How a stiff neck was something much more serious…


Laurel Padbury’s real life health story appeared in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

Good Health Daily Mail

Laurel with husband, Tim

Retired banker Laurel wanted to raise awareness for the often misdiagnosed condition Temporal Arteritis. Also known as Giant Cell Arteritis, the symptoms of stiff neck, headache and painful jaw are often put down to other illnesses such as an infection.
But in fact, particularly in women over the age of 50, they can be a sign of this condition. And worryingly, if it isn’t diagnosed swiftly it can lead to blindness.
Professor Bhaskar Dasgupta, a rheumatologist at Southend Hospital and a leading expert, is currently running an awareness campaign for GPs.

Daily Mail, Good Health story

Laurel's story was explained in this Good Health article

He wants doctors to check patients for symptoms such as jaw pain and blurry vision. If Temporal Arteritis is suspected a simple blood test can confirm the diagnosis and steroids can swiftly prevent the condition spreading to the eyes.

Laurel believes she has been extremely lucky that she did not go blind. Aged 63, she has always been a fit person who eats healthily and loves a game of tennis or golf. So when she began suffering from aches and pains, she simply put it down to overdoing it a little. She thought so little of her symptoms that she and husband Tim even flew to Plettenberg Bay, a seaside resort in South Africa where they have an apartment. Despite getting worse while they were there – she could barely get out of bed in the morning – she simply visited a chiropractor and a physiotherapist. It was only when she got home and googled her symptoms she realised they could be a sign of something more serious that she went to her GP. And thankfully he put her on steroids straightaway. Laurel is now much better and says every day she opens her eyes and sees the ceiling she feels grateful for her sight. Her consultant had warned she could have gone blind at any time.
My thanks to Prof Dasgupta and Pat Stone at Southend Hospital for all their help as I researched this article. To find out more: Giant Cell Arteritis.

Do you have a story for Good Health on the Daily Mail? If so, contact me here: My Health Story.


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Vaseline lip salve confiscated over health and safety…


Joanne Wilkins’ story about how her daughter’s tin of Vaseline was confiscated at school over health and safety fears appeared in the DAILY MAILnewspaper at the weekend.

Sell your story to the Daily Mail

This story gained hundreds of comments at MailOnline...

Not everyone who comes to Featureworld  is looking to ‘sell’ their story to the press. Some people simply want to highlight an issue they believe to be terribly unfair.

Joanne Wilkins is a very good example of this. She is mum to Ellie-Maye and was incensed when her daughter took a tiny tin of Vaseline into school to moisturise her lips – only to have it confiscated as it was not prescribed by a doctor.

Joanne felt the reaction by the school over the tin of Vaseline was over the top – especially as she says it was confiscated from Ellie-Maye in front of school friends. She  was further angered when the school’s Head suggested one solution was for Joanne to ‘medicate’ her daughter at home or come into school herself to apply the cream.

It transpired the policy at the school was that any ointment or cream to be self-administered by pupils must be prescribed by a physician. This meant if Joanne wanted Ellie-Maye to use the cream, which costs under £1 to buy and is available from supermarkets as well as chemists, she had to get a private prescription from her GP at a cost of £15. This policy was backed up by the local county council, which put out a statement saying the same thing.

The story caused a huge number of MailOnline readers to leave comments. The vast majority did feel the school’s approach was over the top for such a harmless lip ointment, which anyone is able to buy. However, some parents of pupils at the school also left comments praising the school and the Head.

Whatever your views, Joanne said: “I was just pleased to get this issue out in the open.” Joanne later went on her local TV news programme to discuss the issue further.

Do you have a health and safety ‘issue’ story to sell? If so contact me here: Sell My Story


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The new North Versus South …

Article in the DAILY MAIL newspaper yesterday.

Daily Mail feature

This article attracted over 500 comments on Mailonline...

When the Femail section of the Daily Mail asked me to research the issue that living in the South might be more expensive than living in the North of the UK, I thought it would be fascinating.
Both families I spoke to for this feature earn £50,000 a year. This is the income research shows most Britons think spells affluence. But it seems how affluent you feel depends very much on where you live in the UK.
For example, my family in the South are struggling. With house prices so much more than in the North, some 40 per cent of their income goes on servicing the mortgage. Meanwhile, my family in the north spent just ten per cent of their income on their mortgage, which left them much more money left over for luxuries.
What was also interesting, however, was both families are happy about where they live and for various reasons, neither family wants to move.
Incredibly, over 500 people joined in the debate at the Daily Mail website to discuss whether or not it is true that living in the South is so much more expensive.
I was delighted that the article gained so much interest and debate!

