The tears behind my wedding day…

Emotional real life story appears in WOMAN’S OWN this week.

Story in Woman's Own magazine

Claire Faulkner's emotional story appears in Woman's Own this week...


In their wedding photos, Claire Faulkner, 40, looks like any other radiant bride as she marries husband Chris, 37.
But in fact, on their wedding day both she and Chris knew she was dying from cancer. Claire, a mum of two beautiful girls, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. It was devastating especially as it came at a time when her marriage was breaking up. She had a mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy and in January 2008 doctors gave her the all clear.
It was then she met an old friend again, Chris and they began dating. He didn’t even mind about Claire’s cancer or the fact that surgery had left her body scarred. And he was wonderful with the girls. Soon they had moved in together and on Christmas Day in 2009 Chris proposed. Naturally Claire said yes!
But shortly after as she was fitted for her wedding dress she found a lump in her neck – the cancer had returned.
Despite this the couple went through with their wedding with doctors giving Claire two weeks off treatment so she looked and felt their best. Talk of cancer was banned and the couple had the wondering wedding day they dreamed of.
Since then, though, the cancer has spread even more. Claire and Chris cannot accept nothing can be done. So they are fund raising for treatment in the US. This treatment is controversial and some say it hasn’t been proved but they will try everything to try to beat this.

Of the story in Woman’s Own Chris said: “Hi Alison, I picked up the copy of Womans Own magazine today to read the article and ….well what can I say, it was perfect! Hearing it read back on the phone is one thing but to see it in writing is another, we even made the front cover!
My wife and I were both deeply moved, it really is a wonderfully touching piece. We both wanted to pass on our thanks and let you know how very grateful we are.”

To read regular updates on how Claire is or to make a donation go to Claire’s website.

If you have a particularly emotional real life story to sell contact me here: Story to Sell.


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A tale of two sisters…

Emotional real-life story of two sisters who both suffered from cystic fibrosis – and how one lived, while the other died – in BELLA magazine this week.

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Sarah's story appears in Bella magazine


Sarah Bithell and younger sister Lisa shared everything together – including cystic fibrosis. This is an inherited condition that clogs the lungs with mucus making it hard to breathe. Sadly many sufferers spend their lives in and out of hospital and die before the age of 30.
And as the girls reached their mid-twenties, the cystic fibrosis began to take its toll on both of them. It was then Sarah made the life-changing decision to have a lung transplant. This in itself was very risky and Sarah spent a year recovering after her operation.
But while Sarah hoped Lisa would make the same decision, she decided she couldn’t go through with it. Sarah believes seeing her go through such a big operation put Lisa off. Despite asking her sister if she might reconsider, Lisa refused.
As Sarah got better, Lisa began to deteriorate. Sarah felt angry at her sister for not going through with it and as Lisa became too ill to cope with an op, she knew she would lose her sister for good.
Lisa was 30 when she died and naturally Sarah took it very hard. In the months after her death she felt grief and guilt that she was here while Lisa was not.
However, it was then she found Lisa’s diary and it was words about how Lisa believed in Sarah and her artwork that spurred Sarah on. Today she is about to do an MA in art therapy. She is aged 35, healthy and has a boyfriend.

Sarah says: “Not a day goes by when I don’t miss Lisa. But I am now living my life to the full for both of us.”

Following the Bella article this week, Sarah now has another deal gained by Featureworld and her incredible true-life story is now due to appear in a glossy upmarket monthly magazine.

Do you have a moving and inspiring story you would like to see printed in a magazine. Do contact me here: Sell My Story to a magazine.


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Rape victim’s boyfriend publishes book…

As a 21 year old reporter working for a London press agency, I will never forget the time when in March 1986 and working on the evening shift, myself and the news editor got a call from the Police to say they were investigating a horrific rape.

Vicarage rape victim publishes new book.

David finds happiness with new partner Susan.


I was the first journalist on the scene – a beautiful old vicarage in Ealing – and the very last place you could imagine anything terrible happening.
But as the night unfolded, it became clear something very terrible indeed had happened.
In fact, a gang of robbers had broken into the vicarage and disturbed the occupants – they were Jill Saward, her father, the Vicar of Ealing and her boyfriend David Kerr, who at the time were watching television.
Maybe it was because I was of a similar age to Jill Saward, but I couldn’t get what had happened out of my mind. But then it was particularly shocking.
For while she was brutally raped, David and her father were tied up and beaten. They both received fractured skulls.
Needless to say The Ealing Vicarage Rape Attack received huge publicity and the sheer horror of it dominated the front pages of every national newspaper. It was one of the biggest and worse stories I worked on.
The case received more publicity when the judge gave the burglars longer sentences for breaking into the vicarage than the rape, causing huge controversy. Unsurprisingly that same judge was later to publicly apologise for the ‘one great blemish’ on his career.
Incredibly, Jill, now a mum, waived her anonymity and she and her father forgave the gang. She also showed enormous strength when she wrote a book, ‘Rape, My Story’. It was the first time a rape victim had really told how it was and to this day she is still involved in supporting victims of rape and sexual assault.
However, of course the other – less public victim – was David. But, ironically, and not knowing I had previously covered his story, he recently contacted me through my website Featureworld. He tells me he has since struggled with the terrible memories of that night. After being left for dead by his attackers, the rape forced the break up of his relationship with Jill and he was left with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a brain injury. After several suicide attempts he eventually found solace in a local self help depression group.
Now, and with the help of a new partner, he has found solace in publishing his own books – The Journeyman’s Voyage Into Wisdom and My Visit to Planet Madness, will be available from Chipmunkapublishing. and tell David’s own inspiring story of how, against all the odds, he has now found happiness.
It is amazing how small the world is and I am so glad David has found peace at last.

