Thursday, 27 September 2012

People's Friend website and link to submission guidelines

Following on from yesterday's post, the new look People's Friend website is already available - here.

And it includes downloads of the submission guidelines for short stories, serials, poems and features - here.

It's a great looking website, and lovely to have the guidelines so easily available. Go check it out, everyone!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

People's Friend news

I had an email from Shirley Blair, the fiction editor of People's Friend, and she asked me to post the following on this blog. It's great news that PF will be buying even more stories, and I can't wait to see what the magazine's new look is like! And please note, soon there'll be revamped guidelines available on PF's own website. As soon as I know its address I'll post a link on here.

Over to Shirley;

Hi, Womagwriters.
I’ve been too busy to visit your blog lately, but I did catch up with it last week and saw a couple of threads that caught my interest, threads that I think I can help with. So if you don’t mind…
One is the subject of story lengths. And I’ll do this one first because it’s the area of the People’s Friend that’s undergone the greatest change...
That’s news, isn’t it?
In fact The People’s Friend’s just experienced a bit of a facelift! Our design team have been working really hard to refresh our look, and with extra pages and extra features we think we look fabulous. The results are revealed in our October 6 issue. We’re still us, though, with our familiar character and values. The best news for all you Womagwriters, though, is that the extra pages mean we can include more stories; we’ll have seven, a short story for every day of the week. Plus our usual two serials, of course.
Now, this change has seen us move to templates for our story pages, and that means we have pretty specific story length requirements (some of you have already heard this from me and have started passing on the news, thank you). They are now 1200 words, then anything in the range 2000 to 3000 (though 10% extra’s OK because we can cut to fit). That’s why some of you have been getting slightly odd requests from us to lengthen stories! All now becomes clear…!
Now, this is all purely about the weekly; for our specials our story lengths will continue to vary vastly in length from 1500 up to 4000 words, which I know is music to the ears of those of you who just love the chance to tell a longer story.  Again, 10% over’s OK and allows our lovely subs room for manoeuvre.
We’ve redesigned our writers’ guidelines, too, and they’ll go live on our new website this week, but I have to keep that address to myself just for the moment.
All these changes — it’s so exciting!
Next time I drop in, it’ll be to explain about response times.
(I really must get my own blog… Thanks for letting me visit!)
The People’s Friend

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Easy Reads

In the latest Writers' Forum which dropped through my letter box earlier today, there's an interview by Douglas McPherson with DC Thomson's Easy Reads commissioning editor, Maggie Seed. You'll remember I posted earlier about how these books are to replace My Weekly's pocket novels, starting October.

(I'm delighted to say, one of the very first Easy Reads will be by my great friend, Sally Quilford!)

The WF interview is a must-read for anyone aiming to write for this market. There's some new information on pay - likely to be £300 for your first Easy Read sale, then going up by £20 for each sale. Sadly previous pocket novel sales won't be taken into account. They will still buy only First Cheap Paperback Rights which leaves you free to resell the novel, perhaps to Ulverscroft as a large print novel, and to publish it as an ebook.

Maggie wants books that challenge her, and make her go 'Oh my goodness!' She wants writers to feel free of the constraints the old pocket novel format imposed. Don't be inhibited, tell the story you want to tell. Make it a page-turner. If you've gone too far, it can always be altered at the editing stage. Maggie would prefer this than for writers to hold back.

She needs to buy 50 novels a year, so this is a huge market. There are 4 categories - Caress, Liaison, Intrigue and Suspense. And so far, Douglas tells me it's been the Liaison category (the steamier romances) that she's been having trouble finding books for. So unleash your inner 50-shades and have a go!

Friday, 14 September 2012

How long are people waiting for responses to submissions?

I'm pretty out of touch with the women's magazine market at the moment, because I'm working on a novel and not writing or submitting anything. But I've heard that some magazines are taking a very long time to respond to submissions - 9 months or more!

What are your experiences - how long is each magazine currently taking to respond? Add comments here to share knowledge, so that others know what to expect.

Usually, if you haven't heard for 6 months you can assume it's a rejection. But if a magazine takes 9 months to respond they could be in trouble - many writers will resubmit a story elsewhere after 6 months.

Dear editors, if you're reading this, we know you're overworked and often overwhelmed with submissions, but if it is possible to let us know realistically how long to wait for a response we'd be most grateful.

By the way, my holiday was amazing, fabulous, incredible - probably the best ever. We had a couple of days in the Amazon jungle, then went to Cusco, walked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, then went overland to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, visited various islands, then went to La Paz, did some more hiking, then  went to Lima for the last few days. Just 1800 photos to sort through...

I thoroughly recommend Peru and Bolivia as holiday destinations, and can't speak highly enough of G Adventures. For most of the trip we were on a G Adventures tour. They're brilliant.