Selling your story through Featureworld: About Alison Smith-Squire
Featureworld is the official website for bylined writer Alison Smith-Squire …
If you have done any of the above then you will certainly have read one of my stories in a newspaper or magazine or watched an interviewee of mine on television.
You might also have seen me on television as I represent families who find themselves in the public eye.
But certainly you will have read many of my stories in the national press or seen them on television – never realising that the organisation behind them is … Featureworld!
That is because I have been an agent and bylined writer for newspapers such as the Daily Mail, The Sun, Mirror – and magazines such as Closer, Take a Break, Best, Bella, Woman and numerous others – for over 25 years.
If you are reading this, then obviously you have found Featureworld, my official online home and an internet media company I set up in 2006 to help the ordinary person sell a story safely to the national press, magazines and television.
After years of covering stories I felt there was a way I could help the ordinary person – who couldn’t afford to employ a hot-shot publicist or pay extortionate fees to a PR consultant – to sell a story to the media.
Many people are understandably wary and nervous of approaching a national publication by themselves or talking with a reporter who contacts them directly. At the same time, selling your story through a large agency can also feel very daunting. People have lots of worries – will they be ripped off, will their story be twisted in some way and legally, is it even possible to be paid for their story?
As a journalist with a conscience (I simply could not do this job or sleep at night if I thought any story I did for someone would cause them heartache or worry!) I know that if I take your story on and sell your story for you, then you will have the very best advice backed by years of experience.
You will also get the very best fee possible and you will have me at your side all the time. My long testimonials page and the fact that so very many interviewees (almost 100 per cent) want me to sell their story on to another publication shows just how happy people are with my free service.
And incidentally it is a completely free service – because I am a bylined writer, I am paid for writing your story each time it is printed (and you are also paid each time your story is printed too.)
Some background about me… My career began aged 18 straight from comprehensive school in 1981 making tea for staff at a London press and picture company, Fleet St News Agency. Following six months memorising how everyone took their tea and coffee, I was at last given the chance to become a trainee journalist.
After four more years of studying law and working shifts as a trainee reporter, I finally became a fully qualified NCTJ journalist in 1985. At this London press agency, I worked as a national news and crime reporter covering dozens of cases at crown courts, magistrates courts, employment tribunals, strikes, demonstrations and sadly, covering several cases of missing children and horrific national disasters.
After a spell on the Luton News where I edited my own edition of the paper organising front page stories and writing a personal column, I went freelance selling real life stories to women’s magazines.
Shortly after, I also began writing for many national newspapers specialising in selling exclusive stories.
I’ve now worked for the national press for over 20 years with more than 15 of those years spent as a media agent. However I still write my own stories under my own byline. You can see some of them here on the Daily Mail’s website.
I’ve lost count of the number of true-life stories I’ve sold to women’s magazines and the national press. But, because I take a personal interest in every story I write, I never forget anyone I interview. I’m pleased to say that many people whose stories I’ve sold have become firm friends. The vast number of interviewees also come back to me – sometimes years later – to sell a follow up to their story. And frequently, they recommend me to their friends and relatives.
Featureworld.co.uk was one of the first sell my story websites of its kind. Today Featureworld.co.uk is firmly established in the selling real life story market as a leader in its field and as a writer, media agent and publicist, I sell stories on a daily basis to all the national newspapers and women’s magazines. I also place stories with TV and syndicate stories (with an interviewee’s consent) around the world.
As well as selling real life stories, I also cover hard news stories taking on commissions and research for national newspapers. Featureworld is not some large impersonal agency where a junior might handle your story! I believe interviewees prefer to deal with one person from start to finish, someone whom they can trust totally who will not only market and sell their story to a newspaper or magazine but negotiate a price, write their story and ensure they are paid. This is why when people come to Featureworld.co.uk to sell their story, I personally interview and also write their story. This ensures the best working relationship between the writer and an interviewee and this way a tight control is kept over their story.
Featureworld is a family business
Featureworld has its roots firmly in traditional journalism. As my late father Kingsley Squire was a Fleet St editor, I grew up in a house full of newspapers, magazines and books. An ‘old school’ writer and stickler for accuracy and fairness, he retired over 20 years ago but I carry on the family business.
Son Jon (left) – a graduate with a 2:1 honours degree in Psychology – has written for Featureworld in the past and my daughter Lauren is studying within the TV industry. Meanwhile, this website has been designed and is taken care of by my brother, Paul Squire.
Many of the stories I take on revolve around family life – its trials, tribulations, highs and lows. And the bottom line is I strive to give interviewees the respectful and professional service we as a family hope we’d be given if we were selling a story.”
Featureworld is a trusted business
As a professional journalist, I was trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists. Featureworld is also a member of the National Association of Press Agencies and the Federation of Small Businesses. It also abides by the Editor’s Code of Practice as set out by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).
Featureworld – Fact and Figures!
Approximately 1500 people who have never visited Featureworld before, find their way to this site every day.
Alison’s Featureworld Blog is one of the most read independent blogs by a professional media agent written for those not in journalism (although read by many who are!). Giving an unrivalled insight into the press, magazine and television industry, some individual posts attract over 10,000 visits (the top post receives almost 35,000 views a month.)
Featureworld runs its own online magazine!
As such an experienced journalist and media agent, I wanted to give something back to the community and in my spare time run my own online magazine giving professional and free advice to other writers, wannabe journalists and authors! Since its inception two years ago, sellyourstoryuk.com, The Magazine, has gone from strength to strength and currently attracts around 30,000 visitors a month. Thousands of people now follow on Twitter, where I tweet PR, blogging and journalism tips on a daily basis. Featureworld stories are regularly promoted on our online magazine – with links to interviewee’s websites and books – giving people even wider publicity and coverage.