Thursday 29 November 2018

Top tip for subbing to The Weekly News

I'm very pleased to have had my story Jack and Jill accepted for The Weekly News. It will be in the 22nd December issue (possibly under a different title). I very nearly missed out though, as Shirley Blair only just spotted that it was a Christmas story in time for it to be included. 

Along with the acceptance she gave me this bit of advice, which I'm repeating here with her permission –

Top tip:  it does help if you mention if it’s for a particular season in the subject line or your email. Then it’s more likely to catch my eye in time.

Shirley is also fiction editor for The People's Friend and blogs about that, so do take a look for more writing and submission tips, plus story starter ideas.

Monday 26 November 2018


Allers is the Finnish sister magazine to the Swedish Allas. Under the terms of the standard contract with Aller media, a story sold to one magazine can be used by another within the group. That recently happened to one of my stories, which originally appeared in Allas two years ago.

I love the illustration!

If my friend Beatrice Charles hadn't spotted it on Readly I wouldn't have known about it. There's no requirement for them to notify authors this has happened. There's no requirement for them to pay extra either. Still, it's nice have more readers (who knows, some might go on to discover my books) and to be able to say my short stories have been published in nine different countries (I'm counting the UK as one.)

One thing to be aware of, if you sell rights allowing the story to be published elsewhere (as is the case with most contracts) this will restrict where else you can submit it. For example I couldn't offer first Australian rights for a story sold to Take A Break (or the Fiction Feast) in the UK as the publishers may already have published it in one of their Australian magazines without my knowledge.

This doesn't restrict your right to offer it to places which don't require first rights, or to use the story yourself somewhere. (Of course if you've sold all rights you needn't worry about any of this as you no longer own the story and can't offer or use it anywhere at all.)

Saturday 24 November 2018

Free ebook

Are We Nearly Famous? is a free ebook, written by me and three of my writing friends. It contains a short story, some information about how we got started as writers and where we're going, and a sample chapter from each of us.

This collection of short stories is about journeys; literal, metaphorical and literary. Those both of the characters and the authors.

Ailsa travels to Scotland and begins the journey of recovery after life-saving surgery. The Smith family take two trips in one, and their reactions to each bring them closer as a family. Esperanza doesn’t just switch locations but swaps one life for another, each change taking her away from everything she knows and ever closer to the independence she needs to be truly happy.

In Italy, Pedro learns about the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Lisa’s journey also begin with a death, which leads her on a search for the truth about her own life.

Marty, just like her creator, moves to the Island of La Palma and takes strides forward in both her career and love life. Although Saffy and Jess both remain in the United Kingdom, their own emotional journeys are similar in several ways. They each want to make a difference with their work, and meet men who share this passion and ignite their own.

Patsy, Rosemary, Sheila and Lynne are four friends who, although successful in specific writing fields, aren’t yet well known to the general reading public. Together we’re raising awareness of our work, and hope you’ll help us do the same by reading this free collection, telling others about it and leaving us a review. We’re not really asking ‘Are We Nearly Famous?’ as we know the answer!

You can download it for free here.

Do you have a book you want to promote? If so, feel free to mention it in a comment to this post – and if you've not already seen Sharon's gust post about a way to get your book mentioned for free in a high circulation national magazine, do take a look.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Guest post and new 'market'

Today's guest is Sharon Boothroyd, who is sharing details of a new (to this blog) short story outlet.

Free Book Publicity
It's great when you come across a free opportunity to plug your book. I stumbled across the Love Sunday fiction slot on social media a while ago.

Love Sunday is the supplement (a magazine) of The Sunday People newspaper. They publish a short story once a week. It's open to any genre.

If your story is chosen for publication, sadly there's no payment for the writer – however, they do offer a free book plug. (An advert in a national magazine or newspaper would cost hundreds of pounds – far more than most of us can earn from selling one story.)

This is a national popular newspaper, so for me, it was worth having a think about finding a home for some unsold womag work and grabbing some precious publicity for our charity e- anthology, Paws For ThoughtMy hubby and I produced this e-book in 2017. Income generated from sales is donated to the RSPCA. 

There's a pick n' mix of fiction, from ghosts and twists, to romance and crime. It includes work from well- known womag writers such as Patsy Collins, Fran Tracey, Alan Williams,Tara Westgate, Beatrice Charles and Jacqui Cooper. Please check out our website for further information:

I was delighted when Flavia (She's in charge of the fiction section) accepted a story of mine called Skin Deep

When it appeared, it was really nicely illustrated and I was pleased with how it was set out. I'm more than happy to consider submitting another story in the future.

If you'd like to submit a story to Love Sunday (who unlike some magazines don't take all rights) they require a max of 1, 500 words. Please email Flavia: f.bertolini (at)

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Found Sparkle?

We've just been on holiday (no, not another one – the trip to Scotland was a working trip ... mostly). Whilst in Greece I spotted a newsagent stand with British mags on it and couldn't resist flicking through to see if I was in any of them and was surprised to see I was (although not as amazed as I appear in the photo). The magazines must take a while to reach Greece.

Have you ever seen UK magazines while abroad?

Or looked at the magazines published in the countries you've visited?

For those wondering, the story was in Woman's Weekly (submitted and accepted under the old terms) and appeared in the UK a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Paragraph indents, or lack of

Hi everyone - greetings from Greece! (I know those aren't Greek flags, but I wanted something to wave at you (and I haven't downloaded yesterday's photos yet – we were too busy winning the quiz.) Can you tell from them where we were a couple of days ago?)

I was asked a question via twitter, which I've only just seen. It went something like this ...  'When an editor asks for no paragraph indents, what should I do? Add a space or symbol? It looks odd with nothing.'

As one person is wondering, it seems likely others are too, so I've decided to answer on here. All you do is leave out the indents (or if, as is likely, you can't help but put them in as you write, take them out again afterwards).

If you think about it logically, the editor will have asked for the story to be sent without indents because she doesn't want them (if you look in the magazines, many don't use them). If you have indents, or anything else including blank lines, then these will have to be removed. That takes time; not much time per story perhaps, but it is 'one more thing'.

I do agree that it looks odd – and I confess that I can't write without something to diferentiate the paragraphs, but I do try to remove them before submitting if that's what the guidelines request.

Thursday 1 November 2018

Anyone there?

Is it worth me writing posts this month, or are you all doing NaNo and so too busy to read them?