Sunday 28 April 2019

Bits of news and stuff

Thanks so much to those people who've passed on information, asked questions, or made suggestions, as comments to recent posts. It was also lovely to see people answering questions others had asked and offering encouragement. 

Here's a quick news summary, along with some stuff from me.

Your Cat magazine seem to be buying true cat stories and fillers at the moment (thanks New Girl on the block). I believe they have enough fiction, so any submitted there will have a long wait before publication (and you'd be required to give up copyright).

The People's Friend editor would like 'event-specific' stories, such as Christmas, Valentine's, Mother's Day etc. (Thanks, Beatrice) This is a market which anyone can submit to, regardless of whether or not you've been published before. They don't take all rights.

37,000 word cosy crime novels are wanted for The People's Friend pocket novels (thanks, Sharon Boothroyd.) Anyone may submit one of these.

Woman's World in the U.S. want fourth of July stories. These need to be submitted by 2nd May (which gives you some idea of how far in advance you'd need to submit any other seasonal stories to them.) (Thanks, Carrie) Anyone may submit to this market. Pay is great, competition fierce. I think they require all rights – can anyone confirm or deny that?

Some blog readers have asked for more information on pocket novels. This isn't something I know a lot about so I've persuaded a lovely friend who does, to do a guest post on the subject. Do you any specific questions for Susan Jones?

The automatic acknowledgement system at My Weekly is now working (thanks J.S. and Fancypants) so if you've submitted and not got one, it might be an idea to try again. This market is still closed to new writers.

Love Sunday are still open to submissions. (Thanks Jenny Worstall) This is a non paying market, but it does have a large readership and they'll include a very short for a book, website etc if you ask.

Some people are unsure of which magazines acknowledge submissions, how and when they respond and what to do if they don't hear back. I'll be doing blog posts on these things in the near future. 

No one asked about this, but I'll tell you anyway – I'm the People's Friend writer of the week, and Keep It In The Family, a collection of 25 of my short stories, most of which have previously been published in womags around the world, is currently reduced to 99p (99c)

Thank you for all the recent comments! 

Apologies if I missed anything or anyone. If I've got anything wrong, or you have more information to add, please do say.


Elizabeth McGinty said...

Thanks Patsy for bringing all the info together. Also thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and knowledge. As you so rightly say Patsy it's been great to see people interacting and offering advice. Best wishes for sales Patsy, will retweet post :)

Sharon boothroyd said...

My story is in Love Sunday today (the 28th April) but sadly, they haven't included a link to our charity e-book. Maybe they forgot.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for all those updates, Patsy, and to all who passed on information! I read that PF are also looking for period stories for their pocket novels.

ados123 said...

Thanks, Patsy.
Regarding the pocket novels I'd appreciate any information! I've never written anything over 3000 words and find it rather daunting. I know My Weekly and People's Friend take pocket novels - does anyone else? Is there much difference in style? Any taboos?
I believe I read somewhere that you sell the rights afterwards to a large print company (providing you can write a successful novel in the first place). But any tips or help would be great.

Carolb said...

Appreciate all the hard work you do Patsy and all those writers who share the latest news and answer questions.

Definitely more info on pocket novels, especially the PF version.

Bea Charles said...

Great to see you as PF’s Writer of the Week, Patsy.

jenny Worstall said...

Thanks for sharing this useful information everyone and massive thanks to Patsy for co-ordinating it all.

Quick point about Love Sunday - you can't claim ALCS payments for your contribution as Love Sunday Magazine doesn't have an ISSN, so it counts as a contribution to a newspaper and ALCS don't collect for newspaper articles.
I still think it's a great market to write for and have been thrilled with the pictures they've used to illustrate my stories. Ok, it's not a paid market, but you get one of your novels advertised at the end and that's got to be worth a lot, plus of course the excitement of sharing your published story.
Sharon - might be worth querying why your link was missed out? I have found Love Sunday is very quick to respond and always positive and helpful.

Pocket novels - my pocket novel was published last month (number 883) and I found the whole experience hugely enjoyable. For me, what helped was keeping an eye on the People's Friend website - tons of invaluable information there about writerly things and PF style - and also participating in their Tuesday twitter writing chat. However, what really really made the difference was subscribing to the pocket novels (cheaper than buying every fortnight!) and reading them from cover to cover. Not only did I learn and absorb so much that is useful this way, but it was also a fantastically enjoyable experience. Some of the novels I've read are astoundingly good (not mine, obviously! Not trying to blow my own trumpet here, as I've only just begun to dip my writer toe into this market...) and are by very experienced and established writers. Some of them are amazingly funny, some historical, some tender and touching, some deal with deep issues - and some are all of these. You just can't pigeon hole these stories - underestimate them at your peril!

