Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Word counts

I've had a few queries lately about word counts for different magazines. Below is the latest information I have - but do keep checking guidelines as they can change.

Allas (Sweden)

This Swedish magazine count characters not words and will translate any accepted stories into Swedish, so getting it right won't be an exact science for those writing in English.

They ask for either 8,000 to 9,000 OR 12,000 to 14,000 characters. 

I estimate this to be either just under 1,000 words or approximately 1,500 and have been successful with submissions at those lengths.

Woman's Weekly (UK)

Either 900 to 1,000 words, 1,800 to 2,000 words or 2,300 to 8,000 words. 

The cannot use anything between 1,000 and 1,800, so please don't send those.

That's Life (Australia) 

1 page = 600-900 words
2 pages = 1200-1500 words
3 pages = 1600-2000 words
4 pages = 2200-2600 words
"These are approximate and the final word count printed will depend on the design of the page/s. You don't need to overly cut or edit your story to fit the word counts."

People's Friend (UK)

1,200 to 3,000 for the regular magazine. 4,000 words are accepted for the specials. They can also consider 10,000 word crime thrillers.

The Weekly News (UK)

1,200 to 1,500. 2,000 word stories may be used occasionally, but Jill will request these.

Take a Break's Fiction Feast (UK)

Confirmed today - They can be a little flexible but prefer 700, 1,200 or 2,000 words. Although they do publish some longer stories, newer writers are requested to stick to these guidelines. 

I have just been sent the latest guidelines and will post them in a few days.

My Weekly (UK)

Varies according to their needs and this market is currently only open to those who've been previously published by them.

Prima (UK)

It was 800 words the last I heard. I'll check up on this.

Candis (UK)

2,300. Commissioned work only.

You (South Africa)

1,500 words

Yours (UK)

1,000 to 1,200 words - confirmed today.

Woman's World (USA)

Last I heard it was 800 words, but that was some time ago and I've requested new guidelines.

Ireland's Own (Ireland)

Confirmed today 1,000 to 1,400 or 2,000.  Further guidelines will be posted in a few days.

I will post any updates and changes I hear about, but PLEASE check official guidelines yourself before writing and submitting work.


Bea Charles said...

Thanks, Patsy. Really helpful to have this info in one place.

ados said...

Thanks, Patsy. Useful info.

Lolli said...

Thanks for this, Patsy. Thsi year I am getting seriously serious with my writing!Lol

Guernsey Girl said...

Great advice - I agree that Della Galton is the ideal writer to go to for inspiration.
Funnily enough I find it easier to write a novel than a short story - has anyone else felt this way?

Kitty said...

Thanks, Patsy. At a PF workshop in October, Shirley said they tended to want either 1200 words or 2000 and above. She did say keep checking the guidelines and the current ones do state exactly what you've said above - plus I know they've taken in-between lengths in the past - but recent blogs from her saying they have enough 1200 worders for now and asking for 2000 words and above do make me wonder a bit...

Kate Blackadder said...

Very useful, thanks, Patsy, to have all this info in one place. The PF are more flexible than others I think because they will edit/cut to fit templates.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks, Patsy. Good work! Do you know if Allas will consider stories that have been published in the UK? Many thanks.
Kate Hogan

Patsy said...

Glad it's helpful.

@ Kitty - it's not uncommon for editors to have a surplus of stories in one length and so be less interested in those for a while.

@ Kate - I believe so, but you'll need to check you haven't already given up the rights to the UK magazine and that any exclusivity period has passed. You couldn't for example send a story which had been published in Woman's Weekly during the last 18 months.

Keith Havers said...

Thanks for this, Patsy. I'm guilty of ignoring word counts in a lot of my submissions, hoping that the editor can be a bit flexible.

Bea Charles said...

I've just received my (inevitable) rejection from TABFF and in the accompanying letter they mention 3,000 words.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for the updates, Patsy!

Patsy said...

@ Beatrice - does it say 'by invitation please'?

Bea Charles said...

Patsy, I've thrown my letter away now. Think it said over 3k by invitation. I assume that means up to 3k is OK unsolicited. A few are receiving rejection letters today, perhaps they can confirm?

Patsy said...

On my rejection letters (I got another today and they seem to be standard) It says 'stories 3,000 words and over by invitation please'.The guidelines currently only ask for up to 2,000.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've had a few rejections from TAB this week, too. Same info - 3000 words by invitation only. I was a bit miffed as I'd just sent them a story over the limit. could have saved myself the postage!!!

harriet said...

This is very helpful - thanks. But I'm a bit puzzled by the character count for Allas. I've just looked at a story of mine which is 1260 words, and the character count is 5841 (no spaces) or 7090 with spaces. So it looks as if they are wanting stories that are much longer than your estimate here?

Patsy said...

@ Harriet. They do include spaces - and I was allowing for the fact that Swedish words seem to be longer and the fact I've sold at those lengths.

I'd be interested to hear which word counts other people have success with.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this information. Patsy,
I'm considering submitting to Allas for the first time because I'm knee deep in rejections that need to be sent out again at the moment, but I'm wondering if you can answer a couple of questions for me.
Is the email address the same as the one given on here some time ago for Lotta Gustavsson? And do they respond to every submission?
I'm not keen on getting rejections, obviously, but it's even worse when you never hear back about a story because it's so hard to know when to give up.
Sue Wright

Patsy said...

@ Sue. Yes the same email. I generally get a reply.

I agree it is hard to know when to give up if they don't reply. I wish those who don't would adopt same system as TWN and TLFF and give a cut off period after which it's safe to assume a no.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying, Patsy.
I think I'll give them a go, then, and yes, it would be very good if those who don't respond gave us a cut off period like TWN and TLFF.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm not anonymous, I'm Sue Wright!

Megan said...

Hearing someone else is 'knee deep' in rejections has cheered me up immensely. Just goes to show you're never alone.