Sunday, 17 April 2016

The good old days.

Following on from my last post on Ursuala Bloom, here's her list of magazines which published fiction in the 1950s . I've deleted most of the address as sadly it's no use writing to any of these anymore, but I've left in the first part as I thought it was interesting to see how many seem to be separate businesses.

Woman's Own
Mainly the love story, and no rules as to married or unmarried. Story must be suitable for lavish illustration, and highly emotional. They publish some ‘short shorts’ of about fifteen hundred words, but in the main their stories are in the region of four thousand. Address: Tower House.
WomanHere again the love story seems to predominate, and quite frequently it is the story of the married woman. It must be very well done. They consider work of a humorous nature, and some of the short stories produced are on very human lines. Number of words seems to vary from three to four thousand. Open market for the vigorous serial. Address: 189 High Holborn
Woman’s IllustratedAnd here the stories are not quite so long. The well-written highly probable story, possibly of the young married girl, is popular. Romance is the latch-key. Length 3,000-4,000 words at most. Address: The Fleetway House
Wife and HomeThis asks the married story suitable for provincial readers and with love of home and children. The plot must have a new twist and not be hoary. Stories dealing with children always get understanding here. Lengths about 3500 words. Address: The Fleetway House
Woman and BeautyNot now to be confused with its original guise, and largely dedicated to teenage problems. The frothy story, boy-meets-girl story, of about 2,500 words, but must be written in the up-to-the-moment manner. Address: The Fleetway House
Home JournalOnce Weldon's Ladies' Journal, this magazine has the interest of the home close to its heart. Stories likely to sell here are mainly the married story with arresting plot. Length 2,500-3,500 words. Address: The Fleetway House
HousewifePublishes one good short story in each issue, and seems to prefer them to be about a child. Modern angle necessary. Length over 3,000 words. Address: 43 Shoe Lane
SheStories of 5,000 words, highly dramatic and forthright, not the love story. Vigorous adventure acceptable. Address: 21 Ebury Street
The Lady
Published weekly, this seeks the thoughtful story with the woman’s interest, of about 2,000 words, or a shade over. Bear in mind that many of the readers are countrified people with pastoral interests. Articles are acceptable also, on multitudinous subjects, travel being apparently appreciated. Address: 39 Bedford Street
The True MagazineThis deals entirely with first-person stories, and they are all of them based on truth. They should have an arresting start, be both dramatic and swift-moving, and told very frankly. Emotionally arresting, superfluous wording is not invited. The stories can be up to 3,500 words in length. Address: Tower House
Woman's JournalThis is the more luxurious magazine with the unhurried story, and for leisurely people who still have the time to read it. Love of children appears to be predominant in many of the stories published. A romance in a country house is popular, and on occasions the historical story is favoured in this market. Address: The Fleetway House
Homes and GardensThe demands of this paper run along a similar line to the last. This is one of the glossies for ladies of leisure. Historical interest not frowned upon. Good, strong short stories required of length up to 4,500 words. Address: 2 Tavistock Street
Woman's CompanionThe homely story with the fresh angle if possible, suitable for suburban and provincial readers. Stories about children and animals are popular here. Lengths 2,500 to 3,500 words. Serials with the same interest considered. Address: The Fleetway House
Woman's WorldUsing much the same type of story and length and at the same address.
Woman's OutlookSeeking stories with the home interest. Unmarried romantic stories used on occasions. About 2,000 words. Address: Progress House, 
Home NotesThe love story, with a tense moment. Three thousand words required for short stories. And here also is an excellent serial market for stories with the strongly romantic flavour. Address: Tower House, 
True StoryStories in the first person written on fact with a sympathetic influence. There must be no exaggeration of events, it must be the straightforward confessional story. Length up to 4000 words. Address: 8-10 Temple Avenue,
Home ChatThis magazine seeks the love story, and can take the married story also. Interested in romantic serials.

Of those which take fiction now, I know The People's Friend and Woman's Weekly were in operation back then. Were any of the others?


Carolb said...

I started reading the stories in Woman and Woman's Own, then moved onto Woman's Realm- which became part of Woman's Weekly, Patsy.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Such a pity.

Julie Day said...

How about Yours mag? Was that in circulation then? Certainly a shocker reading this post.

Jackie Sayle said...

Fascinating read and I love the way the precise requirements of each are described. Like Carol, I read (and was published in) Woman's Realm.

Carol Warham said...

An interesting post. Many of the magazines, as far as I'm aware, no longer exist. The market has is substantially smaller these days.

Paula Martin said...

There were also the D.C Thomson magazines, of which I think only My Weekly and People's Friends still exist. They also published Red Star, Red Letter, Family Star, and Secrets, all of which contained about 8 short stories. My first ever short story was published in Red Letter in the 60s.

rainbowmaker said...

Fascinating. Perhaps women had more time to sit around and read a story in those days? In the days before automatic washing machines ... and ... (Ducks!)

Elaine Everest said...

They also paid well and there were no contract restrictions...

Very sad.

Kate Blackadder said...

Wish I'd started writing from my pram.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hugely interesting, specially The True Magazine - `emotionally arresting`, `dramatic`, `told very frankly`... and don`t Dare splatter `superfluous wording`! Scary! But fun to have a go at.

suzy doodling said...

I remember my Gran regularly writing short stories for Reveille magazine. They stopped doing fiction in the 70's I think. Watching her getting excited about whether she'd have her story published or not made me want to do the same.