published in the September 2016 edition. I would have to send a cheque for I think £16.99. Haven't decided yet if I want to go ahead as reading all these reviews has me worried that its a scam. Obviously I can't buy this anywhere else apart from the Young writers website. Any suggestions please.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 13-Oct-16 18:12:28

There's no winning involved, they just publish whatever people will pay for! Dd's poem was really completely crap - a couple of dozen words that she'd dashed off - and she was pissing herself at the idea of it winning anything grin

Leeds2 Thu 13-Oct-16 19:06:34

I think most DC, certainly by Year 9, realise that it is a complete and utter joke.

Never sure whether the school got any "kick back" from forwarding entries.

NotYoda Thu 13-Oct-16 20:34:32

Our school did this a couple of years ago. It's extremely misleading - every piece of work got published in a cheap-looking expensive book

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