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Thread: [Contest] Write4Fun / Australasian Publishing Group

  1. #1
    Sockpuppet Hunter MartyKay's Avatar
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    [Contest] Write4Fun / Australasian Publishing Group

    I have a primary school aged daughter. She wrote a poem and gave it to her teacher, who sent it off to "Write4Fun", a poetry competition.

    The mail delivers a letter to my daughter, telling her that she was good enough to be in the 2006 competition, which is all very exciting for a ten year old. There is a glossy pamphlet with the letter, offering for sale the 2006 Competition book. For $64. I feel a bit surprised about this...

    Caveats: I'm in Australia so thats AUD$ not US$, but still.

    The Write4Fun competition has a website: www.write4fun.net

    According to the site, the competition awards a first prize of $1000 and an XBOX (this years prize may be something else) to the first prize (with half the cash going to the school). It is doing this to "enhance the writing abilities of high and primary schools students throughout Australia and New Zealand and more recently, the United States of America." -- yes... they will also be running USA competitions too...

    The competition is run by "Australasian Publishing Group", who I've never heard of. The site was registered by someone who apparently works for Write4Fun.

    The $64 price tag (in Australian Dollars, mind you) is the INITIAL "Pre-Publication Special".

    Is this a great thing for kids to interest them in writing and poetry. Or... something else?
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  2. #2
    I heart Malamutes! :-) JerseyGirl1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartyKay
    The competition is run by "Australasian Publishing Group", who I've never heard of. The site was registered by someone who apparently works for Write4Fun.

    The $64 price tag (in Australian Dollars, mind you) is the INITIAL "Pre-Publication Special".

    Is this a great thing for kids to interest them in writing and poetry. Or... something else?
    MartyKay,

    Uh oh...I googled Australasian Publishing Group and came up with this:

    http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/pro.../LA20010920039

    That's from 2001, from the NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard. Seems a politician's son submitted something. According to the politician, the students were coerced into buying other packages, including one for AUS$149! (Okay, I'm an American and don't know what the exchange rate is, but it still seems excessive to me.)

    Sounds like it might indeed be a poetry.com for kids. I'd stay away.

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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    Wow, that's sick.

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    64 Australian dollars = about 48 US dollars (or 27 British pounds).

    149 Australian dollars = about 111 US dollars (62 British pounds).

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The school I am doing my preservice prac at submitted some students' stories to Write4fun. As soon as I saw the "congratulation" letters (and the enclosed flyers offering the books that their stories will be published in for sale), I thought "uh-oh, scam!"

    Looks like they use an MO straight from the pages of the International Library of Poetry (is that the right mob?).

    Sad thing is, these are kids who after receiving these letters from Write4fun think that their stories have been accepted for publication. How on earth do we break it to them that their stories were probably not even read and this business just wants their parents to purchase an overpriced book?

    It is so very sad.

    “I think it was John Lennon who said: “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans”, and that’s how I feel. Although he also said: “I am the Walrus I am the Eggman” so I don’t know what to believe”. Tim. The Office

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Mod35tBabe's Avatar
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    I just had to break it to my friend he'd been scammed by this company. Thank God for people diligent to uncovering these scams, because I looked it up and found this and a few other threads, I was able to tell my friend about the scam before they got any money out of him.
    Thanks
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    figuring it all out notwriting4free's Avatar
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    It seems to me my sister did something like this when she was young... was asked to buy a book after she submitted her poetry... and my sister is 29 now so this has been going on for years... Still I think as parents (some of us here anyway) we should let our schools know because they may not know how to look into these kinds of things. I know I will be telling my daughter's and sons' teachers.

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Write4Fun International Pty Ltd registered Aug 15 2008 (sic) as an Australian company. Director Iain Mervyn Sprod associated with about 30 companies ( some of which die and arise Phoenix-like in new guises) including Global Axcess Travel, Holiday & Travel Expo, Australasian Publishing Group and CLB Marketing (Australasia) Pty Ltd : latter involved in the infamous Club LaBourse Oceania Pty Ltd scam instituted by Brian Leslie Wates who has a similar track record in the UK.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Write4Fun scam + Australasian Publishing Group

    Enter the title into a search engine.
    Heathfield High School ,South Australia, in a newsletter, stated 39 prize winners out of 11 000 entries in Write4Fun short story competition in 2007.
    Write4Fun International Pty Ltd registered with ASIC 15/08/08; registered office in Bundall 4217.
    Could there be a school in Australia or New Zealand with pupils who haven't entered the various Write4Fun competitions ?
    Anybody belong to or have contact with a P & C ?

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Could TranSCRIBE09 be of the same ilk as Write4Fun ? The latter makes people suspicious of what might be genuine.
    Similar colourful handout distributed in schools for ages 12-15 and 16-19 yrs. "Young Writers Competition 2009", "I accept that the organisers will give me a free copy of the book ... if it has all or any part of my entry published in it."