One thing that sounds a bit weird - I found it easier to write a pocket novel than to write a short story for PF. I don't mean that it took less time - the novel took months and months and was an all-consuming experience - but I enjoyed the feeling of not being constrained by the straight-jacket of the shorter length. It's a well-known writerly fact that short stories are tough to write. If I ever get an acceptance from PF for a short story, I am completely over the moon! Possibly like some other writers, I secretly harbour the idea that maybe, just maybe, I hold the record for the most rejections from the PF...anyone else felt like this?

Worth mentioning that the digital subscription to the PF and PFS is a great resource, superb coffee-break reading material, and there's usually a code on the website that takes about a third of the price off. Oh, and you get access to all the past years of PF and PFS stories too when you subscribe.
In case you were wondering, I'm not working on commission for the PF!

If anyone has read to the end of my ramblings, many thanks!

Jenny Worstall said...

Oops, apologies for the typo. STRAITJACKET not straight...
Also spelt my name wrong!! Jenny not jenny...
Time for a coffee and another lovely People's Friend story from the current issue.

Patsy said...

@ Elizabeth – I'm delighted with the response! Thanks for retweeting.

@ Sharon – congratulations on the publication. Shame they missed mentioning the book though.

@ Rosemary – Thank you. Sounds as though PF want a variety of genres, which is good news.

@ Alyson – Hopefully there will be answers to those questions soon. As far as I know MW and TPF are the only magazines which currently produce these.

@ Carol – working on a post!

@ Bea - thank you!

@ Jenny - I'll forgive you a typo. There's something about writing about writing which seems to make them more likely!

I agree that there are advantages to being published other than payment – I do think a national publication should offer something though!

Everyone at PF seems lovely and they do so much to support their writers, especially by providing so much information and encouragement.

ados123 said...

@jenny Thank you for sharing your experience of writing Pocket Novels. I agree, tons of good information on the PF website.

carrie said...

Thanks for the summary, Patsy; really useful. And I agree, it was lovely to see everyone contributing :) and congratulations on being the People's Friend writer of the week! I agree that everyone at The People's Friend are lovely, so friendly. I've only had one short story accepted by them but I'm determined to have more as it was such a thrill.

New girl on the block said...

I just gently chased Tracie at Spirit and Destiny about a story I'd sent to her in January. Good news... She likes it and wants to publish it! So it seems that sometimes it's worth following up submissions.

Sharon Haston said...

This is really helpful Jenny. I fancy trying to write a pocket novel and your post has made me resolve to do the research and get started instead of my usual procastinating!

Sharon boothroyd said...

New Girl on the block - you'll have to be prepared give up your rights with S&D mag.

Susan Jones said...

Well I've found my way here at last. Great post, Patsy. Looking forward to talking all about Pocket Novels.

Patsy said...

@ ados and Carrie – TPF people are excellent. Very supportive.

@ New girl – congratulations. Yes, chasing up gently can work.

@ Sharon H, there's another post coming which might be helpful.

@ Sharon B - sadly that's the case. You're right to remind people (I'll try and do this when mentioning the mags which expect all rights)

@ Susan – I'm looking forward to the post too.

yellowbutterfly said...

Lots of useful information- thanks.
It’s a bit confusing- PF say they are getting a great many submissions - but they are still asking for seasonal stories.
I’m curious to know if PF is selling more copies as a result of being able to choose from so many? And are sales of WWFS going down now that so many of the best writers have stopped sending work in?

Patsy said...

@ Yellowbutterfly – I don't have accurate sales figures, but from what I have seen my impression is that sales for WW are falling and those for TPF are not.

If anyone has information about current magazine sales figures it would be interesting to have a guest post from them.

As for PF asking for particular stories despite having plenty of submissions, this is really quite sensible. Other editors do it too, sometimes requesting a particular genre or story length. In some cases they really are short of stories in those categories, but mainly it's so they have a good selection to choose from and can pick not just good stories, but those which work together to create a good balance, fit with a theme etc.