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Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Guest post by womag soap writer Glenda Young

Today's guest is womag short story and soap writer Glenda Young.


I began writing fiction in 2015 and since then have had stories published in The People’s Friend, My Weekly and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast. I’m also in the rather wonderful and unique position of writing a weekly soap opera, Riverside, which has been published in The People’s Friend since October 2016. I love writing short fiction and away from the Womag world, enter much darker, quirkier stories into competitions. I’ve had some success in winning or being highly placed in national and regional story competitions too (and I’ve a lot of failures, but let’s gloss over those, ahem). 

On the strength of all of this I plucked up the courage to approach a literary agent and was signed up by Caroline Sheldon of the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency in London. Caroline secured me a three-book deal with Headline in 2017 to write historical novels set in the northeast coalmining village of Ryhope, where I was born and bred. My debut novel Belle of the Back Streets had three publishers fighting over it and in 2019 I was offered a second three-book deal with Headline.

After a life-time spent working in University admin, I’m now working full-time as a writer. This might sound glamourous and yes, it’s true there are trips to London and lovely long lunches with my editor and my agent (I’ve always wanted to say that line ever since I was a little girl writing dotty poems in my pink glittery notepad). But the truth of it is, when you’re a full-time writer it means sitting down at home and Getting On With It, while wearing comfortable trousers and eating too many biscuits at home. I love writing, it’s what I have always wanted to do, ever since I was a child and I couldn’t be happier now. I’m in my mid-50s so novel writing has come fairly late to me in life, but it’s here and I’m making the most of every day.

Before writing fiction, I had written non-fiction books, TV tie-in books about Coronation Street for ITV. This all came about as I’m such a huge fan of the show and have watched it since before I can remember. The Coronation Street books were a passion for me and I was very honoured and proud to be asked to write the official tribute book to the character of Deirdre Barlow after the actress Anne Kirkbride who played Deirdre, passed away in 2015. I’ve also ‘written’ Coronation Street’s official colouring book in that I had to choose 45 iconic images from the show’s 60 years and write descriptions of each one for the book. I continue to run the Coronation Street Blog fan site and edit a team of 16 bloggers.


I continue to bring my love of TV soap and drama to Riverside, the weekly soap opera I write for The People’s Friend. Riverside is a great deal of fun to write and remains the highlight of my writing week. I can take a step back from my historical novels, return to the contemporary world and write funny scenes and poignant stories. I love it!  

Glenda has kindly agreed to answer some of our questions on writing short stories and longer works for the womags. Please leave any you have as comments to this blog, and she'll be back later this month with her replies. In the meantime you make like to visit her Twitter account or visit her website.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading your books, Glenda. Can you tell us if you envisaged a time when you move your stories to another town?

Elaine Everest xx

Patsy said...

How far ahead do you plan the soap, Glenda – and do you stick rigidly to that plan, orcan you be flexible if an interesting idea presents itself?

Kate Blackadder said...

Where your Ryhope novels are concerned, Glenda, are you a plotter or a pantser?

Anonymous said...

What an interesting and inspiring post. It sounds like your writing output is immense! This must require quite a bit of juggling. How do you manage to get so much done? And, working from home, how do you protect your writing time from domestic demands? Best wishes from Eirin Thompson

New girl on the block said...

I agree this is a really inspiring post. I look forward to hearing your answers to all the questions, Glenda.

Penny A said...

Thank you for the post, and a happy new year to all!

Glenda Young said...

Some interesting questions that I can't wait to answer - and from so many writers I admire to. Gulp. I'll do my best!

carrie said...

A very interesting post to read, Glenda, and congratulations on all your wonderful success. Do you find writing novels very different to writing short stories? And how do you start...an idea in mind that takes a journey of its own?

Sharon boothroyd said...

Great post. How do you find the stream of plot lines and ideas for Riverside on the TPF? I'd be totally stuck,I wouldn't like the pressure of committing to producing an ongoing weekly serial! I admire your output, Glenda.