Young Writers question to parents

I know this isn't a running question but I just wanted some feedback.

My son came home from school yesterday and one of his poems had been selected to be published by a book an organisation called Young Writers. We were asked to sign a permission slip and to obtain a copy of the book all we need to do is to send £15.99 plus £2.50 P&P. I contacted them and asked if each selected child would receive a free copy but the answer to that was a very firm no as the books are printed to order, which suggested that If I order a book, they will then print one off. They then said I would be able to obtain one off Amazon, Smiths and Waterstones - which suggested then that the print to order comment was boll*x - Has anyone else with school age children had anything to do with them?  Is it just a money marketing scam targeting gullible parents.

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Comments

  • If it's going to be on Amazon it'll be a lot less than £15.99 - there's one there that looks like it might be from the same people that's £6.59.  Either way, I can't see anyone buying it beyond the parents of the kids involved, which basically makes it a money marketing scam targeting gullible parents.

    Better still, print out his poem yourself, get him to sign it and hey presto, when he's Poet Laureate it'll be worth something.

  • sounds like one of those wonderful ways to get parents to buy it...

    its a bit like the local choir inviting a school choir to do a few songs during their concert so that the parents all have to buy tickets to their concert..........works every time image

  • Cheers Dave, just wanted to know if anyone else had heard about these people - I received an email reply back from the company and the spelling and grammar was atrocious. Wilkie would have had a field day - 

    I have got a copy of the poem which (whispers is cr*p) but will have a look at Amazon if it ever gets published.

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Yes it's a money making scam - or a business idea depending on your point of view. 

    I think our eldest did something similar but from memory it was smaller scale and cheaper - this was a few years back.  Think my mum did buy a copy.

    You do get print ro order books through Amazon though as my youngest bro had a novel on there on that basis - no doubt Waterstones etc are the same.  The only people buying the poetry book are likely to be parents of the kids though - not sure if maybe agreeing to buy a copy is a condition of being in the book.  

     

    X-post - basically what they said

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a Scam, albeit a legal one, to me.
  • Dave's right. 

    It's a kind of vanity publishing, they target adult writers like this too but obviously with children it's it's more likely to make you part with your cash.

    I hope your son isn't too upset. There are several children's poetry competitions run nationally which he could enter. If his poetry has merit it might not necessarily end in publication but it could end in a proper prize of some description.

     

  • I don't think buying a book is a pre-requisite to it being published so we have given permission but certainly won't buy it - Not sure if he is upset - didn't seem to worried to be honest as the poem was written a few months ago about Pokemon which he now hates!!! -

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • Grendel - My son was also 'selected' for inclusion in the book.

    In fact, every single person in his class was 'selected' for inclusion in the book.  If you ask around, I would bet money on this being true at your child's school too.

    It is a scam, insofar as parents are made to feel that their beloved son/daughter has acheived literary greatness.  Which parent isn't going to by five copies to hand out to family members because they are so proud that their child has been 'specially selected' for publication - right?

    Buying a copy is, as far as I know, a condition of being included in the final publication.

    I actually find the whole thing pretty distasteful, and won't be buying a copy.

    I think the schools also need to take a look at themselves for allowing this to take place - but then they no doubt get a kickback from Young Writers.

    Out of interest, did you ever give the school your permission to hand over your child's name to this company?

  • Ah, vanity publishing. A business that makes money from peoples dreams.....

    http://www.youngwriters.co.uk/scam.php

    It's not a scam, of course, as they say. But it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

  • That's what I was wondering Pudge - how did the publishers get hold of the OP's son's poem in the first place?

  • so schools are getting a handf out for the most number of parents they can con to give the money...........

    surely a better and more honest fundreaiser would be for the school to produce a publication themselves and sell so that all the money goes to the school and the kids can still see their work in print.....

    they include all work irrespective of merit so that just means they are doing a scam as they are still making parents think their kids poem is of a level to be published

  • Wilkie wrote (see)

    That's what I was wondering Pudge - how did the publishers get hold of the OP's son's poem in the first place?

    Because the schools are in cahoots with the publishers, and I reckon they will receive  some sort of commission from the publishers:

    1 - for supplying the names in the first place; and

    2 - for encouraging as many parents as possible to sign up to it.

    Call me a cynic, but I don't reckon I'm far wrong. 

  • seren nos wrote (see)

    so schools are getting a handf out for the most number of parents they can con to give the money...........

    surely a better and more honest fundreaiser would be for the school to produce a publication themselves and sell so that all the money goes to the school and the kids can still see their work in print.....

    they include all work irrespective of merit so that just means they are doing a scam as they are still making parents think their kids poem is of a level to be published

    Totally agree Seren.

    The schools will argue that they need to pounce on every opportunity to raise funds, but they need to draw a line somewhere.

  • Must be the same scammers that take pictures of your kids at school and then charge 12 pounds for you to have the photo. 

  • Pudge - I suspect if I ask around all kids that wrote a poem will have been selected

    I am guessing that the school has supplied the childrens work to these people - I have contacted the school and emailed them a copy of a link I found for an article in the Guardian a few years ago - Since that article was published the company went bust - (their words in an email reply) and have since re-established their reputation!!!!

    I know the school will get a complimentary copy but there must be something else in it for them and I am guessing that commission is the answer. I like Serens idea that the school do it themselves. In fact I like that idea so much I am going to suggest it to the school!!!!

