Friday 23 March 2018

Updates – TAB, TABFF, TWN and Clare Cooper

Ex-Woman’s Weekly legend Clare Cooper is joining a panel discussing how to write short stories, and will also be critiquing stories, at the Sidmouth Literary Festival this year. This event runs from 15th–17th June. Details of guest speakers and other events are still being finalised. Updates will be posted on

Clare has written some fascinating/funny/useful (or all three!) posts for this blog. To read them, click on her name under this posts. Clare now writes her own blog, which is currently listing a humorous A-Z of magazine life (as she remembers it!) and can be found on  

TAB and TAB FF (Take a Break and Take a Break's Fiction Feast) – Following yet more staff changes, there was a period where replies to submissions and queries seemed to have stopped, which was creating some concern. Although I've heard nothing myself recently, over the last couple of days I have heard about people who've received replies. That includes at least one acceptance. I'm hoping this means the problem is now resolved and things will soon be back to normal.

Please do mention it in the comments if you've heard anything from TAB over the last few days.

I've requested that the automatic acknowledgement of submissions be resumed, as I'm sure I wasn't alone in finding those reassuring. Update – Someone has reported recieving one of these from TAB on Friday 23rd March, but others including myself have made submissions and not had one.

This market is still currently closed to unsolicited submissions (meaning you need to be 'on the list' to have your work considered.)

If any of the above changes, I'll update the update!

TWN The Weekly News – As reported on this blog (click the magazine title below this post to see all the posts about it) Jill Finlay left TWN and her role was taken or by the PF (People's Friend) fiction team. 

Shirley Blair (fiction editor at PF) reported on her blog that some stories submitted to PF might be used in TWN. That happened (and may continue). This and a few teething issues regarding communication again caused concern. (I'm not surprised writers are feeling unsettled – there have been a huge number of changes amongst the womags recently.)

I can report that the PF team are accepting stories submitted to TWN directly, as I've sold some myself. The acceptances included a publication date, something I feel is very useful and hope will continue. 

Payment will be made on publication, as has always been the case for TWN. Also continuing is the 'if you've not heard in three months then it's a no and you may submit elsewhere' system. This market is open to anyone. You're strongly advised not to send multiple stories at once. The guidelines remain unchanged.

I've had some queries about re-using previously published stories and will write a post about that soon.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome either as a reply to the monthly 'Your Go' posts, or to a recent post about the magazine or topic in question.


ados123 said...

Thank you, Patsy! Very informative.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that some stories submitted to PF are being used in TWN without the writer's permission. Be nice to know what the policy is regarding this. BT

carrie said...

Thanks Patsy, useful info. And it's always nice to get an email confirming the story is received so we know it hasn't got lost somewhere in the realms of cyberspace!

Unknown said...

Thanks for trying to find out what's going on with the various magazines Patsy. I've been glued to the blog for the past few days as I have a fair few stories outstanding with TAB that I'm waiting for a response on and was starting to get worried. If I hear anything I'll update the comments box. Thanks again for all your hard work. We'd be lost without you and the blog!!! xxx

Anonymous said...

I just received an auto-reply from TAB for I think the first time ever. JS.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for trying to find out what's going on, Patsy.

I'd like an answer to this question: If a writer submits a story to TPF and it is rejected, is there now any point in submitting that story to TWN?


Patsy said...

@ Alyson – I'm glad it's of interest!

@ BT – I heard that too, but think it was probably just a one off and the result of a lack of communication following the changeover.

@ Carrie – Definitely. It's frustrating enough waiting for an answer without worrying whether our submission email was delivered OK.

@ Lisa – I'm glad to be of help and look forward to hearing that you and others are getting responses through – hopefully in the not too distant future. Thanks for letting me know.

@ JS – That's great news! Thanks for letting me know. I don't actually know whether or not my request to reinstate this made a difference, but as I did ask and it's happened, I'm taking credit for it.

@ Susie – In theory, yes – the magazines are different in style, so what suits one might be right for the other. In reality maybe not as if the editor really likes it, I think they'd consider the possibility of it being used in the other magazine. That's just my opinion though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Patsy.


lionsshare said...

