Real-Life Stories 2011

Stories Published in 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2012 |2013 | 2014 | 2015 | Stories Wanted

Considering selling real-life stories to a newspaper, magazine or TV?  Have a look on this page at our sold true real-life stories – for the vast majority of interviewees their journey to sell a story began when they contacted us … and here are the results!

For free advice and to see if you have a story to sell, click here: Sell My Story to email us some details about your story – or simply fill in the form on the right. For more details on the process go to How it Works.

Read some of our recent real life stories below…

Is it my fault my son’s obese?

Dwain Smith gastric bypass story

At 34 stones Dwain Smith was looking forward to having a gastric bypass. Doctors had told him without one he might not live another two years. So he was shocked when he received a letter to say his NHS Trust was no longer funding any gastric weightloss surgery. His mum Carolynne was also devastated. She now wonders if the fact Dwain is overweight is her fault – after all, when he was a child, his diet was not as healthy as it could have been.

The thought he could now die if he doesn’t urgently slim is so upsetting and the family are desperately trying to raise the money to pay for the op privately.

Dwain and Carolynne’s story appeared in CLOSER magazine and Dwain is now about to go on ITV This Morning to take up a weight loss challenge.

Dwain said: “Another agent I approached told me he couldn’t sell my story so I was delighted when Alison rang and said not only did Closer want my story but ITV did as well. I am very grateful to her for getting my story out there and just hoping that I will be able to either lose the weight naturally or raise enough money to have a gastric bypass privately.”

I share my wardrobe with my seven-year old daughter

Rebecca Jones anorexia story

Rebecca Jones’ amazing and shocking story of how she is so thin she wears clothes for a seven year old, drew gasps when it was published in CLOSER, the DAILY MAIL, the DAILY MIRROR, theDAILY STAR and THE SUN.

At the same time Rebecca’s extraordinary story was sold all round the world and has so far appeared in Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway and Australia.

Since her teens Rebecca has battled anorexia – but incredibly in her early twenties and quite by accident she got pregnant with daughter Maisy.

When Maisy was born, however, her anorexia continued and today she is so tiny she is nicknamed Pixie and she and Maisy wear the same clothes.

Rebecca, who is now seeking expert help for her anorexia, says: “Alison thoroughly explained how everything worked and we decided together to place my story with Closer mag. Alison then arranged for the story to be placed in all the national newspapers. Still, although I knew it was going in them, it was a surprise on the day to see our faces staring out of so many!

“Alison has actually turned down a number of offers that I got but decided not to do.  So I’ve felt in complete control of all the publicity, which I hope has gained awareness of eating disorders.”

Rebecca’s story appeared on the front page of The Sun newspaper. Read it here >

Aborting my baby ruined my marriage

Marie Ideson - Aborting my baby ruined my marriage

Marie Ideson wanted her story printed in a national newspaper to warn others about how abortion can affect people in the months and even years after.

Marie has always regretted terminating her Down’s Syndrome baby. She also believes she was bullied by medical staff into having the termination.

Sadly as she never got over it, and it drove a wedge between her and her husband and they have since divorced.

Marie’s emotional real life story was printed over three pages ofFEMAIL in the DAILY MAIL and we also arranged for her to go onITV THIS MORNING.

Marie says: “I’d already approached several local papers and magazines to sell my story but had no joy. It wasn’t about the money, though, as I really wanted to get out there what had happened to me. If one woman read my story and it stopped them doing something they would later regret, I knew it would be worth it.

“I never thought Alison would place it, so I was absolutely amazed and delighted to see my story in the Daily Mail and going on national television was a dream come true.

“Alison wrote my story and everything in it was spot-on accurate. Doing this has really helped me come to terms with what’s happened.”

Click on the photo to read Marie’s story in the Daily Mail >

I want a boob job – but my husband says no

Jeanette Leach wants a boob job – but husband says no

Since she was a teenager, Jeanette, 28, has hated her big 32jj boobs. Fed up with finding clothes difficult to buy, having men leer in the street at her and putting up with the pain of big boobs, the mum of two planned a boob job.

