Pitching the right story

Golden rule of pitching freelance stories: know the magazine’s vibe. I just knew Country Style readers would love the story of Burmese refugee Lal, who was taken under the wing of organic apple growers Chris and Michelle McColl. (You can read the previous blog post here.)


Photograph by Sharyn Cairns

The story appeared in the November edition, and the feedback in the following month’s Letters to the Editor pages was heartwarming.

The tale of Chris and Michelle McColl giving refugees Lal Lian and his family new hope for the future touched me more than any story in Country Style. It served as a reminder that if we all considered others and shared our lives, such positive outcomes are possible. Thank you, Country Style, for sharing this story and giving us hope and the drive to help make other people’s futures brighter. – E.D., Kurrajong,NSW
…was so humbled to read the story of Lal Lian, and Chris and Michelle McColl in the November issue. Stories like these deeply hearten one’s spirit about Australians who do lend a hand to a stranger, and practise a generosity of spirit and a ‘fair go’. The McColls not only provided Lal and his family with the land to grow beautiful organic vegetables, but they also share meals with them regularly, which is even more impressive and requires commitment and energy. Of all the delightful stories in each issue, this one stands out as it reinforces that life is about ‘doing good for others’ and making a difference. The McColls make me proud to be an Australian. – L.T., Claremont, WA
The letters are in the gorgeous December edition – perfect summer holiday reading!

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I’m Gretel Sneath, accomplished freelance writer & storyteller. When I'm not on the road, you'll find me on South Australia's Limestone Coast.