Thursday, 17 May 2018

Over to you

Here's another monthly random photo for use as a story prompt. 

It's also your chance to share success (or otherwise) ask questions*, report any womag news, tips, advice you may have, or make womag related comments or observations. (If you have news or a question relating to a particular magazine, it's also fine to add it as a comment to the latest post for that magazine.)

*If you can answer these, please do.

What do you think of the illustrations used by the different womags? Got any favourites?


  1. Great picture, Patsy. I love robins and their sweet birdsong. If ever I see one in a tree I have to stop and listen for a while. Anyway, I have a question for my fellow womag writers. Has anyone had any recent success with Take a Break Fiction Feast? They've had 3 of my stories for so long I'm starting to worry that maybe they're not going to be using fiction for much longer. I don't mind if my stories are rejected (well I mind a bit) I just want to know the magazine is still in business and worth submitting to. Any thoughts?? Thanks xx

  2. @ Lisa - My latest sale to them was earlier this month. If you've not heard after about 4 months, I think it's worth checking, just to make sure your stories actuaaly arrived (if they'd send out auto acknowledgements we wouldn't have to worry about that!) and that the reply hasn't gone missing.

    So frustrating to just not hear anything, isn't it? That can lead us to fearing the worst, but as far as I know they intend to keep publishing fiction.

  3. I had an sale to them in April for a story sent in August of last year. So don't despair. They're just a bit slow, who knows why?


  4. Thanks Patsy, congratulations on your sale to them. Great to hear that they are still buying stories. It's not been four months yet (although sometimes it feels like a lifetime doesn't it?). Hopefully I will hear soon one way or the other. All the best. x

  5. Lovely pic, Patsy :)
    My question is with regard to The Weekly News. The last few issues have stories with the tag 'brought to you by our sister magazine, the home of great fiction...The People's Friend.'
    Are they reading stories sent to The Weekly News or taking them from The People's Friend submissions?
    Be really interesting to find out. Thanks!

  6. I love the robin picture too. There's a blackbird singing near my house every evening - such a pretty sound- if a little sad. I had a sale with them earlier this month too - but still have three stories outstanding. They don't always buy stories in a time-sent order so still hope, I think, for stories that have been 'out there' a while.
    There is one change to before though - they seem to have gone back to paying on publication, not acceptance, which is what they always used to do. I really wish they'd acknowledge receipt of stories though - sometimes stories I send go to 'draft'when I think I've sent them!


  7. @ Angie - swamped with submissions, I expect!

    @ Carrie – I've sold a few to TWN since the change and they were subbed as TWN stories, not PF. I think the 'brought to you by' is because it's the PF fiction team who do the editing, and maybe as a little advert for the sister magazine (can't blame them for that).

    @ Linda - you're right about them not accepting/buying stories in the order they're sent. No doubt there are reasons for that, but it makes it even harder to know if our work has been recieved and is under consideration, or lost in cyberspace.

  8. Ahh, yes, that makes sense. No, don't blame them at all for that. Thank you Patsy.

  9. PF has a style of illustration all their own! For myself, I prefer the modern-looking sketches or outlines, but either way they're certainly colourful. Sometimes a picture prompt is helpfully sent to writers, but must confess I've never had much success with any story that came from them. It seems my brain works best with its own ideas!

    Nice robin, by the way. Fierce little birds they are - we have two song-duelling almost every evening round here.

  10. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine.

    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

  11. @ Penny – I've not tried using PFs picture prompts, as I assume quite a few others do and that the magazine won't want too many with similar content. I could well be wrong about that.

    @ Anonymous – I'm almost sure you're yet another spammer. Apologies if I'm wrong. This blog just uses the standard Blogger setup.

  12. Keep on writing, great job!

  13. Can I please just ask about submissions etiquette? Is it OK to send if you have something under consideration or do you need to wait for a yes or no? It's just that with a four month plus turnaround time, which I understand is standard, that would mean only three submissions per year, per market which seems barely worth it given not everything will be accepted obviously. But, I wouldn't want to swamp either. Can you just submit a couple a month and see what comes or is that bad form? I've had a couple of stories accepted and then politely waited before submitting something else which is a bit frustrating. What's the correct etiquette please? Thanks for your help.

  14. @ Anonymous – thanks.

    @ Victoria – unless the guidelines say different, it's OK to send something else in whilst you already have something under consideration with that market. I don't think one piece every two months would be considered as swamping.

  15. Apologies if this appears twice - my first attempt at posting seems to have failed.

    I'm trying to write a Christmas story but not getting very far. Can you, Patsy, or anyone else tell me how far in advance seasonal stories should be submitted? I'm thinking of WW and PF in particular.

    Thankyou, Patsy, for running this incredibly useful blog.

  16. @ Patricia – Although it can be a quicker turn around, I generally aim for at least six months in advance.

  17. Does anyone know, please, how long after publication Take a Break are now paying?


  18. useful article.


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