Would you like the chance to appear in an article in a newspaper or magazine? If so why not join my featureworld casting directory? You can join the directory – and choose which features you would like to be in here: Casting Directory

Or sell your story to a newspaper here: Newspaper stories


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Teenage girls and binge drinking…

Featureworld interviewee Sarah Robinson tells her cautionary story about binge drinking in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

Sell your story to the Daily Mail newspaper

Sarah Robinson tells her story in the Daily Mail


I sold first sold Sarah’s story last year. As studies have linked breast cancer with excess drinking, she believed binge drinking in her teens and twenties could have been responsible for her being diagnosed with the disease. Then her real-life story appeared over three pages in a glossy weekly women’s magazine. She was delighted with her article and she told me she would love to do another feature.
I kept Sarah’s details on file and when the Daily Mail news asked me yesterday afternoon if I had anyone who might be interested in contributing to their story about binge drinking, I immediately thought of Sarah.
The story in the Daily Mail today tells of new research that young women in the UK are drinking more alcohol than their European contemporaries.
Sarah gave her consent to her story being used again – she wants to raise awareness of how damaging binge drinking can be – so welcomed the opportunity to tell her story again.
And today it appears as part of a bigger news report going over two pages.

If you would like to contribute your story to a news report, get in contact here: Sell My Story form.

To read more stories on the Featureworld website go to: Sell My Story. Real-life and true stories wanted for women’s magazines.

Read more recently sold stories here: Sell your story archives.


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Last year Vanessa’s story appeared in the Daily Mail … so what happened next?

What’s it really like to open a national newspaper or magazine and see a photo of yourself staring back? Three months ago I was contacted by Vanessa Finn to sell her story about her love-rat husband. Today I go back and see how the sell my story experience was for Vanessa…

Sell story to the press

Vanessa's story went in the Daily Mail

The Story
When Vanessa’s Sergeant Major husband’s Alan had an affair, their marriage ended. And she was then fined by the MoD for moving out of their army home too slowly.

What made you decide to sell your story?
I was feeling very frustrated over the acrimonious break-up of my marriage and my family’s treatment by the MOD. I was researching the possibility of selling my story when I came across Feature World on the internet. I emailed my story to Alison and was contacted very quickly.

Were you nervous about selling a story?
I have had some previous contact with journalists and was wary of the possible outcomes. However, I instantly felt comfortable talking to Alison and really surprised that she gave my story credibility.

Your story was placed with the Daily Mail – how did that go?
I was incredibly nervous and still not sure I was doing the right thing. On the day of publication I was a wreck!! But then the messages of support came in and the attitude and goodwill of others was amazing, I was really touched by it all. I was so pleased and then Alison found me another deal, so my story was then published in a magazine too.

sell story to a women's mag.

Vanessa's story also appeared in Pick Me Up

Any advice for others about to sell a story?
I would recommend that anyone contemplating selling a story should think very hard first and be sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. I’m glad that I went through Featureworld as I don’t think I would have had such sympathetic but unbiased advice from other agencies. I feel that the whole process has made me stronger and much more confident.

Any other update?
I‘ve heard my story is now being used in Army welfare meetings as a briefing tool. And it does appear that thanks to this story, a more sympathetic approach from the MoD is to be fostered. So it seems it has raised awareness. I’m chuffed and so happy something good has come out of this.”

To read other recently sold stories click here: Archives
Do you have a story that will touch others? To sell your story to a magazine or newspaper click here: Sell my Story


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Will your child still be living at home in his 50s?

My real life story feature about the adult children still living at home with their parents appears over two pages in the DAILY MAIL newspaper today.

Many adult children can't afford to leave home these days...

When the Daily Mail asked me to research and write this story about the adults still living at home with their parents, it was a subject close to my chest as my three children (all aged over 19!) are also still at home!
But, as with the other parents I spoke to for this article, it has become much harder these days for children to flee the nest.
I was just 20 when I left home to live with my boyfriend and 21 when together we bought our first (tiny) house with my boyfriend (we married a year later) – something that would be absolutely impossible today for those in their twenties, even with a lot of help from parents. Then, I was a trainee journalist and he a trainee civil engineer with barely a penny to our names. But then we didn’t even need any help from parents because house prices simply were not like they are today. In fact we borrowed the whole amount of money (less than £40K) from the bank!
Back to the Daily Mail article – here I spoke to five people. Steve is in his 50s, Martin is a graduate in his twenties, Samantha did start a business, which went bust, Lisa couldn’t afford rising living costs and when Angela’s relationship finished, she went home.
Thanks to everyone for taking part – it was interesting talking to everyone and swapping notes!

Would you like to take part in a feature I’m writing? If so why not join my Casting Directory or sell your story here: Sell your story


Do women regret their one-night stands?

This real-life story article appeared in the DAILY MAIL newspaper this week.

A number of Featureworld sell my story website interviewees took part in this discussion piece in the Daily Mail this week. Based on a survey by Femail that many women do have one night stands they later regret, it not only included quotes from experts but also the real- life experiences from a selection of women.

Would you like to contribute your views to a news feature in a national newspaper? Perhaps you feel particularly strongly about something, or maybe you have a real-life story to tell in such an article.
If you have an issue you think should be discussed, then do let me know. Meanwhile, if you have a real-life story or experience you would like to relate, you might be interested to know which articles I am currently researching.
You can find out more by listing yourself on my casting directory – I regularly send requests around on this and if something interests you, you can then apply.
To find out more click here: Sell story via the Casting directory.


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