Friday, 10 June 2011

Take A Break revamp

Julie P noticed there's been a distinct lack of fiction in the weekly Take A Break since its recent revamp. More true-life and celeb gossip.

Does anyone know for certain if they are dropping the fiction slot? I know occasionally in the past they've missed a week or two but then it's come back, so maybe this is just a blip. Let's hope so.

To clarify - we're talking about the weekly TAB magazine here, which traditionally has taken one one-page story each week. The monthly Fiction Feast is unchanged.

Edited 11th June to add - some writers have had confirmation from Norah that the weekly TAB is definitely dropping its fiction slot for now.

Another market gone.

Edited 13th June to add - here's TAB's Facebook page if you'd like to leave comments about the new format.


Kath said...

Apparently the weekly magazine have said, in response to a general query, they're dropping their fiction slot for the time being.

Diane Fordham said...

Nooooooooooooo! I can't even believe what is happening to the short fiction market. The last thing us writers need is for it to get even smaller. Hoping and wishing we get some good news really soon!

Patsy said...

That's not good news at all.

Diane Fordham said...

Well something positive (kind of)came out of the news about TAB. I did some writing today on my blog, SAVING THE SHORT STORY MARKET. If you get a chance please go over and visit. Thank you.

Julie P said...

I wonder if they are planning to leave the fiction off for a few weeeks and then poll their readers on what they like/dislike about the new mag? That'll be we writers' opportunity to stage a 'Bring Back The Fiction' campaign!

But I fear all we will be left with are the fiction specials. I wonder if That's Life in Australia will go the same way?

Tis the way of the world - magazines will follow whatever trend sells their magazines - it looks like the good old days of short story fiction filling their pages are rapidly coming to an end to be replaced with celeb rubbish!

What does this change say about our culture I wonder?

Julie xx

Diane Fordham said...

Is a worry Julie. I guess we just got to stick together and express our interest for the short stories in magazines. I've been wondering about That's Life too - I hope they don't drop the fiction in their weekly mag and keep on going with the Fast Fiction, which I wish was monthly as opposed to quarterly (keep on dreaming hey?)

Anonymous said...

I had a story accepted by TAB about a month ago, so wonder if i will now be paid?


Elaine Everest said...

Now is the time to ask family and friends to post a comment on the Take a Break and Woman Mag Facebook pages to say they want fiction in their mags. Donlt think that because TAB commission you that they will continue to do so - if it suits them they will stop and we will have less markets than we do now. We've had discussions in the apst where some womagwriters hid there heads in the sand and adopted an, 'I'm all right Jack' attitude. Now is the time to start campaigning and doing something to save your livelihood.

Facebook is great for campaigning. In the show dog world we recently had a FB campaign to ask the Kennel Club to stop coat testing at dog shows and it worked! Thousands spoke and they listened.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise that TaB commissioned any of their stories! How naive of me.

Julie P said...

I'm sorry, Elaine,
but I find your comments about some womag writers burying their heads in the sand a bit much! Now you know I admire you and I'm not being funny but Writing is a busines and all of those who are published in women's mags have worked very hard to be published. Don't forget that the markets are dwindling for them too - they are no different to the rest of us in this respect.

There is a real fear that if you 'rock the boat' too much, you might be black listed. It's the same fear as in any other job when the threat of redundancies is looming. It's so easy, when the presure is on, to turn against your colleagues.

Losing short story markets is as stressful for regular woman writers as it is for those of us yet to get started. If the markets aren't there we all lose out.

And anyway, if people do choose not to get involved for whatever reason they are within their rights to do do. It's a free country and if we do lose more markets because some readers and writers didn't campaign for more fiction in women's magazines - the consequences will affect them as much as those that did!

It's a worrying time and we may no be granted with the return of fiction slots - but writers have to adapt to this and write for another market where their work is wanted - tis the way of the world. Thoe who can adapt survive.

We'll see what happens!
I'm sure Womag will keep us informed.

Julie xx

Geraldine Ryan said...

TAB know their market. Read these comment below:-

"I prefer the new look - the fiction was usually very poorly written anyway, actually recently I've been skipping the fiction bits anway. It's definitely the best weekly in the market just now especially as Pick Me Up has gone all smutty and lads-mag-ish".

"Kathy Wright am loving the new look.Glad the fiction hasn't been in it.I always leave those bits!."

SarahE said...

But did they have to take the fiction out altogether? Could they not revamp it like the rest of the mag? Surely the question should not be do you or don't you want fiction because then lots of people might say no without thinking about it, or because they didn't like the previous style! Perhaps the question should be 'what sort of fiction do you want?' Then maybe the demand for spooky stories or thrillers might be there and no one knew! Short stories are an important part of our culture and worth fighting for - readers and writers alike. The fiction feast is really very good so why not just pick a different type of story for the weekly and make it a real feature of the mag with brilliant illustrations? Just a thought. We all need updating (heaven knows thats true!) and the TAB mag is no exception. As a market leader they can surely drive exciting fiction!! I probably shouldn't have gone on their facebook page in retrospect but I do feel strongly that fiction matters and wanted to help raise awareness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah. Just because there have been a few 'glad the fiction has gone' comments on the TAB Facebook page doesn't mean you were wrong to try to raise awareness. I think you were right. Maybe the fiction could have been better or more varied. I think, as you propose, asking readers 'what type of fiction' they want is a better idea. Or just ask readers 'what they want' in the mag. Well done for doing your best to raise awareness.

SarahE said...

Thank you, Kath - I was worried to bits that I'd gone on the site as a writer who has had stories in their mag. However I've decided to continue asking for the story back and have posted again today to ask people what type of story they want. This is an important mainstream magazine and often that little story is the only fiction some people will read. It's worth fighting for.

Anonymous said...

Wel done Sarah. Good wishes. Kath

blogaboutwriting said...

Interesting that a reader thought the stories 'were not that well-written anyway' (cheek!). I must admit that I often think the stories in TAB (weekly) are very 'dumbed down' and 'simple' - if not in terms of the plot, then certainly in terms of the writing style. Perhaps TAB have been underestimating their readers and the reason some of them have been 'skipping that bit' is that the stories have not been interesting/challenging enough! So yes, a question about 'what kind of fiction do you want to see?' would be good. (Even if the answer turns out to be 'fiction stories about WAGS/Celebs' - that's better than nothing!! -isn't it?) Helen

joanna barnden said...

I've been assured that there will still be 'occasional fiction' in the weekly magazine - and I guess if that's good enough then it might become more regular again. Here's hoping!