Young Writers, Bonacia Ltd., Forward Press Ltd.
Young Writers is an organisation that operates supposedly with the blessing of local schools, however it may be that the schools are not aware of the past history of the directors of the company.
When you hear the name 'The Waltons', most people of a certain age will think of the sweet American family TV series of the 70s based in Virginia. However the Waltons who are associated with Young Writers are far from the impoverished characters of the TV series.
According to newspaper reports the self styled 'People's Publisher' Forward Press Ltd. (who also claimed to be "the largest publisher of new poetry in the world") "crushed the dreams of thousands of aspiring authors across Britain and Spain, most of them children."
According to Financial Mail Women's Forum:
"It took their parents' money on the promise of printing their words and artwork but then went bust. More than 95 per cent of the company's revenues came from its Young Writers literary competitions, which were held in 31,500 British secondary and primary schools and nurseries.
The bulk of submissions - including entries from writers as young as three - were declared 'winners' and the proud parents were offered the chance to pay up to £16 for a book including their child's work.
But customers of the publisher were disappointed when months later their books did not arrive. Now, with teachers, parents and children still nursing their disappointment and their losses, the publisher is already back in business"
Due to the luxurious lifestyles of the Waltons and their relatives(who had taken almost half a million £s in salaries from the company) and the mounting debts of the company, the £2,000,000 in revenues generated from parents who were paying to see their children's poems, stories and artwork in print was gone.
Ian Walton voluntarily liquidated Forward Press on November 5th 2010 avoiding the taxman's £470,000 tax bill as well as avoiding the committments to parents and children of promised books and refunds. The move also reportedly left £214,000 of unpaid redundancy claims and 70 people without work.
The European arm of the company Forward Press Europe is under investigation by the Spanish Police as of December 2010 with Ian Walton being arrested in February 2011 at Malaga airport by the Spanish Civil Guard.
Now the Waltons are trading under the name Bonacia Ltd. and still using
the name 'Young Writers' which had been bought as an asset from Forward
Press for the sum of £1 when Forward Press went into liquidation.
The new company is sending out letters which contain the words "please note that all orders are delivered to your child's school" giving a sense of security about the arrangement. Clearly you should investigate exactly what involvement your school has with the arrangements and ask them if they know of the background of the Waltons. You may find that when they check for themselves the school will decide to dissassociate themselves from the company.
Parents beware of Bonacia Ltd. and the name Young Writers, if you receive a letter from this organisation stating that your child's poems or artwork has been selected to be published and that you can order the book in advance, the best advice may to be to put it straight in the bin.
I would just like to say thank you for informing us of the situation regarding Young Writers. I passed all the information onto our Headteacher. I am sure you have received the letter she sent to you and all of the other children's parents involved. We also put a notice onto our VLE.
We were not aware of this situation and were very shocked by it as we and any other S-------t Schools and more nationwide have been using Young Writers for many years. The legal team at the Town Hall have also been informed to enable them to inform other S-------t Schools of the situation.
Ironically we have just received this year's pack from Young Writers who are obviously still trading! I can assure you that it has been put in the bin and M-------d Primary School has disassociated itself from this company!
One question that has to be asked, if some teachers and schools still entertain working with Bonacia and Forward Press even with the amount of information that is available regarding the working practices of the company, do they also have something to gain from the way they do business?
As the saga of possible fraud and scamming has gone on some schools appear
not to care what happens to the parents money. For instance when a concerned
parent tried to contact the people responsible at Wellington School, Timperley,
Altrincham, in the Trafford area, the responce was less than positive, in
fact there was no responce at all after 2 messages were left, one message
was left for the English teacher Mrs R------d on her voicemail and one message
left at reception for the Headmistress.
As time goes on it will be the parents and children that will suffer.
Shame on those involved.
I've submitted two poems to Forward Poetry & Poetry Rivals (Banacia Press Ltd) to be included in two books to be published in October and ordered three copies at a cost of £68 paying by chegue. I found out this evening that this company is owned by the Morgan Family , formerly Forward Press. I've sent them an email cancelling my order . I will let you know the outcome .
D.A.L. - July 2012
I have received a letter, direct to my home none the less, from this company.
When i googled and found ( quite easily i might add) out that the reputation of this company was bad, i took my findings to the school along with asking them why they thought they had my permission to release my sons personal details and his home address. The school denied that they released my sons address to this company and have had a whole week to inform other parents of 'winning' pupils that this company isnt trustworthy.
So far the school have issued me a handwritten letter of apology for releasing my sons address, as they realised that no one else could possibly be to blame for this but have not issued warnings to the other parents which i find disgusting.
K.S. - January 2013
On 03/12/2014 I paid you £33.98 for books containing a poem submitted by K---- B------ at South Hykeham Primary School. We were told these would be delivered, to the school, during February 2015 but to date we have not received these books. I would therefore request you notify me urgently what has happened to prevent me taking action.
D. B - March 2015
I ordered my book online and paid £2 postage I made a note of the date 31st March it nevere arrived but luckily I paid by paypal so I opened a claim , the company reply that it would be sent to the school after the Easter break. I explained that I paid for postage so I expected it to be delivered directly to me . They said If I cancelled the claim they would post direct to me I said I will have a refund and I will be contacting the school to complain. I don't think the books wil be there after Easter either.
JM - April 2015