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Stop Press...6th April 2006


Carl Honoré - Author & Journalist

My name is Carl Honoré and I am a journalist and author based in London. My first book, In Praise of Slow (, examines how the world got stuck in fast-forward and chronicles the global trend towards putting on the brakes. It is translated into 25 languages and is an international bestseller.

I am now looking for people to interview for my next book, which will explore childhood in the 21st century. I am investigating how so many children these days seem to be over-scheduled, marinated in consumerism and generally encouraged to grow up faster. And how at the same time they are wrapped in cotton wool and barred from taking risks. This approach to raising children is sometimes called "hyper-parenting" or "helicopter-parenting." Some say it is a threat to childhood itself. Others dismiss it as an invention by nostalgists yearning for a golden era of childhood that never really existed.

Here are some of the questions I would like to put to interviewees:

  • Do you recognize this cultural shift in your own family or community?
  • If hyper-parenting exists, does it only affect more affluent families?
  • Do you think parenting has become more competitive and that parents have lost faith in their ability to parent?
  • Do you think parents are too involved or not involved enough in the lives of their children nowadays?
  • What do you think is good and bad about the way children grow up nowadays?
  • Do you feel that your own children live in fast-forward, or do they have enough time to themselves?
  • If you have streamlined your children’s schedules (cutting activities, for instance) to give them more down time, what was the result?
  • Do you think children’s sports have become too intense (competitive and time-consuming)? If so, what have you done to relieve the pressure?
  • Have you taken steps to insulate your children from turbo-consumerism (eg. scaling back birthday parties)?
  • Are you rethinking the way your children use television, the Internet, video games and other technology?
  • Have you been impressed by any projects, school initiatives (eg. homework bans), summer camps, state policies, consumer campaigns, technological innovations etc that aim to give children more time and space to themselves?

If you have anything to say about any of these questions, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at (I am happy to use pseudonyms in my book to protect your privacy.)

Many thanks in advance for your help. Best wishes, Carl.


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Endemol TV

We are currently producing a major new interior design series for BBC2, to be broadcast in the autumn. There are many different strands within this programme, from this season's must-have wallpaper to finding alternatives to flat-pack furniture. I am currently working on a strand called "Welcome To My Lovely Home" and am travelling the length and breadth of the country to find people who are passionate about where they live.

The idea is that the series, called Home, will feature leading interior designers, furniture makers, and new trends, and we are looking for people who are literally very house-proud. A person who has thought a great deal about where they want to live and feels they have found their perfect home with interiors to match. We are looking for all types of homes across the UK and am especially looking for a large family. We want people who are proud of their home and have a favourite room or rooms that they'd like to tell us about and be the subject of a 3 minute piece on you and your home as part of our eight, one hour series.

Give me a call if you'd like to talk further about this - 020 8222 4361 - or send me an email at:


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Share your story - and get paid!

Hi, my name is Gail Titchener and I am a freelance writer contributing to women's magazines including That's Life; Bella, Best, Full House, Pick Me Up, Chat and Woman, as well as the women's pages of The Sun and The Mirror.

I'm always on the look out for great true life stories, so if you've got an original story to tell, please get in touch. How does it work? Well, first I'll get the basics from you via email or over the phone. Then, if a publication expresses an interest, I'll come back to you for a full interview.

You'll also get a contract from the publication in question. This is where you state that the story is true and hasn't appeared in any other magazines - and it's also where the publication promises to pay you! Payment is usually four to six weeks after the article has been printed and depends entirely on your story. It could be anything from £100 to £1000. I can quickly find you the best possible price by speaking to every magazine I work with about your story. You don't have to do anything!

If you've flicked through That's Life, Chat or Bella, you know the sort of things I'm looking for - Maybe you've lost a huge amount of weight to have a child - or for the sake of the kids you already have? Perhaps your child's successfully fought illness against all the odds? Maybe becoming a mum has contributed to the break-up of your marriage? Or perhaps you've something completely different to share... If you're in any doubt as to whether your story is something I'd like to hear about, do get in touch. What have you got to lose?!

Email me at:


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Are you a parent?

Are you disabled?

Do you have at least one child under-18?

If you answer 'yes' to these questions we want to hear from you. The National Family and Parenting Institute want to find out about the things that help you as a parent. This might be a service (eg. home-care), a person (eg. an occupational therapist), or anything else (eg. an accessible play-group, a taxi to get your children to school, a supportive group you are a member of).

They want to hear your stories so that local authorities can learn the best way of providing help. They also want to know about any other kind of support you would find helpful in being a parent.

They would like to hear from all sorts of parents including natural parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, mothers, fathers, and parents who live with their children as well as those who do not. They would like to hear from parents with a variety of disabled parents as possible, including those with physical or sensory impairments, learning disabilities, and/or those with mental health impairments. They would like to hear about support provided by social services, health services, by the education system, by voluntary groups, and so on.

If you wish, you can contact us anonymously. If you provide contact details, you will NOT be contacted by the researchers for more information, unless you specifically request it.

Any identifiable information you share will be treated in the strictest confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

The researchers carrying out the work on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the National Family and Parenting Institute are Richard and Helen. Both are parents, and Helen is also a disabled person. Both have a lot of experience of working with disabled parents, and are committed to finding ways of better supporting them.


You can contact us in the following ways:-

By freepost:National Family and Parenting Institute, Dis/Par, FREEPOST LON12668, LONDON, NW5 2YR
By freephone:0800 328 1720 (this will connect to an answering service). Calls via BT typetalk welcome.
via the



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© Copyright: Angela Corbet, 2001.