Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Your story could be worth cash

f you have an interesting story to tell did you know that you could earn some cash out of it?

OK, there IS a catch. You and your story would be in the national media but it’s something that a lot of people are actually interested in.

Here’s a confession: I used to freelance for a well-known UK national weekly magazine that my mother would label a “penny dreadful”. It’s still sold today and you’d be amazed at some of the things people want to divulge about themselves, no matter how they come across.

Although they were all serious stories and thoroughly researched, you couldn’t help but laugh at some. Stories that stick in the mind are: I ran off with my husband’s brother, but now I’m married to my step son or something like that.

Some of the stories were so outlandish you couldn’t make it up. On occasions some of the subjects tried to, but the news team had heard it all before. They required a lot of written proof: death certificates, birth certificates, marriage certificates, bankruptcy certificates... the list goes on.

As a freelancer, I sometimes wondered aloud why people told so much private stuff about such intimate details of their lives. The staffers there just shrugged their shoulders and suggested that for some this was therapy.

Anyway, I digress. If you dip into www.starnow.co.uk there are many lists of subjects that news teams are wanting to know about. This site is also after extras, too, at £50 per day, so if you are over 18 and can be available during the day at a location near you and on short notice it might help you feed the family, or just yourself.

If you have something interesting to tell, don’t mind being in print and having your picture taken, too, you could earn yourself a couple of hundred pounds. It may not be much but could make a difference to someone.

Here is a flavour of some of the stories newsrooms are looking for: Spooky stories; Women’s magazines looking for people’s bad Valentine’s Day experiences; Two friends, one who married young, one who married in their 30s; amazing health stories... 

Other websites I’ve come across that will sell your story for you are Feature World and We love your stories. I have no experience of them so I can’t vouch for them, but you or someone you may know might be interested in dipping their toe in the water.

On a more serious side, you might find a business-related listing. If you have an inspirational business story to tell, someone is bound to want it.

Just one word of warning: if you go for it, be aware that you will have little control of the story once the reporter has written it. Always tell the facts and be honest; you wouldn’t want to upset anyone or get yourself into trouble.

If you are speaking to a magazine, always ask for copy approval as they are more likely to offer this. If you are talking to a newspaper, because their deadlines are always so tight, it’s highly unlikely they will offer this. Good luck.

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