Thursday, 21 November 2019

Your Go

This month's discussion topic – What's your favourite thing about writing womag stories?

Here's another monthly random photo for use as a story prompt. 

Please share success (or otherwise!) report any womag news, tips, advice you may have, make womag related comments or observations and ask questions – and answer them too if you can help.

 (If you have news or a question relating to a particular magazine, it's also fine to add it as a comment to the latest post for that magazine.)

Monday, 18 November 2019

ALCS reminder

Just a reminder that the deadline to register work for ALCS payments is the end of this month.

For anyone who doesn't know, the Authors' Licensing Collection and Collecting Society (ALCS) is an organisation which collects and distributes money which is owed to authors when their work is published in magazines. This applies to fiction, non-fiction and visual work. You must state that you own the copyright in order to claim. Newspapers don't qualify, so there's nothing due from stories published in The Weekly News.

You're not obliged to make a claim if you'd rather not, but not doing so means you miss out on money which is due to you.

More info on ALCS can be found in this guest post by Carol Bevitt and from their website.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

You're in the right place!

I have a couple of womag related snippets in Writer's Forum this month and the editor added this comment.

Talking of editors ... Isn't it great that Katharine Wootton of Yours listened to and acted on the concerns raised by myself and others about the all rights issue? (See previous posts if you missed the two bits of good news from Yours and Yours Fiction.)

And isn't the support we get from the entire editorial team at The People's Friend brilliant? They must be swamped with submissions, yet we always receive a reply. Often there's a helpful comment or word of encouragement too, sometimes more comprehensive feedback will be supplied – and Shirley Blair takes the time to update her blog to keep us informed of the fiction requirements and other news.

Of course these are by no means the only helpful, friendly and supportive editors. Who do you feel deserves our thanks?

As part of my efforts to maintain this blog, and write occasional news pieces for Writer's Forum and Writing Magazine, I quite often contact editors. Almost always I get a reply.  Sometimes they even contact me with information to pass on to womag writers. These people are busy, and my requests for information take them away from the mountain of submissions and other tasks they have to deal with, so thank you to everyone who has ever replied – even when the answer wasn't what I wanted to hear.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Great news from Yours magazine

I've been away and came back to this email from the editor of Yours magazine ...

"Hi Patsy,

Just wanted to update you on something in case you’re able to add anything onto your blog post.

Following your mention about the fact many writers aren’t happy with all-rights and a few other conversations we’ve had about it, we’re now going to be accepting stories on a limited licence agreement rather than all rights. 

Basically this means we have a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual and unconditional worldwide licence to use the works in any and all media whether now known or invented in the future and continue to have the right to edit, retouch or amend any of the works. However unlike with an all-right agreement we are not asking you to perpetually hand over all present and future copyright on the work. So we hold a licence to use your work where we’d like to within Bauer media but we do not own outright the copyright to your work.

Just thought you and some of your readers might like to know about the change

Warm wishes


Update – I asked for confirmation that the new terms will apply to all new stories and that all writers, whether they've previously sold to Yours or not, will get new contracts. Katharine's reply is– 

"Our new policy applies from this month and not historically so any stories already bought by Yours up to this point on an all-rights basis is still contracted on an all-rights basis meaning we won’t be contacting writers to update the contract and all the terms of the all-rights policy signed for for that particular story still apply. From this month, though, the writers of all new stories accepted for either for Yours or Yours Fiction will be asked to sign the new limited licence agreement." 

Friday, 1 November 2019

Karen Byrom is leaving My Weekly

Another fiction editor will shortly be retiring from a D C Thomson magazine. In addition to Shirley Blair leaving The People's Friend (as reported in my last post) Karen Byrom is to leave her position as fiction editor at My Weekly. These two things happening close together are just a coincidence.

Karen's message for readers of this Womagwriter blog is ...

"After nearly 40 years of working at DC Thomson, I have decided to retire as fiction editor of My Weekly. I'll really miss working on the magazine, but I'm  looking forward to the next exciting phase of my life. I shall especially miss regular contact with all the lovely writers I've had the fortune to work with over the last few years - I couldn't have done my job so well without all your great contributions. I may not have been able to buy them all, but I've read and appreciated every single one.

I won't completely disappear from the radar, as I'll still be writing short stories and my Wadhams series. So I'll be dropping in on Womag regularly (if you'll have me) and am looking forward to hearing and contributing to the news and views from your side of the fence.

Fiction will continue to be a key feature of My Weekly - they're already actively recruiting for a new fiction editor. But I'll be around for the next two months, so do drop me a line anytime."

Thank you, Karen and best wishes for the future. I will, of course, be delighted to see you on the blog any time.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Shirley Blair is leaving The People's Friend

It's not happening yet, and somebody suitable will replace her and ... It's probably best if you read her blog, where Shirley explains that's she's leaving The People's Friend.

I've met Shirley and communicated with her via numerous emails and she's always been friendly and helpful. Many writing friends have said how nice she is and how she's encouraged them with their writing. She'll be greatly missed and a very hard act to follow.

(I'll have more to say later, once I've got over the surprise.)

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Up to you!

I post information, on this blog in the hope that it will be of use or interest to others. I use information I've discovered, or am provided with, in good faith. That's it.

I'm not paid by the magazines (other than when they buy my stories – if they do). Making a post about a publication gains me no advantage with them (although it may do the opposite in some cases!). I'm not endorsing any publication, nor am I responsible for their policies, nor the opinions of those leaving comments.

Personally I don't give up all rights to my work and don't submit work to publications which receive money yet pass none of this to the fiction authors. If you wish to do either of those things yourself then it's entirely your decision. We're all different and write for different reasons and with different expectations.

