At Featureworld I am always searching for new stories to put up to editors of national newspapers, women’s magazines and TV.
But what I am searching for varies from time to time – depending on the time of year and what is in the news. Have a look here to see if you can help with one of these stories I have been asked for over the past few days…
* Jilted brides and grooms. Following soapstar Jessie Wallace’s wedding that never was, I am searching for anyone who has a similar story. Perhaps their partner cancelled their wedding on the day or just days before the ceremony. It might have been a devastating experience but the bonus is jilted brides or grooms can always sell their story…
* Post-holiday stories – love rats from holiday, holiday romance stories, nightmare holiday stories from this year’s holiday.
* Christmas stories – yes it might only be September but incredibly I sold a story for Christmas to a magazine at the beginning of August – and many mags are already sorting out their seasonal pages.
* X-Factor stories – anything involving this popular show is sought after by showbiz on newspapers – and in fact although it is only the beginning of this series, I already placed one X Factor story in the Daily Star last week. Now I am being asked for more…
* Weight loss stories with great photos and an inspirational story behind them.
* A number of TV production companies have contacted me over the past week searching for people to star in reality TV shows. To browse the shows currently casting for new talent, click here: Get me on TV
To see more ‘asks’ from magazines and newspapers click here: Stories wanted
To find out more about the process of selling your story click here: How it works
And if you want to sell your story then contact me here: Sell My Story
Like many interviewees who come to Featureworld , it was the first time Cindy Jackson had ever had any dealings with the press. Here, transexual Cindy, whose story of how she used to be a boy and is now a girl like her idol Katie Price, appeared in the Sunday Mirror and several magazines, tells what selling her story was like…
Why did you want to sell your story?
I first decided to sell my story in May of last year. I felt I had a story to share with others and wanted to try and achieve my goals I had for the future. I wasn’t too sure who to go with at first but I contacted Featureworld with a general enquiry and Alison immediately emailed back.
What did you think of Alison?
She was really helpful and sounded like she knew what she was doing so it seemed like a good option to sell my story with Featureworld. I think everyone is slightly nervous about the article going into the paper/magazine because it is a first time experience and you want everything to go well, but Alison put me at ease.
Was your story read back before it was printed?
Yes, and through reading my article back to me and allowing me to say which bits I didnt agree with I was totally comfortable and therefore knew what to expect.
What did you think of your feature?
I was over the moon, the layout was brilliant and the piece had been written just as I expected – it wasn’t insensitive or anything and I was really pleased.
What did friends and family think?
I got a great response from other people who had seen my story in the paper and they were really positive saying how good I looked and how they thought I was an inspiration to others so that was a nice feeling!
Any advice to others?
From my own experiences in dealing with Featureworld I would 110% encourage others to contact Alison to sell a story. Alison is honest and does her best to make sure you’re happy and comfortable throughout the whole process. Selling my story was one of the best things I ever did and I don’t regret it for a second.
What’s happened since?
Since selling my story I’ve had loads of other work coming my way such as television and magazine appearances. I also fulfilled my dream and got to actually meet my Idol Katie Price and be on her television show, which was a dream come true!
Read more about Cindy here: Cindy’s stories.
If you would like to sell your story contact me here: Story to Sell.
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…
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.
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.”
Featureworld sell my story website has seen the number of people emailing to enquire about selling their story in the last fortnight up by an astonishing 150 per cent compared with the same time last year.
And in fact in the past week alone, stories have been sold to a wide range of UK newspapers and magazines… a two sides real life story to The Sun newspaper, a feel-good health story to the Daily Mail newspaper, a story about an amazing landmark court victory to the Mail on Sunday newspaper, a breast cancer story to Cosmopolitan magazine, a story about how a routine medical test saved a mum’s life to the Daily Mirror, a story about an unwell child to Woman’s Own magazine, an emotional true story to Best mag, a gritty abuse story to Take a Break magazine and a featureworld interviewee has been put in touch with a TV documentary maker. Yes, to those interviewees who happened to get replies to emails in the early hours of the morning – I have been burning the midnight oil writing up all your stories!
I suspect selling your story to the press has risen in popularity due to the fact more people are researching this possibility online and seeing how straightforward the process can be.
