Wednesday, 2 December 2009

This isn't good news...

Thanks to LilyS for passing this on. New writers asking for My Weekly's writers' guidelines are being sent the following email:

Dear Contributor,

Thank you for your interest in our current guidelines.

I am very sorry to disappoint you but unfortunately due to the volume of short stories currently flooding into our offices, I am, for the foreseeable future, unable to read and therefore accept unsolicited stories from authors who have not already had an acceptance from My Weekly.

If you have contributed to My Weekly in the past I thank you for your submissions, if not, I’m sorry I can’t offer you, at this time, the opportunity to have your work published with us.

The very best of luck with your writing.

Yours sincerely,

Liz Smith
Commissioning Fiction Editor.

What a shame. My Weekly, in the days when they had more staff dealing with fiction, were one of the nicest and most helpful magazines to submit to. It seems those days have gone.


Julie P said...

There goes another market for those of us trying to get a foothold. It really is such a shame. But I have to say that I think My Weekly are being a bit short sighted here as they will miss out on a lot of great stories from writers who may not have submitted to them before. These writers will now go to other magazines.

But I suppose it means that My Weekly just aren't interested in publishing any new and exciting writers because they already have a steady stream of reliable old favourites and they aren't willing or able to seek out new talent.

What happens if a writer has been widely published in other women's mags except My Weekly ?(I wish this was the case with me but sadly it's not!) My Weekly have shut the door in the face of a lot of potential stories that are of a high quality, I should imagine.

The thing that is now worrying me is how long before the other mags follow suit? This could be a disaster and spell the end of a lot of yet unpublished writer's careers before they've even started!

I understand that they have thousands of stories each month and that the majority will be unsuitable for publication. I also realise that they have a limited staff reading them. But it just makes it that much harder for us to get started - and quite frankly it's unfair and highly biased toward established writers who all started where the rest of us yet unpublished writers are now. Where does it leave us?!

Too many writers are chasing too few outlets and it's soul destroying when outlets restrict their submissions. Let's hope they turn their decision around soon.

Julie xx

B said...


I sent them a story on 3rd June and never heard anything back. I'll give it another couple of days and then look again to see if it can go somewhere else.

Oh well.....

Olivia Ryan said...

Yes, this is another blow to short story writers, isn't it. Julie, 'My Weekly' is one of the mags I was going to 'research' as to why I was having difficulty getting accepted there! I have been published by them - but not for a long time, and not often. I have only just (yesterday) sent them my 'one story per month' so am not holding out much hope for that! I wonder why they have made this decision, while other magazines with (presumably) just as many unsolicited submissions, are managing to cope with the 'flood'? Sadly, it's the way all markets for writers seem to be going now: it's the same if you're looking for an agent or a publisher for a book - like finding a needle in a haystack, trying to find one who will look at unsolicited submissions, or unagented submissions, or ANY submissions!

Sahajabe said...


Quillers said...

It is sad news. And I imagine that those who have been published by them in the past would need to state it very clearly in their submission email/letter.

I don't think other mags will follow suit, and The Weekly News is still one of the best places for new writers to get a foothold. Jill, and in her absence, Billy Higgins, are wonderfully supportive to new talent.

Anonymous said...

Very sad. I'd appreciate your advice, Womagwriter, regarding a story submitted to My Weekly a few weeks ago. Should I assume that it's not going to be considered, and submit it elsewhere?

And while I'm here, I'd like to thank you for your very helpful blog.


Queenie said...

What Sahajabe so eloquently said. Still, I have to say that for the last year or so I've been feeling as if I'm wasting my time with My Weekly, and at least it'll save me making submissions when there's no point. (I won't be buying it any more, either. Hah! Take that, My Weekly!!)

Diane said...

It's a real shame, but the writing's been on the wall for a good while now. And it's not just fiction at My Weekly. I've written both for them and now it's almost impossible to get articles accepted by them too.

It seems they're investing more in the non-fiction editorial team so they can come up with ideas to farm out to some of the regulars ... but as they're giving them less than a fortnight to turn this around it's getting increasingly difficult to get anything accepted or commissioned by them now. My diary is full at least a month in advance and when I'm really busy, 3 months in advance. So less than a fortnight's notice is no good for me, especially when I have to do several interviews.

Hire a staffer, get them to do it.

Sorry, I know most of your readers are interested in fiction, but some of us do still do both and as it's the same market ...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm that is a real shame but it's just made me determined to work even harder on the stories I'm sending off to other magazines. Unpublished authors unite!