Read More: Wikipedia

Have you written a book about something extraordinary that’s happened to you? If you have an inspiring story to sell, contact me here: Story To Sell


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Growing up with a gay dad – in Best magazine…

Steve Williams and son Matt’s true-life story appears over two pages in BEST magazine this week.

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Steve and Matt's story looks fantastic in glossy Best mag...


After their story appeared in the centre pages of The Sun newspaper last week, Steve and Matt’s real life story appears in Best, once again over a double page.
I am pleased to report both Steve and Matt – who were very happy with the report in The Sun newspaper – were once again very pleased with the sensitive way their story was portrayed along with family photos.
In fact the response from readers on The Sun website has been extremely positive as people read about the traumas the whole family have had to go through because dad Steve is gay.
And I have had a number of people – interestingly, mostly heterosexual men – tell me how much they enjoyed reading this very honest account of growing up with a gay parent. I think this is because anyone can see from reading these stories just what a normal and close family they are.
To read more about Steve and Matt’s story click here: Growing up with a gay parent

If you have a very sensitive story and are thinking of selling your story but are worried how you might be portrayed in the media, then do contact me for advice here: Sell My Story


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Wedding story makes front page of Take a Break magazine…

Sharon Bok’s real life wedding story makes the front page and a double page in TAKE A BREAK magazine this week.

Sell real life story to Take a Break magazine

Sharon's story made the cover of Take a Break magazine


Sell a story about a wedding to Take a Break magazine

Sharon's wedding story went over two pages...


Sharon’s amazing story about how wedding stress gave her a heart attack has already appeared as a news story in the Daily Mail newspaper. And now a fuller in-depth story told in Sharon’s own words appears this week in weekly women’s magazine, Take a Break.
As regular sell your story blog readers might recall, just over a week before her wedding, Sharon, 39, was sorting out the seating plan for her wedding reception when she felt unwell. She put chest pains down to stress but in fact she was having a heart attack.
She ended up being rushed to hospital and terrified her wedding day was off. But thankfully, she managed to make a good enough recovery to walk down the aisle, although on doctor’s orders she was forced to cancel her honeymoon to Thailand.
Sharon’s story appears using photos from her own wedding album on the front page and over a double page of this popular women’s weekly magazine.
And I have now gained Sharon a third deal with another magazine for a further follow-up story on what’s happened since!

Did something amazing happen on your wedding day? Perhaps, like Sharon, you would like to sell your story to a newspaper and a magazine like Take a Break.

To sell your story contact me here: Selling my Story


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I want to sell my story…

You put ‘sell my story’ into Google and you come up with a dazzling array of websites offering to sell your story for you.
No doubt that’s how you found this website– Sell your Story UK (the official blog for Featureworld) after all, you must have put some search term like this into Google to have found this page!
The question is, with so much choice, how do you choose who is really the best media agent, journalist or writer to sell your story through?
It’s an important decision. Get it right and not only will you earn money for your real life story but you will gain good publicity in a national newspaper or women’s magazine you are happy with. But get it wrong and you could regret selling your story (or you might not ‘sell’ it as you might not be paid…)
The truth is, despite all the information available on the internet about selling a story to the press, some people still steam ahead without taking proper advice. While I do believe the vast majority of journalists do work with integrity, occasionally I will receive an email from an interviewee who’s fallen victim to an unscrupulous press agency or reporter – they have done a story, it was printed and yet when they try to contact the person who ‘sold’ it and who offered them money, they cannot be contacted. Worse, their story is sold worldwide without their consent…
With this in mind, I have recently written a more in depth general piece to help people avoid scams, and guide interviewees through the maze of selling their story.
Read it here.

And if you are not sure if your real life story is saleable to a magazine or newspaper, look at my checklist: What’s your real life story?

Meanwhile, I am always available for advice – and am committed to selling your story safely. Contact me here: Sell my Story


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Can men and women be just friends? Sell your story?

Currently I am urgently searching for the following for features I am working on…

* A wife who will say “My husband’s best friend is a woman” – and to speak to all three of you. Perhaps your husband has a business partner or it is someone he has known since university. There is a fee payable – and preferably you should be aged between 35 and 45.

* People who send their son to private school and not their daughter. Perhaps you felt your son needed more help or there is a very good girl’s state school near to you (and the boy’s one isn’t so good!)
Again a fee is payable.
For more details please email me alison@featureworld.co.uk as soon as you can!!