Update on Writing in the Real World

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I was going to start experimenting with finding work in the real publishing world rather than just for online consumption. I bought a couple of books to help me, one being The Writers Handbook and the other The Freelance Writer’s Guide by Andrew Croft.

I cannot report success at this time but there has been a development.

I used the Writers Handbook to find a list of the Sunday papers and called several up with an idea for a story. The story deals with international child abduction and the treatment of children and their familes that are caught up in this increasingly common situation.

This was my very brief outline mailed and emailed to the contacts selected:

“This week the British courts will send British citizens to foreign jurisdictions for court hearings. These British citizens will have committed no crime, many will have been born here and many will have lived here for most if not all of their lives. In 1980, Britain signed an international treaty which has resulted in several thousand children being sent abroad for court hearings. Some have died as a result, many have been abused and hundreds have simply disappeared while foreign civil servants have been implicated in serious misuse of the treaty to aid their own nationals escape repercussions of their actions towards British children.

If you are interested in exploring this as a story idea for an article kindly contact me.”

I sent this out to approximately twenty newspapers and journals and had several emails back saying “Thanks but no thanks”, a couple saying “The big cheese dealing with this is on holiday” and also a lot of silence.

On Saturday evening, rather late actually, the telephone rang and in my blind ignorance I let it go to answer machine while I was playing with the sprogs.

“This is a message for Karl, we received your outline and I’d like to discuss it with you. My name is [Little Cheese Sub Editor] at The Sunday Telegraph…..”

…at which point I ripped the phone from its cradle by telekinetic power alone.

The contents of that conversation I am unable to divulge at this time but that is what I call a great start!