Tuesday 19 March 2019

Over to you

This month's discussion topic – Which part of the world are you from? Does that have any impact on your womag writing?

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

Please share success (or otherwise!) report any womag news, tips, advice you may have, make womag related comments or observations and ask questions – and answer them too if you can help.

 (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.)

Monday 18 March 2019

Changes at that's life!

A while back I heard there were to be changes at that's life! in Australia, but I've only just had it officially confirmed by fiction editor Judie Durrant.

No stories can now be considered from writers new to the that's life series of magazines.

The quartely Fast Fiction has been shelved, at least temporarily. The new Mega Monthly will carry some fiction, up to a max length of 1500 words. The weekly will continue as before with very short fiction 550-600 words.

There are no changes to the contract.

Thursday 14 March 2019

Guest post by womag fiction collector Jay Mackie

My Fiction Collection by Jay Mackie

Oh how I’d love to turn the clock back to the ‘golden age’ of fiction in British women’s weeklies! For me, this would be the late 80s to late 90s.

My name is Jay Mackie, I am 43 and I live in Nottingham where I am a composer and private music teacher. I have collected magazine fiction (and magazines) on and off since 1988, after looking forward to the Mini Mystery story in my mum’s copy of Bella each week. It’d be the first page I’d turn to. Looking back now and rereading my collection of these spanning some ten years since Bella’s 1987 launch date, these stories had it all; whodunnits, voodoo, unsettled ghosts, UFOs, an encounter with Old Nick himself and much more. These tales displayed varying literary styles and mystery content, but were always constructed with such skilful craft and elegance.

I even had a go at writing my own at the tender age of 14 and sending it to the then fiction editor, Linda O’ Byrne. I received a lovely reply from her stating her enjoyment on reading my tale, but she felt that the characters didn’t have enough ‘bite’ for her. Not bad for my first (and last!) ever story! I accepted this constructive criticism and her complimentary copies of a dozen older Mini Mysteries to add to my increasing collection.

My reason for collecting these was that someone’s careful literary toil and expert storytelling seemed too good to resign to the bin once finished. Plus, it was nice to enjoy again and compare to other stories. Over the years I have added other fiction pages to my collection too from weeklies such as Best, Take a Break and Chat mainly. The early days of Chat’s ‘4 Minute Fiction’ page from the early 90s was nice to compare with Bella, as quite a lot of the stories shared supernatural or similarly off the wall subject matter – and a few of the same writers.
Collecting vintage magazines for me is a lovely hobby if you’re nuts on nostalgia like me. Magazines provide a truly authentic and direct link to the past; the then current celeb news, advertising, vintage fashion and of course the abundance of weekly fiction. In Best’s early days some issues treated us to no less than three stories a week. Sadly as we’re all aware the world has moved on and gradually many weeklies have now ditched their fiction in favour of even MORE banal celebrity sensationalism in my view. The old content is something to be praised for its variety and enjoyed with fondness for the era.

As Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo says, only keep something if it ‘sparks joy’. That’s precisely what vintage magazines and their fiction pages do for me. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

I’d sincerely love to hear from anyone out there who either collects magazine fiction, or magazines in general. You may well have copies of stories which would complete my collection, and vice versa to swap or just chat about. You may have even written mysteries for Bella and the like back in the ‘golden’ days, do leave a comment or drop me an email (jayiguana@yahoo.co.uk) – it’d be super to hear from you!

Monday 11 March 2019

Womag writing podcast

I was interviewed for a Write Club podcast . They're kind of a recorded writing group, with different features including a discussion on their work, word of the week and guest interviews.

My interview, which is about writing for the womag market, starts at 26 minutes in. It's followed by a group discussion on the subject.

The books I mention can all be found here.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Trouble in Womagland

Don't panic – there isn't a new problem. 'Trouble in Womagland' is the title of my short news piece, about recent rights issues, in Writing Magazine.

My thanks to Julie Day, Carrie Hewlett and S. Bee who allowed me to quote them as saying that due to Spirit & Destiny now taking all rights, they will no longer write for this publication. Unfortunately due to this piece being a very late addition to the magazine and needing to be cut to fit, it now reads as though they won't be submitting to TABFF. As no change to the contract terms of TABFF has been confirmed, these authors have not made such a decision. Let's hope they don't have to!

Thank you to Kathy for the photo.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Slight change at My Weekly

If you're on the list of writers who may submit to My Weekly then you should have already recieved their latest guidelines, but just in case you missed it, there is a slight change. Due to the lack of time and resources, authors will no longer recieve rejections with feedback. Instead, as with The Weekly News, if we've not heard back in three months we are to assume the story hasn't been accepted and we're free to submit it elsewhere.

Those not 'on the list' can't submit short stories to My Weekly – but you can try a pocket novel, or non-fiction, and an acceptance for either of those would then allow you to send in short stories.

Friday 1 March 2019

Alex has answered

On my other blog I offered the opportunity to ask Alex Gazzola for advice on breaking into writing non fiction for magazines. His answers have now been posted, plus the winner of the book has been announced.

If there's enough interest Alex might be persuaded to visit this blog with advice specifically on writing non-fiction for womags – would you find that useful?