Requests for personal stories/book research

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Requests for personal stories/book research

Postby deb8891 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:59 pm

Hello all: I have been kicking around an idea for a non-fiction book geared towards a specific group of people and their work environments. I am thinking I would gather personal stories and create a compilation. So I am wondering--what would be an effective way to gather this sort of information? What do you think of a classified ad (such as Craigslist) placed in several cities, and asking for willing readers to email me their stories? They would not need to submit any personal information of course--perhaps just initials and the city where they live. Any other suggestions about information gathering? I could imagine even doing a little "on the street" surveying, so to speak, in my area, but am interested in particular situations in different cities, larger and smaller. Any suggestions? Thank you much....cheers.
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Re: Requests for personal stories/book research

Postby SquarePeg » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:35 am

Depending on how many stories you're looking for, I'd just walk up to strangers at various venues and explain what you're doing and hand out business cards so that they can contact you if they want. Keep track of any travel expenses -- you'll want to deduct these against any proceeds your work might generate.

Try also volunteering at nursing homes. I'm sure you'll pick up stories that way, and you'll do some good at the same time.
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Re: Requests for personal stories/book research

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:39 am

SquarePeg wrote:Try also volunteering at nursing homes. I'm sure you'll pick up stories that way, and you'll do some good at the same time.

Good suggestion. My parents live in an assisted living/nursing home and my mom is saying the older people are good at telling their stories. But, then they usually are gone in the not too distant future, so you have to get 'em while they're talking :) . My mom was just telling me the 106 year old just died on Friday.
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Re: Requests for personal stories/book research

Postby SquarePeg » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:06 pm

When I was in high school, our Madrigal singers visited a nursing home in December. One of our numbers was Sleigh Ride. After we were done, one of the men whipped out his harmonica and a played a romping version of it -- up tempo and everything. He was great. In Jr HS, we met with another group. I remember hearing about a man who immigrated from Rome, Italy, and he told about how life was growing up. There's a wealth of experience in our elders, and they're more than happy to talk about their experiences. A tape recorder would be invaluable during these interviews.
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Re: Requests for personal stories/book research

Postby kashtanka » Sun May 27, 2012 6:25 pm

Deb, I don't know if you're around anymore, but here's a thought that maybe others can use. I used to belong to IWWG, (the International Women's Writing Guild) and members could request information or stories in their monthly newsletter. I imagine that many other writing organizations do the same.
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