But her husband Stephen was devastated. He adores her fuller figure, is worried about the op going wrong and is pleading with her not to go under the knife.

Jeanette and Stephen’s story appeared in the DAILY MIRRORas a two sides and they both went on ITV DAYBREAK.

Jeanette says: I decided to sell my story because I thought it might appeal to other women but I was very nervous to see how the story would look. I was wrong to worry as the article looked fab and going on TV was amazing. Alison was lovely to talk to, very supportive and it’s just been a magical experience.”

Read Jeanette’s story in the Daily Mirror >

My husband gambled away our marriage

Steve and Michelle Shelton - husband gambled away our marriage

With two gorgeous children and a beautiful home, Steve and Michelle Shelton should have had the perfect marriage.

But from the age of 19 Steve had always liked a flutter on the horses and unbeknown to Michelle began gambling again.

Steve even denied his gambling problem to himself but when he was made redundant the problem worsened.

Eventually Michelle discovered Steve had run up £50K in debt and they were made bankrupt, losing their home.

Steve promised not to gamble again and he and Michelle tried to make their marriage work. But when she discovered he’d gone back to gambling, it was the final straw and Michelle filed for divorce.

Steve and Michelle decided to tell their story in the hope that their experience would help others. Featureworld gained them a double deal and their story appeared in the DAILY MIRROR newspaper and BELLA magazine.

Read the gambling story in the Daily Mirror >

THE SECRET I HID FROM MY HUSBAND FOR 15 YEARS

Elaine Waddy - Hid eating disorder bulimia from husband

Elaine Waddy contacted me to sell her story about how she has overcome the eating disorder bulimia.

Mum of five Elaine has suffered from the eating disorder for 15 years – but she had never been able to confess it to husband Olly.

It was only when she began to get very unwell – she was being sick up to a dozen times a day – she finally told him.Olly was devastated at first but the couple are now closer than ever.

Elaine wanted to raise awareness for bulimia and the fact that sufferers often keep it a secret from friends and family. Her real life story was placed in the DAILY MIRROR.

Elaine says: “I was very happy with the way you wrote my story and I can’t thank you enough.”

Read Elaine’s story in the Daily Mirror here: My battle with bulimia >

THE NEW NORTH VERSUS SOUTH

the north south divide

Two families appeared in this true life feature for the DAILY MAILnewspaper.

Would you like to contribute to a national newspaper article? If so, email me here: Sell My story. Or join the Featureworld Casting Directory to receive the latest links for stories I am working on.

My sister gave birth to my baby…

Cheryl Keye born without a uterus

Cheryl asked: “Can you sell my story to a newspaper as well as a magazine?

When Cheryl Keye was just 17, she made a shocking discovery – she found out she had been born without a uterus. It was devastating as Cheryl thought she would never find a man who would love her if she couldn’t give him children.

Fortunately, she met Jason and when after two months of dating, she confessed her ‘secret’ she was incredibly relieved when he told her he still loved her anyway.

But the couple still wanted children together and it was then that Cheryl, who was born with her ovaries in tact, began thinking of surrogacy. Using a surrogate meant she and Jason could have their own baby and it could be physically carried by another woman.

Incredibly, when she discussed her plans over coffee one day with sister Lyndsay, she offered to carry their baby for them.

And she recently gave birth to Elliot.

Cheryl says: “Selling your story is a minefield as you have no idea how to go about it. So I was relieved to find Alison’s website on the internet and know it was being sold properly.”

Cheryl’s story appeared in the Sunday People newspaper and she also gained deals with another national newspaper and two magazines. Cheryl is pictured above right with her sister Lyndsay.

Read Cheryl’s surrogacy story in the newspaper here >

The 13 year-old girl who’s made history…

Emily Gaffney  first time in a family court the judges had listened to a child

Emily Gaffney, 13, and her mum Debbie emailed me via my sell my story form with their incredible experience.

