Theft

I regret that “New Writers Forum” has recently announced itself.

I regret it because they are no such thing. They are new grouping, with a history, trying to steal the name. I dealt with this matter in a recent email to the WF email list saying that I hoped the new group would just get on with it and that there would be no need to mention it again.

Unfortunately, they ignored my reply to them and have gone ahead using the name Writers Forum. They seem to think that having turned up a few times, in some cases, many times in one case once, they are Writers Forum.

I feel there is no choice but to defend what was given into my charge by the man who ran the organisation and to which the secessionists have no claim. [Their argument seems to be that it should be “democratic” and that, as they are in a majority though self-appointed, they are in charge.]

The world at large may ask: Why are you arguing about who owns a poetry series?

Indeed. The sad answer is: on their side, Careerism. There is apparently a tremendous kudos in being attached to Writers Forum. I found out over the summer that there are a number of poets who never turn up who at least allow people to think they attend. They do nothing for WF.

I feel that I have no choice but to speak out. What is the point of working on a project — and I have spent hours today — if you do not defend it?

Personally, as opposed to the convenor of wf, I ask What is the point of writing poetry if you cheat and tell lies?

The newbies seem to think What is the point of setting something up when you can pretend to be / steal what exists. Very 2010

I’ll try not to let this swamp the work of WF and will make some brief remarks in the forthcoming emailing.

The following is the response I have made to the announcement. I imagine now that the excreta will fly. I have seen it before. I have been hit by it before.

“I am very upset to note that a new series of Writers Forum Workshop has been announced by people who are in no position to do so.

Some ex-attendees and non-attendees of the Writers Forum workshop wrote to me after the series started and announced that they were worried about the future of the series, that they were taking over elsewhere and did I want to talk about it.

I wrote back at some length explaining why I had been available to discuss BEFORE they took action but saw no point in talking after they had decided to leave.

I object to being mugged

I chided them for spreading disinformation about the existing and persisting series having closed. I asked them not to fight for the title of WF.

I wished them all the best for the new workshop and suggested that they follow the principles which Writers Forum has followed and developed over many years. But would they please use a title of their own?

It would be a pity if they are unable to think of a new title of their own.

It is a shame if they are hoping to fool people into thinking that they are legitimate in using the title.

We are so few. Can we not avoid another poetry war? The last one was a shambles and failed because of, amongst other things, personal ambition.

I understand the desire to be known for what one has done; but to be known for what other people have done and pretend you did is more than sad. It is dishonest. But very zeitgeist.

It is a tribute to Writers Forum that my ex colleagues want to pretend to be it; but it will make the whole thing look foolish

Couldn’t they, at the least, call themselves _Real Writers Forum_ or _Continuity Writers Forum_?

How about _We’re more innovative than you are_?

Writers Forum is to be found at wfuk.org.uk/blog

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