Why not be a writaaaaaargh?

The “Why not be a writer?” ads are everywhere, and while most of the success stories are crap – “I’ve had three letters published in Bathwater Collector Monthly!” – others are more impressive: sign up for this course and you could get a £25K advance for your novel!

Many such claims, though, seem to be – fittingly enough – made up, as this superb post from The Triforce shows:

Or there’s Jon Eagle, whose testimony mentions that he was paid an advance of £25,000 for this. Except that’s published by Minerva Press, which is a vanity press that was closed down in 2002 according to Wikipedia (which is a website resource for journalists, in case you haven’t heard of it).