Five years ago Debbie, Emily, her little sister and their dad left for the UK in search of a better life in Canada. But Debbie and the girls didn’t settle and were homesick for the UK. Also Debbie’s marriage was rocky so she came back on her own with her daughters.

But six months after she returned she was horrified to have the Police on her doorstep. Under the Hague Convention, Debbie had been accused by her ex husband of abducting the girls. A court case later decreed the girls must return to Canada.

But incredibly Emily took her own legal advice and stood up in court to say she wanted to stay with her mum in Middlesbrough. It was the first time in a family court the judges had listened to a child – and they agreed with Emily that she could stay.

Their amazing story went over two pages of the Mail on Sundaynewspaper.

Debbie said: “When Emily and I saw the story in the newspaper we were amazed by how big it was! But we were absolutely thrilled with Alison’s write-up and delighted with the photo.”

Read Debbie and Emily’s amazing story in the Mail on Sunday Newspaper here >

We bought our wedding with a Groupon coupon!

Lucie Glenny bought an amazing wedding for £2000 off a discount website

Lucie Glenny’s amazing real life wedding story about how she bought an amazing wedding for £2000 off a discount website appeared in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper.

Lucie and her fiancé had been engaged for six years when she stumbled on the offer – but she had to buy it then and there and had no idea what it would be like.

Fortunately, it was fantastic and the couple had a great day.

Their incredible story has now been sold to a women’s magazine.

Just what did Ian Gourlay have hidden up his jumper?

Ian Gourlay lived as the man who was pregnant with twins

Story sold to TAKE A BREAK magazine.

With his bizarre bump, Ian Gourlay had become known in the town where he lived as the man who was pregnant with twins.

In fact, when his bump was sorted out by a consultant – they were swollen diseased kidneys that were both removed – and his story appeared in a local newspaper, he was inundated with requests from magazines to sell his story.

He wrote: “The article appeared in yesterday’s local paper and since then I have been contacted by a number of agencies. I am at a bit of a loss what to do…”

Fortunately I did know what to do! A number of magazines wanted to buy Ian’s quirky story and in the end Take a Break won the bid.

Afterwards Ian wrote: “Thank you so much for handling and selling my story. It has been great fun and we’ve all had a laugh about it.”

I will care for my Orphaned grandson…

Diane Miller - I will care for my Orphaned grandson

After her daughter and her fiancé died in a freak accident, Diane Miller approached me through the Featureworld website to ask if I would help deal with media requests for her story.

Tragically, her daughter Terri-Ann Barnett and her partner Tom Matts were both killed when a lorry load of timber fell on top of them. They were walking back from the nursery where they’d just dropped son Morgan, 18 months. Now Morgan was orphaned but Diane pledged to care for him.

I helped Diane and her grieving family deal with press enquiries. Her emotional story later appeared in The Sun newspaper. At the same time The Sun newspaper publicised details of where readers could send donations to a trust fund set up for Morgan.

And the story was then placed with Pick me Up magazine and Woman’s Own magazine.

Daughter Claire said: “Selling the story has given Morgan’s Trust fund an instant boost. We wanted to do the stories but it was wonderful to have Alison deal with press enquiries and write the stories.”

Other recently sold stories include:

 

        • Is it my fault my son’s fat (Closer, ITV This Morning)
        • The Kelly quads who love Christmas (Daily Mail)