Thanks so much for looking into this, Patsy. We so much appreciate all your hard work on our behalf. I totally agree about the auto reply - many times I've wondered if a story has been received. A small thing that will make a huge difference.


Sue Blackburn said...

Thanks so much Patsy. Very useful info as always x

Patsy said...

@ Sue and Susie – You're welcome.

@ Linda – I'm hoping that if editors realise how much we value acknowledgements, then those who can't send individual ones, will set up an auto response system.

Patsy said...

I've just send a submission to TAB. I didn't get an auto response email.

Susan Wright said...

I never get one from TAB, Patsy, and just lately I haven't received auto response emails when I submit stories to Ireland's Own either, so I've no idea if my stories are reaching them.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for keeping on top of what's happening to women's fiction markets, Patsy!

Anonymous said...

I'm new to submitting stories to magazines, and have so far received only rejections. I'm determined to persevere, but would be interested to know about other writers' experiences. How many stories did you submit before you got one published, are any magazines more friendly to new writers than others, etc, etc?
New girl on the block

Anonymous said...

I sold my first ever womag story, but I don't think that's relevant because it was eleven years ago, and things have changed a lot. I'd say that The People's Friend is the magazine that's most friendly to new writers - at least, you will (eventually) get a response from them, and you might get some feedback. Susie.

Shirley, People's Friend said...

BT, I'm not aware that we published a story in WN without permission when it had been submitted to PF - I was pretty sure we'd contacted any writers concerned. However, it may have been an oversight in the hurly-burly of the changeover from Jill to the PF team, and in that case I apologise. Certainly now we're notifying writers as we schedule, and as ever the writer always has the right to decline the offer.
Susie, the two titles have different requirements and although at times they may cross over, we're trying to keep the two story streams separate now that things have settled down. However, if a story wasn't successful for WN but was perfect for PF, we would recognise that at the time of reading and contact the writer.

Patsy said...

@ Susan – I didn't get an auto response from my last subs to TAB or IO either. I really wish editors who, quite understandably, don't have time for personal acknowledgements would set up this system.

@ Rosemary – I do my best.

@ New Girl – Personally I sent quite a few before my first acceptance. Looking back I see those first subs didn't merit publication (I've since rewritten and sold the best of them). As for friendly magazines, I think all those who're open to unsolicited submissions are genuinely interested in reading work from newer writers. I suggest reading a few current copies of each magazine which will consider your work and seeing which publishes work most similar to your writing style.

@ Susie – A lot has changed in the last eleven years, but your previous success still proves you can write stories of a publishable standard.

I agree about The People's Friend – asuming of course that the submitter is writing stories of an appropriate style. If their stories are darker or edgier, a different market will be a better bet.

@ Shirley – thank you for explaining that.

I'm pleased that the fiction in the two magazines will remain distinct.

Anonymous said...

I subbed stories to TAB in October and November 2017. Have chased up a few times only to be told the stories are "still under consideration". I've always had a quick reply from TAB so am very concerned that a decision has not been taken on stories which are months old. While TAB hold on to our work in this way, we are unable to send it anywhere else for consideration. Most unfair.

Patsy said...

@ Anonymous – The lack of responses from TAB is a concern. Personally I've not been recieving acknowledgements for submissions, nor have I had recent acceptances nor rejections – although I've heard of others getting them. I'll post an update if/when I find anything out.

Anonymous said...

I've got lots of stories with Tab, and have had no acceptances or rejections. I'm trying to leave them alone for a bit, and hoping that things will get back to normal soon. Fingers crossed for us all.


Patsy said...

@ Angie – I certainly hope so!

Unknown said...

I have just had a rejection from TAB. Obviously not the response I was hoping for but it's proof they are still alive and kicking :o)

Anonymous said...

Me too, Lisa. Surprising to be cheered up by a rejection, but I was as well.


Bubble said...

I find it bizarre that TWN still don't tell you if it's a reject, but at least they do give you a reasonable time limit for you to start sending things out again. Thanks for the hard work, Patsy.

Patsy said...

@ Lisa and Angie – an answer, even the 'wrong' one is beter than never hearing, isn't it?

@ Bubble – They're not the only magazine to operate this policy and although I'd prefer an actual response, this is much better than having no idea where we stand.