Step 1: What’s the headline?
Give your story a title that’ll make people want to read it. Include a hook that focuses on the impact of your event or project. For example, “How our Big Lunch brought my family together”.
Step 2: A perfect intro
Introduce the story with an overview of what your project or event is about and the impact it’s had. Who or what is the focus of your story about? What’s been achieved? Just a few sentences — think of these as the first few lines in a newspaper article that grabs your attention, summarizes the story and makes you want to read more.
Step 3: Begin at the beginning
Tell us why you took on this project or created this event. What problem were you trying to solve or what issue were you addressing? What was your initial goal? What were the biggest challenges to begin with?
Step 4: What happened next?
Go on to explain how you eventually got things up and running. What practical steps did you take? Include the key things that you want to pass on to other people who may be in a similar situation to you and what to find out how you dealt with the ups and downs.
Step 5: A happy ending
Round things up by saying what your event or project has done for the community. What has changed? Include any evidence and testimonials from others where possible, such as quotes from neighbours or other any recognition from local press or other community leaders.
Step 6: Tighten it up
Once you’ve written your first draft, leave it alone for a while before going back to it with fresh eyes. Aim to tighten everything up and keep it all short and succinct — anything from 500–800 words is usually long enough. Cut out any waffle or repetitiveness. Show it to someone you trust will give you some honest feedback.
Step 7: What a picture!
Every great story needs a great picture to illustrate it. If the story is about you then everyone will want to see a nice photo of you — preferably going about your work on your project or at your event. Make sure it’s a decent quality shot in as high a resolution as possible.
If you’re more of a documentary filmmaker than a wordsmith, then have a go at making a film instead….
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