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


Rena George said...

Did I read that right? More short story opportunities? Wheeeee!

Pat Posner said...

evyriceGreat news.
Just the other day I was reading a couple of issues from 2006 and I said: "We should have 88 pages now like we had then!"

Pat Posner said...

I don't know how it happened but the thingie word to prove I'm not a robot showed at the start of my last comment!

Anonymous said...

Great news and thank you so much for sharing.
Elaine Everest

Debbie Viggiano said...

Great news!

Simon Whaley said...

Nice to read some good news about the short story market!

Karen Clarke said...

Excellent news, look forward to seeing the facelift :o)

Jean Bull said...

Great News! Maybe I'll try again!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That's excellent news - thanks for letting us know, Shirley and Womag!

Wendy's Writing said...

This is very exciting news. More chances to write for this great mag. I'm just off to check my story length!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Shirley, that is great news! Look forward to seeing the new format.

And yes, you must get your own blog!:)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this,Kath and Shirley. I love the way People's Friend are pro-active in letting writers know what they want, not to mention the good news about extra stories. It's genuinely motivating, as well as nice to see at least one mag that isn't following the celebrity trail. I'm looking forward to seeing the new format.
Now I just have to hope I can prove I'm not a robot!
Lilian B

parlance said...

I'm a regular reader of your blog, and I'm excited to report that because of reading a comment by you about selling a story to a mag in Australia, I looked at that magazine, saw I like their stories, wrote one and had it accepted. Yippee!

All thanks to you!

I'm in Australia and it seems odd that I'd have discovered a mag on my own doorstep through a blog in Britain.

What I'm wondering is this... Do you think The People's Friend accepts stories that are not set in Britain? I have visited England and Scotland fairly often, so I could set a story there (maybe), but it would be not my natural style of writing. I do read The People's Friend, BTW, and it seems all stories are very British.

Sorry for the long comment. I hope you don't mind.

Shirley, The People's Friend said...

Thanks for all the comments so far; we seem to have made your day!
Parlance, we do indeed feature short stories that aren't set in Britain. For example, recently we've had a number of period stories set in the gold fields of New Zealand, another unusual one on its way in our winter special has a Russian backdrop (very Dr Zhivago!), another coming along soon features Berlin and the wall... So, yes, write what you know. Thank you!

TracyFells said...

Great to see this post from Shirley at PF - a nice friendly communication to writers. Love the idea of a story a day - hope that is a successful format for the magazine. Looking forward to reading new guidelines when available.

Kath said...

Thanks, Shirley and Kath x

womagwriter said...

Thanks Shirley - I came here just now to answer Parlance's query and say that the current PF includes a story set in New Zealand, but you beat me to it!

TracyFells - new guidelines now available and linked in my latest blog post. Good luck!

womagwriter said...

Oh, and well done on your Aussie mag sale, Parlance!

Anonymous said...

Interesting information!

I'm an Aussie writer interested in Australian history.

Never thought PF would be a potential market... definitely worth looking into.


parlance said...

Thanks, Shirley, it was lovely to read your response.

And thanks, womagwriter.

This blog has been a great discovery to me, because it brings the personal touch to the basically lonely business of writing stories.

Ever since I started reading the blog regularly I've been energised and more committed to the craft.

Catherine (Parlance)

Marie Madigan said...

This is great news. Many thanks to Shirley, and to yourself for posting.