Have to say I agree with Queenie - I won't be buying 'My Weekly' either for the foreseeable future. Not out of bitterness but there's no point if you don't stand a chance of getting published with them.

Makes me think that that magazines must sell a reasonably large proportion of their copies to writers hoping to get published by them and so researching the market. Does seem rather short-sighted to not accept their submissions rather than simply employing another person.

happydaze said...

It is a pity. My weekly gave me my first break as a writer so I'll always be grateful to them for that. It just seems such a shame that things seem to have taken a downward spiral in recent months. Also, it would be useful if they could officially announce this change of policy so that people don't waste their time subbing!

Colette McCormick said...

What a pity. They have a couple of my stories at the moment but I'm not holdong out much hope.

womagwriter said...

Agreed, Julie. This kind of restriction on submitting leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. MW fiction will definitely be in danger of losing its variety and spark, if no new voices are heard.

Claire, and anyone else who's not been published in MW but has sent a story recently - I would say hold on, don't send your story elsewhere. If you haven't had the email reproduced here, then there's a chance for you yet. I'd keep subbing to them and good luck. Pretend you don't read this blog. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have spread this news...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice! Blog...what blog?


Jenny Schwartz said...

Horrible news, but thanks for sharing it.

I've had a couple of stories published at Everyday fiction ( and although money-wise it's not a replacement for My Weekly, you do often get feedback from readers--and that can make the day brighter. So, for anyone with a homeless short, short story, you might want to consider the site.

Teresa W said...

Here we have Archant's head office, where I used to work once. At the beginning of this recession, they made quite a few of their editors redundant.

So it's my guess that has probably happened at 'My Weekly' offices too.

It's really bad news for people like me who would love to break into the short story market, and only at the beginning of what I would like to be a long relationship with magazines. They want credentials, but how are we going to get them if someone doesn't give new writers a break at least a glimmer of hope?

It's a real shame. Thanks for letting us know Womag.

Anonymous said...

To my amazement, I've just had email from My Weekly asking for story for Spring Special. This is after having heard nothing in ages, in spite of having published several hundred short stories, 10 8episode serials and several features over the past 15 years.

The magazine has changed - I suspect not for the better. The majority of the editors and subs, who I worked with, have gone.

Fortunately, People's Friend is still sticking with it's tried and tested format. Well, to a point. There is now a 3000 max word count.

I've found Woman's Weekly Excellent. And they like long short stories for their Specials. Am currently finishing a 9000 worder.

Don't give up, new writers x Take a Break is always looking for tales for their Fiction Specials.

Patti Hales

Jo said...

Diane's comment was very interesting.

I received an email from the My Weekly Features Editor, right out of the blue 2 weeks ago, having pitched an idea so long ago I'd totally forgotten about it. I was over the moon, never expected to get in with a UK print publication. Ok, it was a bit short notice, but the word count was small, the pay was great and it only took me 2 afternoons.
Bearing in mind I slave away at the coal face of web content writing, this was manna from heaven!

I found them amazingly easy to work with, and they have offered me work in the future.

So what Diane says has credibilty, maybe they are cutting back on fiction for features that can be done quickly. For me that's no problem, but it's a great shame for fiction writers to be losing yet another market.

Gina said...

Well, what a pity! Fresh talent is vital for any fiction publication, so they will lose out in the end. Concentrate your fine talents elsewhere, writers and good luck...

Anonymous said...

I am not only a fiction writer with 18 years of published work under my belt in MW, PF, best, Bella, Woman's Weekly and others, I am also a Creative Writing tutor. Most of my students long to be published, so I will give you the advice which I give to them.

Online, you can get Writer's Guide-lines for any magazine.

Make you sure you print them out and also make sure that you frequently update them. Requests vary from time to time.

In talks with various Fiction Editors, I frequently hear "Whoever sent this clearly hasn't studied our house-style."

This is so important. Right down to single or double quote marks. Short or long sentences. Ditto paragraphs.

NEVER EVER write a tale and wonder who you should send it to. Get the idea in your head, then consider which magazine it would be suitable for. eg I Can write 'bum' in most stories, but one major mag will change it to bottom!

BUY AND STUDY FICTION SPECIALS as well as the magazine of your choice. Fiction Specials use a lot of stories of varying lengths.

Lastly, as someone pointed out, earlier, we all have to start somewhere. I sold my first story to best, then had 42 rejection slips before I published next one.

Most important...keep going.