Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Lady - some snippets of news

Couple of things have reached me via the womagwriter grapevine -

Firstly, fiction in The Lady may not be completely dead, I heard there's a chance they will reinstate it at a later date. So keep checking it, all might not be lost yet. And do consider writing in the meantime (or getting your mum/aunt/granny to write) lamenting the loss of the fiction!

Secondly, the Viewpoint slot is to be discontinued (thanks to Teresa W for letting me know). It's to be replaced in October with a new slot, called The Lady and I. Write about how The Lady changed your life in some way, about 350 words, to fill this one.

I'm sorry I've no more detail than that for now. If you hear anything, please add a comment here to spread the news.

I think my Mum's got a recent copy of The Lady. Perhaps I'll nick it when I next visit her in hospital. Although that's the wrong way round, isn't it - I should be taking magazines and grapes to her!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

That's Life Fast Fiction

I have a story in the latest That's Life Fast Fiction (Australian) and my contributor's copy arrived the other day. It's a really nice looking magazine and I am delighted to be in it - my first Australian publication. There are numerous other blogging pals in it, and I'm honoured to share pages with them.

The only changes I noticed made to my story, are to change the names of the characters. I guess names have different connotations on the other side of the world. My female MC's name was changed from Dee to Ada. Now to me, Ada is the name of someone's Granny, whereas my character is a young, not-long-married woman. And her hubby's name was changed from Jim to Hamish. I would only call a character Hamish if he was to be a caricature Scotsman. But I guess things are different down under.

Finding the right names for characters is always important. But I hadn't realised that names which are right for one market, might not be right in another. Interesting, isn't it?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

thank you all

for your good wishes for my Mum.

She's in hospital at the moment, which is the best place for her while they sort out what's wrong. I'm not going to say too much here as it's not what this blog is about, but so many left a comment on my post last week wishing her well, that I felt I should post a thank you. It does mean a lot!

Anyway - don't miss the 3 posts below this which I have just very quickly added.

The Lady - no more fiction

See Patsy's blog here for the sad news that yet another fiction market has bitten the dust. :-(

Good job the big markets - My Weekly, Woman's Weekly, Take A Break, People's Friend - are still going strong and taking plenty of stories.

My Weekly pocket novels guidelines

Please address: For the Attention of Maggie Seed

Love! Romance! Passion! Adventure!
Avid fans of romantic novels can get their fix from My Weekly Pocket Novels!
Two published every fortnight.

We look for stories with a strong, developing romance between two identifiable characters. Within the time it takes to read one of the novels, we would like the reader to share and experience the breathless/breath-taking excitement of a growing relationship.
Do: Create characters our readers can identify with, rejoice with or grieve with. They can have flaws.
Do: Thrill and intrigue the reader. You have two hours (roughly) to take the reader through a gamut of emotions and resolve the dilemma, mystery, pitfalls and obstacles.
Do: Include a heart-stopping moment! Key moments to consider: She realises she likes him; she thinks he is lost to her forever; that second-chance moment when she realises happiness can be hers…THE KISS!
Some questions you might like to answer: How can she resist him? How did he misjudge her? What kind of a woman is she?
Do: Set our pulses racing (ooh la la!) BUT remember we want passion, not pornography!
Do: Use dialogue so the reader can participate in the story’s development rather than being told in large chunks of straight narrative.

Sometimes: There can be a secondary plot to help develop the romance. For instance, there are often complications and misunderstandings between the hero and the heroine, or there is something vital at stake, such as a child, an inheritance, a relationship etc.
Crime and intrigue can feature, as long as they don’t distract from the developing romance.
Who: Our heroines vary in age from their early twenties to middle-age and are compassionate and morally sound. They are more modern in their relationships, thoughts, feelings and experiences when the novel has a contemporary setting.
Where and When: Stories can be set anywhere in the world and can be contemporary or historical.
How: The story is usually told from the woman’s point of view, although occasionally it is from the man’s.

Please send in a synopsis and the first three chapters in manuscript form or via email.
If we wish to proceed, we will ask you to send in the full novel electronically.
Word count: around 30,000 words, no more than 32,000.
Double spacing, double quotes, single space only between full stop and next sentence.
If accepted for publication the completed novel must be presented electronically in a format compatible with ours (i.e., Word or rich text format)

Please send to:
My Weekly Pocket Novels
D.C. Thomson & Co., Ltd.,
80 Kingsway East
Dundee DD4 8SL

My Weekly latest guidelines

Briefly (as I'm short of time! and the way the guidelines are laid out won't cut and paste easily onto Blogger)

For January/February issues My Weekly are looking for:
1400-1600 words Twist in the Tail. Particularly light hearted or very moving themes.
700 word Coffee Break. Again, light hearted or moving.
1200 or 2000 word Romance stories. Light hearted themes.
2500-3000 Long Reads.

Remember no MSS will be returned now, so if you hear nothing after 6 months consider it rejected. No need for SAEs (though I am sure most people email subs to them these days). Only send one sub a month.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Just a quick update

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Lots of family worries at the moment - Mum needing a lot of support. Work is stupidly busy too, but they know about Mum and I am able to take the time off when I need to help her, so that's ok.

Some bits and pieces:

The triathlon I was training for was last Sunday. My goals were (a) finish, (b) finish running, (c) finish in under 1hr 45 min and (c) not be last of the women. Guess what! I achieved all 4 aims! And I will probably never do another triathlon. Ever. It HURT!

Latest call for Wise Words for Prima magazine, is 'My most embarrassing party moment...'
Under 50 words, email to, include your postal address so they can send you the £25 if your contribution is printed. They don't tell you they've accepted one, they just send you the cheque!