As writers we can criticise each others choices, we can ostracise those who feel or act differently, and make them reluctant, even afraid, to express opinions in groups, blogs, social media etc and to write under pen names to avoid a possible backlash. Or we can accept that it's hard for all of us and offer support, advice and friendship. That's what I try to do. Again which route you take is entirely your decision.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

New market for womag fiction

I've had an email from the fiction editor at Yours magazine.

"I’m getting in touch from Yours, a national women’s magazine, to ask if you possibly might be able to share news with your readers that our new sister title, Yours Fiction, is actively looking for short story submissions from writers. As I’ve seen a few articles on your website about various places people can send short stories, I thought this might give another platform for writers to be paid and published for their work."

As any increase in opportunities to have short stories published is very welcome, I'm only too pleased to share this news. 

Yours Fiction is quite new – I believe the second issue is currently in the shops. It contains 26 stories per issue. Submission guidelines are here.

Note Yours take all rights for the stories they publish.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Woman's Way

Woman's Way is an Irish magazine currently open to submissions of fiction. 

Bad news first – They're not currently in a position to pay.

Slightly better news – They don't claim any rights over submissions, other than those required to publish the story in the magazine. It's also possible that they may consider stories which have been previously published. If you want to send something in that category, for which you retain rights, I suggest stating when and where it was published.

All stories must be in the 800-850 word range as they don't have the space for anything else. If you require more information on submission requirements then please contact the publication directly – there's a form for this here.

Woman's Way are currently running a Christmas story competition. There are some very nice, literary themed, prizes on offer for this. More details and entry form can be found here.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Woman's Weekly to stop publishing serials.

I heard a rumour some time ago, and today have had it confirmed that Woman's Weekly are to stop publishing serials.

Over to you

This month's discussion topic – Where do you get your ideas from?

Here's another monthly random photo for use as a story prompt. 

Please share success (or otherwise!) report any womag news, tips, advice you may have, make womag related comments or observations and ask questions – and answer them too if you can help.

 (If you have news or a question relating to a particular magazine, it's also fine to add it as a comment to the latest post for that magazine.)

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Re-using short stories

After my stories have been published* or placed into competitions, I put them together in themed collections. The latest of these, Slightly Spooky Stories III is out now. As you may have guessed these are 24 ghost stories and the like – not too scary as they're mostly womag type stories.

I've also produced four collections each of garden and family related stories, three of romances, one concerning time and one about work. You can find them all, plus my other books, here, if you fancy a nose – or even want to buy one or download the freebies.

*I can because I retain the right to do so. For those who give up all rights, this isn't an option.

What do you do with your stories after they've been published? (If you'd like to put a link in your comment, I'll add it to this post, so everyone else can see.)

Fay Knowles has produced Sunbeams from the Heart - A Collection of 12 romantic short stories.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Sorry ....

I've just had my sixth anonymous spam comment of the day, following on from 13 yesterday, and have therefore disabled the ability to leave anonymous comments. I didn't want to, as I know a) Not everyone has a Blogger account and b) There are sometimes good reasons for choosing to leave comments anonymously and c) I want to encourage rather than discourage people from leaving comments. However I'm getting so fed up with the spam, it was this or stop the blog.

On the plus side (I do try to find positives!) I probably don't need to moderate comments now, which will save me time and mean they appear immediately.

There is still a way to comment anonymously if you wish. It's a faff, but you can set up a separate Blogger account with a nickname or pen name.

There's no need to have a blog in order to comment here – you can create an account without going on to do that.

If anyone has a brilliant suggestion for avoiding spam and still allowing anonymous comments, please let me know!

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Over to you

This month's discussion topic – Which womags do you read? And how do you get hold of them? Subscribe, buy from a newsagent, via Readly, borrow from a friend, in the library, something else?

Here's a random photo for use as a story prompt. 

Please share success (or otherwise!) report any womag news, tips, advice you may have, make womag related comments or observations and ask questions – and answer them too if you can help.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Oustanding stories and response times.

I know I'm not alone in having had stories accepted by Woman's Weekly on the old terms, eighteen months ago, and not yet used. A month ago I asked for an update, but have not yet had a reply. Oddly even some writers who now submit stories on the new terms, but for the old pay rate, are in the same situation – including the lack of information about the older stories. It seems they're hoping that if they ignore this issue it will go away!

Take a Break have also had some of my stories for quite a time, without being either rejected or accepted. My recent query into these was answered promptly, to say that they are still under consideration, but that if I wished to withdraw them the fiction editor would understand. Slightly frustrating not to get a definite answer, but at least I know they, or the response, haven't just got lost and I'm not being ignored.

Some magazines only respond if they wish to publish the story. With The Weekly News, if you've not heard after three months it's a no. (My story in this mag last week is pictured - thanks, Carrie!) The same applies with any version of Australian magazine That's Life!, but after six months, and Woman's World after four months.

With My Weekly, there's also a four month cut-off period, but the editor also sends out new guidelines every other month and confirms that stories submitted up to a certain date have all been considered. (If you're one of those permitted to submit to My Weekly and don't get these updated guidelines, do ask to be put on the list. They're very helpful.)

The People's Friend always reply to every submission. There's more information on how they do that here. Don't be too disheartened if all you get are the standard rejections. I did too, lots of them over a long period, until I got my first acceptance with them.

South African magazine YOU also reply to all submissions, usually within three weeks. I'm told that Yours also reply – eventually!

Some other magazines don't always reply and have no definite cut of period. These include Ireland's Own and Allas. Prima don't respond to submissions / competition entries unless you're the winner.

Please not, Take a Break, That's Life! and My Weekly only accept submissions from those on their lists of approved authors. The others are open to submissions from everyone. If you'd like to know more about submitting to any magazine, click on its title below this post, or from the list in the right hand column.