Friday, 19 February 2016

Woman's World Fiction Guidelines

The guidelines I posted a few days ago for romance stories weren't wrong, but I've recently received info on crime stories too, which the magazine also publish. 

I thought it'd be easier to repost everything together.

Fiction Guidelines

Romance guidelines:

We buy contemporary romances of 800 words. Stories must revolve around a true-to-life relationship dilemma; may feature either a female or male protagonist; and may be written in either the first or third person. We look for down-to-earth characters (no yuppies or jet-setters) who may be married, single, divorced or widowed. Please think carefully about a story’s setting, mood and plot, and tell the story with interesting action and dialogue that briskly advances the storyline.

We are not looking for stories involving life-or-death matters. When we say romance, what we really mean is relationship, whether it’s just beginning or is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The emphasis in our stories is on real life—but real life that sparkles with romantic possibility. We are looking for fresh, original stories driven by appealing, engaging characters. We do not buy fantasy or historical romance.

We pay $800 per romance and purchase all rights to the material created for this assignment.

Solve-It-Yourself Mystery guidelines:

We purchase short mysteries of 700 words—a count that includes the narrative and the solution at the end of the story. Stories should be entertaining, cleverly plotted cliffhangers that end with a challenge to the reader to figure out who committed the crime or how the crime was solved. The key to solving the mystery must always be contained within the story, so that careful readers can solve it without referring to the solution box. Perpetrators must always have a motive.

Robbery, burglary, fraud and murder are acceptable crimes—but no excessive violence or gory detail, please! We are also not interested in ghost stories, fantasy or science fiction.

We pay $500 per mystery and purchase all rights to the material created for this assignment.


Manuscripts should be double-spaced in a legible size type.

Please email manuscripts to

Be patient: We receive a tremendous volume of manuscripts, our turnaround time may range from two to six months. If you still have not heard from us after that time, feel free to resubmit your manuscript. Please do not call or write us to inquire about the status of a manuscript.


  1. Thanks for this Patsy. I see they now want all rights, though, which is a shame. I've just sent them two stories after reading their old guidelines which didn't want all rights. Thanks for keeping us posted. Good wishes Kate Hogan

  2. I'm not at all keen on publications taking 'all rights' either, Kate. If it's non exclusive, or just for a lmited time it's Ok, but wanting all rights exclusively forever seems unnecessary.

  3. Hello! Thank you for this helpful article. I submitted a few romances to Woman's World last year (via snail mail) and I am so happy to hear that they accept email submissions now! Could anyone who has done this please provide the proper email criteria? Subject line specification? Cover letter criteria? Synopsis in the body of the email or with the cover letter? Should the story be attached as a word doc or in the body of the email? Thank you so much! :)

  4. Krissie, if the guidelines don't state the requirements then it's probably safe to assume they're not too worried either way.

    Personally I like to put the story title along with something like 'fiction submission' in the title so it's clearly not spam. I use the email body for the covering letter. Attaching one as a separate document is just more wor for all concerned. I attach the story as, if accepted, it will probably be sent on to someone else to get ready for printing.

    Of course if anything different is stated in guidelines then always do that.

  5. Thank you so much, Patsy. :)

  6. Sorry to bug! :(
    But I've got to ask... I submitted a mini-romance on Friday for the first time via email and received an instant auto-reply. I just submitted another mini-romance today and received no auto-reply. I'm just wondering if anyone knows if the auto-reply is only generated your first time? Or...? I realize I'm likely over-anazlying this situation but I just thought I'd check in and see.
    Thanks! :)

  7. I'm not sure, Krissie. I don't think it would hurt to send it again with a note saying you're not sure the first one arrived as you didn't get the auto reply.

  8. Thanks Patsy, I think that's a good idea. :)


If you are commenting anonymously PLEASE give yourself a nickname, number or initials. With so many people unwilling to use their own name it gets really confusing if there isn't some way to differentiate between you all.