the kelly quads

    • I almost died from pre-eclampsia (The Sun)
    • Another baby for ‘too dumb’ mum (Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail)
    • I only eat fruit (The Sun)
    • At 69 the oldest person to have a sex change (Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail, ITV This Morning, Channel 5)
    • The Kelly Quads in the Daily Mail on Christmas Eve
    • I share a wardrobe with my daughter (Closer and national newspapersread >
    • I’ll never forget my adopted son (Closer)
    • I met my husband on my hen night (Daily Mirror, Bella mag)
    • Aborting my Down’s Syndrome baby ruined my life (Daily Mail, ITV This Morning)
    • I want a boob job but hubby doesn’t (Daily Mirror, ITV Daybreakread >
    • Mammogram saved my life (The Sun)
    • I have the longest legs in Britain (Daily Star)
    • Why we donated our eggs (The Sun)
    • Meet Spiderman and Pudsey Bear – craze for changing your name (The Sun)
    • Behind the scenes of X Factor (Daily Star, Sunday Mirror)
    • Husband gambled away our home (Daily Mirror, Bella)
    • Man with Terminal Cancer charged £1900 to cancel honeymoon (Sunday Mirror, Daily Mailread >
    • Twin saves sister in the womb (Daily Mail, Woman’s Own)
    • Malissa Jones (That’s Life mag) read >
    • Sisters gave me my baby (Daily Mail, Woman’s Ownread >
    • Meet Britains tallest girl (Sunday Mirror, Daily Mailread >
    • Parkinson’s turned me into a sex addict (Sunday People)
    • Our sponsored wedding (The Sun)sponsored wedding
  • North Versus South divide (Daily Mail)
  • Tears behind my wedding (Woman’s Own)
  • My bulimia battle (Daily Mirror) read >
  • My 33million to one triplets (Daily Mirror, Take a Breakread >
  • Too dumb to be a mum (Best mag, New mag)
  • Malissa Jones (Real People) read >
  • My wonky boobs left me a virgin (Reveal mag)
  • Custody battle over frozen embryos (The Sun)
  • TV reality show nightmare (Daily Star.)
  • Married best mate’s ex (Daily Mirror)
  • Youngest gran (The Sun)
  • Malissa Jones (Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star.) read >
  • My abortion didn’t work (Pick me Up)
  • Scandal at care home whistleblower (Sunday Mirror)
  • Family with six generations (The Sun, Daybreak TV)
  • Hope for Laura – Laura Hymas (Daily Mirror)Laura Hyams - will do whatever it takes to see son grow up
  • My sister gave birth to my baby (Sunday People)
  • I regret binge drinking (Daily Mail)
  • Afraid of people eating (The Sun)
  • Mother’s Day for Kerry McDougall (Sunday Mirror, New magazine.) Read
  • Could you marry a man you didn’t love? (Daily Mail, Woman’s Own.)
  • ITV’s Take me Out made fools of us (The Sun) read >
  • Mum’s home-made eczema cure is £100K business (Daily Mail, Woman) read >
  • Our £80,000 baby (Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Woman, ITV Daybreak) read >
  • The 13 year old girl who’s made British history (Mail on Sunday) read >
  • We bought our wedding with a groupon coupon (Sunday Mirror, Woman’s Own)
  • Congrats on your twins (Take a Break)
  • The 23 week baby (The Sun)
  • Postnatal depression for dads (Daily Mirror) read >
  • Me, my hubby and the Schoolgirl (That’s Life)
  • I wanted a baby – so I googled sperm donor (The Sun)
  • I will care for my orphaned grandson (The Sun, Pick me Up, Woman’s Own)
  • My abortion didn’t work (Sunday People, Reveal, Pick me Up)
  • I had a brain tumour for 15 years (Daily Mirror)
  • No-one makes an ass out of me (Pick me Up)
  • Growing up with a gay dad (The Sun, Best magazine).growing up with a gay dad
  • How a vaccine paralysed a mum of two (Daily Mail)
  • How one mum invented a grow your hair back diet (Daily Mail, Pick me Up) read >
  • My wedding heart attack (Take a Break)
  • Adoption – Three sides of the story (Bella)
  • Hayley Okines (Sunday People, Woman)

Could you marry a man you didn’t love…

Five women told their stories in the Daily Mail.

could you a marry a man you didn't love ?

Want to sell your story to a magazine or newspaper? Click here: Sell my story >

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