In journalism circles, the first question anyone asks you is almost always ‘who do you work for’? It occurs to me, then, that it might make sense to start telling you, when I get the time to sort a post or two on the people who keep me so wonderfully busy.
I’m going to start with Story Terrace, a fast-growing producer of personalized, private books, who commission me to work with Irish clients from their office in London. They’re a little bit of a departure for me: I most often work with features going up to about 2000 words, but I’ve had assignments from Story Terrace in the tens of thousands, sometimes taking months to put together over a heap of different personal interviews. It’s a fantastic experience.
Typically, in my experience so far, the books come either as gift from family, or are bought by someone trying to tell a story of their life, who doesn’t feel able to do it themselves. More often than not, these people have had fantastically interesting lives. They’re often relatively late into life, and talking about some of the deeper connections they’ve made, and the experiences that shape them. At times, I’ve found it quite personally profound, too.
I can’t talk specifics, as every book I produce is private, and belongs to the person who commissioned it. If you don’t work in journalism, you’d probably be surprised to learn how much of the work we do is not credited by name, but assigned in some other, less explicit way. I don’t mind, at all: these stories are often some of the more interesting ones I get to write, and intensely personal. You can read my profile on their website, here, which I actually love in its own right. I was asked to sum up my own story in a couple of hundred words and relate it back to writing. It came out sounding far nicer than I could have anticipated.
I’m choosing now to talk about this particular work in part because Story Terrace are at a key moment in their evolution, and currently seeking crowdsourced investment, here (in fact, as I write this, they’re close to fully-funded). I’m no financial expert, but they look like a very solid investment to me. They’re currently selling books as well as they ever have, including the option to buy in Harrods. That means you can technically currently commission me in Harrods, should you want to, which I think is pretty mad.
The world moves in mysterious ways…
Check out some of my other writing clients here.