  • Grendel3 wrote (see)

    Pudge - I suspect if I ask around all kids that wrote a poem will have been selected

    I am guessing that the school has supplied the childrens work to these people - I have contacted the school and emailed them a copy of a link I found for an article in the Guardian a few years ago - Since that article was published the company went bust - (their words in an email reply) and have since re-established their reputation!!!!

    I know the school will get a complimentary copy but there must be something else in it for them and I am guessing that commission is the answer. I like Serens idea that the school do it themselves. In fact I like that idea so much I am going to suggest it to the school!!!!

    Totally agree!

  • Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)

    Must be the same scammers that take pictures of your kids at school and then charge 12 pounds for you to have the photo. 

    Do schools still do that?  Why on earth, when the world and his wife has a camera these days?

    I used to hate school photos - they were always horrible image

  • Yes wilkie they still do it - and still charge an arm and a leg for them.

    Have just had this reply from the school.

    Thank you for your e-mail and I do understand the concerns you have raised.  It is disappointing that the children to do not get their own free copy, however one of our key priorities at the moment is to improve standards in writing and research shows that it is highly motivating for children to write for a real purpose and to see their work published. It was for these reasons that we felt it would be beneficial for the children to enter the competition. The children were thrilled and extremelyproud  that their poem had been selected for the book and as a result they now see themselves as 'writers'. The school does get a free copy which will be kept in the school library for all the children to enjoy

  • I absolutely hate these cynical scams that pretend to be respectable by going through gullible schools!!!!!!!!!! image  

    There are others, such as additional "tutoring" which are no more than overpriced web sites with less information than your average book.  They make everything look like it has been endorsed by the school and produce letters that are usually brought home in childrens book bags (which should be renamed "junk mail bags"). It makes me angry that the schools are complicit in sending out such tat on the promise of some commission. You'd think headteachers would have more brains.

    Edit: and the response received by Grendel shows exactly how gullible they are! Pass the sick bucket image

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    With the photos the reason I stopped getting ours isn't the money it's because they make them pose is silly ways rather than sat up straight looking at the camera.  The latest one is them chin on their hands leaning on a sheepskin rug ffs.  

    Our youngest pair's end of primary year photo has some kids sat down, others leaning on others, others back to back etc - what's wrong with lining them allup tallest at the back?

    if Michael Gove wants to go back to basics on that I'm right with him.

  • Grendel3 wrote (see)

    Yes wilkie they still do it - and still charge an arm and a leg for them.

    Have just had this reply from the school.

    Thank you for your e-mail and I do understand the concerns you have raised.  It is disappointing that the children to do not get their own free copy, however one of our key priorities at the moment is to improve standards in writing and research shows that it is highly motivating for children to write for a real purpose and to see their work published. It was for these reasons that we felt it would be beneficial for the children to enter the competition. The children were thrilled and extremelyproud  that their poem had been selected for the book and as a result they now see themselves as 'writers'. The school does get a free copy which will be kept in the school library for all the children to enjoy

    Did they mention how much they earn out of it?

  • Of course not!!!!!

  • That's reply is bullsh*t Grendel - as Seren says they could have knocked something up themselves pretty cheaply and given the kids the same sense of achievement.

    "Write anything and we'll publish it" might be "motivating" but what does it actually do to improve the kid's standards? It also seems to be a pretty poor life-lesson. image

     

     

  • The school's reply mentions a competition - how many of those who entered the 'competition' were 'selected for the book', I wonder?

    Call me a cynical old bag (not ALL at once, please!), but I'd guess they all were.    

    I'd ask the school that question, just out of devilment image

     

  • I have just said exactly the same thing in my reply - I do understand, given the mess the previous joint head teachers left the school in, what the new head is trying to achieve and how she wants to build the kids confidence and standards - but I just htink there are better ways to do it. And I have also suggested that they do it themselves.

  •  I did suggest that they had all been selected (no comment) but I have only spoken to one other parent and guess what her daughter was also selected!!! 

    I won't call you cynical or an old bag Wilkie as I thought exactly the same thing when I read the note last night and got into trouble for not being prepared to stump up the cash!!!. Which is why I have spent a lot, of an admittedly very slow morning at work, trawling through the Internet and emailing the school and the company. 

    BTW this is the reply from young writers - if this is an example of their writing standards it doesn't give much hope.

    "We print to order for customers, retail stores buy orders in there hundreds where they get a discount.
    2010 our company went bust and that is when we received bad press for not getting orders sent out.
    When we got took over by Bonacia we honored all orders and sent them out.
    as I have stated no fee is required to get your child's work published and you can view the book at the school once they receive their complementary copy"

    Incidently that email went straight into Spam!!!!

     

  • It reminds me: I was runner up in a poetry competition when I was about 17. I entered it in my own free time, wrote the poem in my own free time and was quite happy with the gift vouchers I was sent as a prize.

    Then the school found out - they got the local paper round, interviewed me and had them take my photo in the school library because it made them look good. I should have told them to f*ck right off, but hindsight's a wonderful thing...

  • Grendel3 wrote (see)

    "We print to order for customers, retail stores buy orders in there hundreds where they get a discount. 

    2010 our company went bust and that is when we received bad press for not getting orders sent out.
    When we got took over by Bonacia we honored all orders and sent them out.
    as I have stated no fee is required to get your child's work published and you can view the book at the school once they receive their complementary copy"
     

    For gawds sake - hopefully the author of that email won't be given any pre-publication proof reading duties!

  • The standard of English in that email is atrocious!!!! [deleted expletives]... image 

  • image my thoughts too

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