Saturday 19 August 2023

Over To You

 Womag news

Here's another helpful blog post from Lucy at The People's Friend, this time with advice for success with our submissions there.

Sharon Boothroyd kindly shared this information as a comment to my last post –I've just heard that, due to changes at the magazine, the future of fiction in the monthly Your Cat is uncertain.

The former ed doesn't know if fiction will feature or not, so if anyone has any stories earmarked for there, it'd be a good idea to sub them elsewhere now.
I've contacted the current ed, and they haven't replied to my enquiry. I was passed onto the former ed instead, who explained the situation. (There's often useful information shared in comments, and I can't copy it all over, even if I remember, so it's worth catching up on those from the previous post when you read a new one.)

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.

Free entry writing competition news.

Thanks to Helen Yendall for links to this six word competition with book tokens as prizes, and this short story competition. Both close at the end of the month.

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.

Thanks to everyone for your comments. As well as allowing us all to share information, help and encourage each other, comments also show editors, competition organisers and others that the blog is read and will therefore be more likely to provide information for me to share with you.

My womag news

I've had two responses from TPF this week (one yes, one no) for stories submitted less than three months previously - which is a perfectly reasonable turn around time, so it looks as though things are improving. The acceptance was my 50th with that magazine. If you'd like to know even more about my writing life, you can find it here.


Marian said...

Many congratulations on your 50th TPF acceptance, Patsy! And thank you very much for the link to the competitions and Lucy's very useful blog.

I haven't got any news to report, I'm afraid, apart from some submissions.

Liz said...

Congrats on your TPF half-century, Patsy!

I've had a short story and a feature accepted by TPF recently. I need to get back into the habit of writing regularly - I still haven't fully adjusted to fitting it around work after all those lockdowns!

Sharon boothroyd said...

Many congrats on reaching 50 stories with TPF Patsy! That's a brilliant achievement.
Nothing to report, apart from that update from Your Cat, that was in the last lot of comments.
As for your opening questions -I think most of us are waiting for decisions on stories that are out.
Like other womag writers, I've taken to subbing my old (yet re-drafted) stories elsewhere, as I'm fed up of waiting.
Why should we wait 2 years for a decision for 1 piece of work? I could be waiting forever, especially if there's no reply to gentle chase ups.
If another mag or project wants them then, I'll withdraw this work from the original mag.

Patsy said...

@ Marian – I hope at least some of the submissions result in an opportunity to report on acceptances.

@ Liz – Well done on the acceptances.

It is hard to get back into a good routine after a break or disruption, isn't it? I realised I was telling myself I'd get back into being more productive once we were away in the van again, but realised that was mostly an excuse not to get on with it sooner.

@ Sharon – Oh, thanks for the reminder about Your Cat! I knew there was something else I meant to include in the post. I'll add it in now.

It does seem that in some cases withdrawing stories is the best option. It's so frustrating not to have a definite response, isn't it?

Fiona said...

50 PF stories- congratulations Patsy! And thanks for the updates and news. My own news is that I entered the Dancing Poetry Festival competition that was shared via this blog some months back and my poem was one of 50 ‘third place’ poems to be chosen and recorded. A lot of time checking before the Zoom as everyone else was in California apart from me! The recordings will go live when the festival takes place in October. Fun addition to my poetry CV!

ados123 said...

I wrote a comment here early this morning an it has vanished.

Thanks to Helen and Patsy for the six word story comp. I shall have a look at that. Something to think about while doing the washing up or the gardening!

Congratulations on your story acceptance this week, Patsy. I also had an acceptance from TPF - for a 1000 word story from nearly a year ago - I don't think they are used so often so they take longer to process.

My news is that I have a pocket novel out with TPF at the moment. My longest piece of writing to date. I feel quite proud and am currently trying another one but it's like wading through treacle...

Anonymous said...

Things at PF might be improving for you, Patsy but that's not the case for everyone. I've got some going back more than 2 years and these are in the so-called preferred lengths too. I know Lucy is busy, but I can't see that it would take much longer to give a yes or no than to keep reading my queries and replying to say that she'll read the stories soon.

Mrs Fed-up.

Marguerite said...

Congrats on your fiftieth, Patsy ;) As I said, my target next year...,. I have had stories published for the past two months in Fictionette and await the Yours 2024 Yearbook — Michael D said August, they said September. Not seen anything apart from ordering online with no this year's cover so far? I was shocked it was an annual... why? ;) as in, hardback.
Another thanks to Ruth/Becca from a couple of weeks back - well over half way through Stephen's On Writing - she reminded me it was a good one.
Congratulations, Fiona! That sounds really wild! So different! And ados 123 with the pocket novel - now, there's a thought... I've dismissed those.
Thank you for the free comps, Helen. 6 words? SO difficult!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on story five-o in TPF, Patsy. Like Marguerite, I also await the 2024 Yours Yearbook. I’ve seen pictures of the front cover online, but so haven’t been able to get a copy. Even WH Smith have drawn a blank. They told me that as it’s an annual, they don’t usually get them in until September, which is the month Yours gave in the first place. The likes of Amazon claim to have it in stock, but their dispatch dates are November to February!!!

