Saturday 25 February 2023

Guidelines for Woman's Weekly 'best of' and From you

I've realised that links and other info posted as comments on the over to you posts could get lost, and that info (especially about free entry competitions) I find out or am sent might become out of date before the next planned post. Therefore, when I have time and an internet connection, I'll try to copy them into a new post like this one.

These are likely to be scrappy, but perhaps better than nothing? We'll see how it goes.

The photos will be whatever I happen to have been working on last. I don't think posts look right without an image, and that's the easiest way to include one.

From Sheelagh

 Globe soup have a new exactly 100 word story any topic as follows: 2023 OPEN DRABBLE CONTEST | PRIZE: £300 | ENTRY: FREE | WORDS: 100 EXACTLY | DEADLINE: 31st MARCH, 2023. SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS:

Please send your entry as a word doc, .docx, or PDF attachment to:
The winner receives £300. The winner retains ownership of their story.

The Bridgehouse Publishing competition, deadline 28th Feb, theme 'Gifted'

From Alyson

Best have a new competition going for a story about pets, 1200 words, closes Sunday, 26th March, submit to:
Also came across this on twitter this morning. Open to UK residents only but might of interest to some:

From Sharon Bee

Here's a free enter comp, closing date, 28th Feb:

And one I missed from an earlier post (apologies) from PJH

a Welsh Poetry Competition I saw in my local library with 3 good cash prizes see for further details.

Womag News

Also from Sharon – BREAKING NEWS
The monthly Spirit and Destiny mag, who publish fiction, is to close this April.
Writers who have had stories already accepted by them and any scheduled for publication, should be paid.

April, fiction editor at Woman's Weekly 'best of', is currently writing new fiction guidelines. She's very kindly supplied the following information and guidance in the meantime.

Best of Woman’s Weekly Fiction is published monthly and is mainly a collection of fiction that has been previously published in the main Woman’s Weekly magazine. As it’s a monthly rather than a weekly, the timescales for responding to pitches, commissioning, publication and payment may be longer than expected for writers used to submitting stories to weeklies. 

I (April) run Best of Woman’s Weekly on a freelance basis, outside and on top of my regular job as an editor in Future’s Bookazines department. This means that I am not working on it day-to-day and rarely respond to queries within the same day. The best time for writers to contact me is on Friday mornings between 10am and 1pm if they’re hoping for a faster answer to their query. Email me on 

Best of Woman’s Weekly Fiction pays £75 for 750-word stories or £150 for 1500-word stories. No other word count options are available and the budget cannot be varied. The magazine contains the equivalent of four 1500-word stories in each monthly issue (This might vary from month to month, for example three 1500-word stories and two 750-word stories instead, but the basic word count and budget is always the same).

Writers should pitch me the initial description of the story in the first instance along with the proposed word count. If the story is already written, they are welcome to send it in its entirety. If the story is accepted, a purchase order will be sent to them, either with a deadline on it or noting that the story is complete and already on file. 

New contributors will need to be registered on Future’s freelance hub and fill out their details with our Finance and Rights departments, which can take a little while and involves a few forms to fill out – please do be prepared for this if you’re not already registered with us! 

Genres I’m looking for are currently:

  • Slice of life

  • Romance 

  • Historical fiction

  • Everyday comedy

  • Gothic fiction / supernatural / ghost stories

  • Drama / thrillers / mysteries 

As Best of Woman’s Weekly Fiction is monthly, I’m usually thinking a couple of months ahead in terms of themes and settings. For example, as I write this in February, I’m currently planning for late spring and early summer. It’s worth bearing this in mind if your story relies on a particular season or festival as a plot point! 

We don’t have a style guide per se, but please put speech in ‘single quotes’ rather than “double” in your stories (and obviously please do run a spell check before submitting!).

Don’t forget to pop your name and pen name (if applicable) on your submitted story :) 

Finally, as I’ve had a few queries about this recently, our Rights department has recently confirmed that Future is happy for writers to claim ALCS (secondary) rights on stories we’ve commissioned / purchased from them. 

I'm sure you'll agree that's all very helpful. As it isn't spelled out, I asked about rights (you know me!) and April confirmed that they will continue to take all rights. 

Thanks for all the comments recently. They show that the blog is read and therefore make it more likely that editors, competition organisers and others will be willing to provide information for me to share. The next scheduled post is 4th March and will include lots of links to free entry writing competitions, and some more womag news.

Saturday 18 February 2023

Over To You

Over to you posts are back! They're primarily intended as a way to share womag market information and to help and encourage each other with our writing, but questions and comments on any writing related subject are welcome on any post.

If lots of us share information this could become a valuable resource for us all and I'll continue to post them on the third Saturday of every month. I'm also trialling posting links to free to enter competitions and other writing news and opportunities on the first Saturday of the month. Again I'll make a decision on whether or not to continue based on the response each one gets. This does mean that some things would become out of date before I can share them. (I'll try to post them on the womagwriter twitter account.) If there's breaking news I feel needs to be shared, and I have time to do it, or there are guests posts or anything else which doesn't fit into one of the two regular posts they'll come out on a different Saturday, but generally I'll only be posting on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month.

When time (and internet connection when I'm travelling) allow, I'll reply to blog comments, but this might not always possible. Please do continue to answer any questions raised here if you can, and generally respond to other comments in the way some of you have been doing and keep this a useful and positive community for all those writers who value it. 

So, over to you...

Do you have any womag news?

Any market news? Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Still waiting to hear back on outstanding submissions? Do you have a question? Can you offer tips or encouragement to other writers?

Any other writing related news, questions and comments are also welcome.

Womag news from me –

You may have seen news reports of job losses and title closures at DC Thomson. That's unpleasant news for all those involved. Fortunately, as far as I've been able to discover The People's Friend and My Weekly aren't directly impacted.

Feel free to use these photos as picture prompts. If you'd like written writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.

Don't forget to check the submissions database for details of which magazines publish fiction under what terms, and how to submit.

My news

I've had a couple of rejections from stories submitted last year to Yours – not the response I wanted of course, but so much better than waiting years for a reply, or never hearing back at all.

A story submitted to The People's Friend has been passed onto the next stage. I'll try to be patient about that one! I've also had an acceptance from TAB.

Thanks to my cake fuelled research, mentioned in a previous post, I'm making good progress on my latest cosy crime novel.

Nine of my ebooks are currently available to download for 99p (99c) from Amazon.

Saturday 4 February 2023

A change

Thank you so much to those of you who comment on this blog. I really appreciate you taking the time and trouble to do that. Sadly there are very few of you and I feel I'm spending rather a lot of my own time to reach, on average, fewer than a dozen readers. 

I nearly didn't post at all this week, but Fiona sent me the link to this poetry competition, reminding me that this blog does receive great support, even if it is from a very small number of people. That made me feel think I should post, if only to explain that in future I'll be doing so less frequently. I'll try alternate weeks for a while, and see how that goes.  I may go to monthly.

Anyway, back to that competition. The website states, there are - 'Three Grand Prizes will receive $100 each plus their poem costumed and danced, a DVD of the poem being danced.' That makes me want to have a go - perhaps I will.

Better go now – I'm expecting a visitor to help with research for my cosy crime novellas, and to help eat the cakes I baked this morning. (Except the carrot cake – I made that last week.)

As always –

New blog posts are published alternate Saturdays. All blog readers are welcome to use the comment section to share writing news, tips, successes, links to competitions and other publication opportunities, to ask questions and to respond to comments from others.