Meanwhile, the hungry press always has an appetite for more stories and I have been asked by a number of publications to find the following…
* Anyone with three sons (like the Beckhams!) who tried for a girl and got a little girl. I am also searching for any couples who’ve gone abroad to choose the sex of their baby or are thinking of doing this (sex selection for social reasons is illegal in the UK but gender balancing is available in some countries.)
* Valentine stories. Any fantastic love stories – your love has battled through the odds, you met someone in an unusual way, they proposed in a bizarre way or even any Valentine’s Day disasters! Your story is wanted!
Meanwhile Featureworld has had a little update to its recently published stories page, completing the list for 2010.
With so many newspapers and magazines and all those pages to fill, there’s never been a better time to sell your story – contact me here for free advice: Sell your story
Claire Whittle’s true-life story about how she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25 appears on the front cover of TAKE A BREAK magazine this week and inside over two pages.
Claire’s story about she believes she got breast cancer due to binge drinking has already appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper and now I have gained yet another deal for Claire with an upmarket glossy women’s monthly mag.
With no history of breast cancer in her family, Claire believes binge drinking when she was at university is to blame for her contracting this illness at such a young age.
Since being diagnosed, Claire has discovered that drinking to excess can raise women’s risk of contracting breast cancer. She has also been told by doctors to abstain as studies show drinking can increase the chance of the cancer returning.
Claire wanted to gain the maximum publicity for her story to raise awareness into the dangers of binge drinking so that other young women might not suffer as she has. So she was delighted that her story has not only appeared in a big national newspaper but in one of the country’s best read weekly magazines and will now be highlighted in a bestselling monthly magazine.
If you would like to gain the maximum publicity for your story, contact me here: Sell my story!
Roxanne Ayling’s amazing real life weight loss story appeared in THE SUN newspaper yesterday.
When Roxanne asked me if I could sell a story about how she’d not only lost ten stones after having a gastric band fitted, but also had cosmetic surgery to tone her figure – and I saw her photos – I thought she had done brilliantly.
But what was most interesting was that she has had all this done on the NHS – at a cost so far of £28K. This includes a lower body lift, with a tummy tuck, and surgery to get rid of bingo wings (excess flab under the arms.)
And she is yet to have more surgery next year with a breast lift and thigh sculpturing.
I was particularly intrigued because at sell my story website Featureworld I regularly receive emails from people who have lost a lot of weight but have been refused this sort of cosmetic surgery on the NHS. They are often quite desperate as such amazing weight loss leaves them with ugly and uncomfortable excess skin folds.
Roxanne’s story in The Sun discussed this debate giving both sides of the argument. Some critics say obesity surgery shouldn’t be available on the NHS whilst others feel making this sort of surgery available ultimately saves the NHS money in the end because being slimmer reduces the risk of illness in later life.
It is a debate that will surely continue because as a nation we are all growing fatter (unfortunately!).
Roxanne says: “I do feel lucky and grateful to have had this life changing surgery. I was very happy telling my story to The Sun and glad I got this talking point out there.”
If you want to sell a weight loss story or story about cosmetic surgery do email me here: Sell My Story
Daphne’s real life story about how she took her little Pekingese dog Myrtle with her on a ‘pensioner’ gap year was published in the DAILY MIRROR this week.
When former estate agent Daphne Sullivan 64, decided on a gap year before settling into retirement, she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving behind her beloved dog, Myrtle.
And so, at a cost of some £10,000, and against the wishes of many friends and family who thought Daphne was mad, Myrtle accompanied her on her year-long trip to Egypt.
There, the pair travelled through the desert, visited the pyramids and the Sphinx and both of them even received marriage proposals!
Unfortunately, on the way back to the UK – and despite having a pet passport – poor little Myrtle had to go into quarantine for six months. But when she finally came out everyone held a great big welcome home party for Myrtle.
Myrtle’s journey was documented in an article that appeared in the Daily Mirror on Friday. It went over two pages and featured lots of photos from Myrtle’s adventures.
Daphne said: “I thought the feature looked great in the Mirror. She is such a very special little dog and despite the costs I have no regrets at all that I took her with me.”
As regular sell your story blog readers know, I take my own cat Crystal abroad with me and I adore to hear your pet stories. Click on Pet story to sell to tell me all about it and your pet could be the star of a feature too!