  11. #11
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    This one? http://www.latinoamericaviva.com.au/...anscribe09.pdf

    Doesn't look like it, not the least because one actually gets a free copy out of it.
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  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The Black Dog Institute has assured me that the Transcultural Mental Health Centre (the organisation running TranSCRIBE ) is a not-for-profit, NSW (that's in Australia) state-wide government-run service.
    Worth supporting for those eligible in NSW.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    SCAM

    How easy is it to give out names, ages, sex of children to totally unknown people who can scam these kids through their parents. we give the schools no rights to send out the details of our kids to unknown and un-vetted organizations such as Write4fun.net! With the information available so easily online, with a simple Google to see that this website is a scam and the owner/ director would have no guilt to sell this information on. He has already scammed up a fortune and i was one who lost nearly $4000. If the schools fail to act on this scam then they are responsible for giving out/ or allowing the kids to give out their home addresses/ phone numbers to who know?
    Shame on parents for not Goggling the site and everyone who got letters should report them to the ACCC/ DFT and ACIC!
    Do the world a favor and report them.http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/...scamContactUs/
    Last edited by mykle95; 05-20-2009 at 05:53 AM.

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Write4Fun's latest foray into the pockets of Australia's doting parents is evidenced by emails sent to schools prior to midnight 30/06/09.
    "Kindergarten to Grade 12" can enter online, email, snailmail or fax. Entries close 21/08/09. Isn't Australasian Publishing Group the shareholder of Write4Fun and of CLB Marketing Australasia Pty Ltd ?
    Politicians, newspapers, Departments of Education and some schools have been alerted to those linkages. Before education bodies and newspapers continue encouraging pupils to enter Write4Fun competitions, it would be prudent to enter the following in a search engine : Write4Fun scam + Australasian Publishing Group. The Ninety Percent Perspiration posts are very illustrative.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Ok, so write4fun.net is definitely a scam... but what about write4fun.com? Is this the same thing, or is it different? And if they're different, is this one also a scam?

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    The page at write4fun.com is a search-engine trap that folks slap on expired domains to log clicks. I.e., not a real site.
    ICAO
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  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Contest] Write4Fun / Australasian Publishing Group

    ASIC website shows Australasian Publishing Group Pty Ltd, ABN 50 003 884 302, still registered, Locality of Registered Office Kellyville NSW 2155.
    Any mail to there forwarded to Queensland. Clever, eh ?
    Try this in a search engine : Write4Fun + Iain Mervyn Sprod.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I agree, they probably do not read the stories submitted. I once bought the Pieces of Paradise book and when I received it, I was flicking through to see what kind of stories and poems there were when one particular poem caught my eye. It is called "A Hundred Years Ago" and I must say as soon as I saw it, I thought of another poem I had seen in a bestseller. I read it and it turns out that it is exactly the same poem that Jeff Kinney created for one of his Diary of A Wimpy Kid books. So yes, either they don't read or they just don't mind what is submitted as long as it fits in with the conditions provided regarding the competition the book is for. I know that they do have conditions that they abide to for I once entered into one of their competitions however my story exceded the 500 word count and so I was not 'chosen' to have my story put into one of their books. It is a shame that so great an opportunity for young authors and poets and artists to have their work brought to light must contain a few scams.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post

    Sad thing is, these are kids who after receiving these letters from Write4fun think that their stories have been accepted for publication. How on earth do we break it to them that their stories were probably not even read and this business just wants their parents to purchase an overpriced book?

    It is so very sad.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    ASIC has notified that Iain Mervyn Sprod has ceased to be on the list of Barred/Disqualified persons.
    Write4Fun continues to flourish.
    Out of interest, have a look at Australasian Publishing Group.
    Last edited by jad81887; 02-07-2012 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Letter omitted.

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Write4Fun

    [QUOTE=CrystalFaye;6849538]I agree, they probably do not read the stories submitted. I once bought the Pieces of Paradise book and when I received it, I was flicking through to see what kind of stories and poems there were when one particular poem caught my eye. It is called "A Hundred Years Ago" and I must say as soon as I saw it, I thought of another poem I had seen in a bestseller. I read it and it turns out that it is exactly the same poem that Jeff Kinney created for one of his Diary of A Wimpy Kid books. So yes, story put into one of their books.

    Gee, one wonders if Jeff Kinney +/or his publisher, Amulet Books, would have any copyright concerns?

  21. #21
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Considering the way they stopped publication on DIARY OF A ZOMBIE KID, I'd say yes.


    Crystal Faye, I urge you to contact them.
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  22. #22
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    Just an update - the Department of Fair Trading has issued a press release labelling Australian Publishing Group (Blundall, Queensland) as a scam.

    I know - it's common knowledge. I'm just updating this thread for completeness.

    Web reference: http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/Co...ublishers.html

    Mac

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    ASIC website, re Club LaBourse Travel Pty Ltd : Strike-Off Action in Progress. Been in progress for years.
    Try in search engine: Club LaBourse Travel Pty Ltd + VCAT.

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