By Andrea Ann Kepes
- Choose your topic – an area of interest to you, a story ideas someone has approached you about etc.
- Ensure the subject is willing to be interviewed for a story which may include having their pic taken.
- Pitch the idea to the appropriate newspaper or magazine to save time in doing a story which may not be of interest to the publication. Read some of the publication’s stories to get an idea of the style they use.
- Find out about their payment rates – usually by the word.
- Draw up a list of interview questions – who?what?where?why?when? Ask open-ended questions to get full, expressive responses which may later be useful for direct quotes.
- Set up an interview time, date and place. Needs to be quiet without interruptions. Your place or theirs? In an office environment? A telephone interview?
- Use a dictaphone to record the interview and take brief notes also. Check the dictaphone is recording early on in the interview to ensure material is not lost.
- Following the interview, play it back and take notes including any relevant quotes from the subject.
- Write the story beginning with a strong, attention-grabbing intro. Include the subject’s quotes to give their own words. Write concisely and descriptively. Choose a punchy headline for the story.
- Send a copy of the story to the subject and they can advise of any necessary changes. Let them know that once the story has been sent to a publication it becomes their property and they may make editorial decisions which could shorten or alter the original story.
- Send the story to a number of different publications, if possible, to increase chance of publication. This could be done all at the same time but runs the risk that if more than one publication agree to use it, they might want exclusive rights to the story.
Contact me I can assist you with your story or how about I write it for you!