I also have a couple of stories out with BOWW that I’m waiting to hear from. A gentle reminder to April, perhaps? I started scribbling a new story while on holiday two weeks ago. Even got down half a page of A4 on the tray table on the plane home. A first for me.

Michael D

Anonymous said...

Well done on your fifty stories, Patsy. No news here. Have sent off a few stories written some time ago, as I have been too busy to write any new ones! Still a bunch of stories with TPF some been with them over a year - maybe two! Love to get back to writing soon. Good wishes to everyone. Kate Hogan.

Sheelagh said...

Congrats Patsy on reaching 50 published stories with TPF - I can but dream! & congrats to Liz, Fiona, Alyson & Marguerite on your various successes. I've nothing much to report other than an article in Ireland's Own this week on Jane Wilde (Oscar's mother) & hopefully a feature in a National News paper next week on something close to my heart.
Like everyone else I have a number of stories out there that I am waiting to hear about, some accepted sort of but not published & some just waiting to hear any news about so all in all lots of waiting.....

Susan Wright said...

Congratulations on your sale to PF, Patsy.
I'm pleased for you, but like Mrs Fed-up I still haven't heard from Lucy about stories submitted years ago and I'm fed up too.
As for the Yours Yearbook, I've just seen that Amazon have changed their information about it and it looks as if it will be available on 16th September.
I'll have a story in there and I had one in last years Yearbook too.
It's a really lovely book and I'm looking forward to getting it.

Susan Wright

Sharon boothroyd said...

I don't know if anyone caught the tail end of the last lot of comments, but I mentioned that April had taken new stories from several writers recently. As for annuals, I usually see them in shops like WH smiths at the start of October, no matter what the mags say about them being available to buy in August.

Susan Wright said...

April took one of my stories at the beginning of August, Sharon.
She told me then that she had an overloaded inbox but was going to try to catch up and let people know about their oustanding submissions, but I don't think she did.
I'm guessing she had to concentrate on something else because the Best of Woman's Weekly Fiction isn't her main role.
She does a brilliant job of the mag though. I think it's a really good read.

Sharon boothroyd said...

Well done to all who have had acceptances, fiction and non fiction.

Sheelagh said...

@ Sharon I did read that with interest however my own experience remains that I had a story accepted by April on 13th March & despite immediately replying to that & submission of a futher story & a query re first story I've sadly never received any reply. So disappointing because 1st acceptance email in March was so prompt & positive. I had high hopes.

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Congratulations on your 50th TPF acceptance Patsy, that's a marvellous achievement.

To everyone else who has had an acceptance or made a submission, well done, especially to ados123 I still remember the excitement of seeing my Pocket Novel/s on the shelves.

I have two poems in the 2024 Friendship Book but otherwise all quiet on the magazine front.

Sharon boothroyd said...

I don't know what to suggest re: April, apart from keep chasing.
If she's accepted it, you'd think she'd be under obligation to find a slot for it.
However, she accepted 2 of mine a long while ago and they haven't seen the light of day yet.
If they've not been used within a year's time( a year from of acceptance) I'll sub them elsewhere.
Your Cat mag promised me a publication slot for the October 2023 issue way back in January, but it probably won't happen now.
It's really disappointing and frustrating when you think you've clinched a sale and then months later, you realise you haven't.
It's no wonder I'm feeling de-motivated!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 50 TPF stories, Patsy. What an achievement! And well done to everyone with publishing success. No news from me, but still trying for those elusive acceptances …

Sue McV said...

Well done to everyone with acceptances to report, especially Patsy!! I've decided to go back to the drawing board, again, with TPF. Not sure if it's a displacement activity but I've decided to consolidate all the info I've collected regarding their guidelines as a start.
Was interested to read Sheelagh's comment about an upcoming feature in a national newspaper. Is it best to pitch an idea first and are they open to work from new writers? I've had a few letters in the 'I' but that's it so far.

Sheelagh said...

@Sue I find that national newspapers tend to be a bit more willing to accept articles during 'the silly season' when there is not a lot going on politically & otherwise but of course they might get scuppered at the last moment if a big news story comes along. It probably is best to pitch an idea first although I have usually written the piece first and then approached them, hasn't always worked mind you! It's just something I enjoy doing from time to time.

Sue McV said...

Thanks for that information Sheelagh.

Maisie Bishop said...

Congratulations on 50 stories in TPF, Patsy. Amazing! I've given up on sending them anything. I have a story in Yours this week. Thanks for the 6 word competition, which I've entered.

Eirin Thompson/E.D. Thompson said...

I have had my first serial accepted by 'The People's Friend'and I'm delighted. I had made, I think, three previous unsuccessful attempts at serial-writing, so signed up for the most recent serial-writing workshop run by the 'Friend', which was very helpful. I didn't try to be too ambitious, and proposed three instalments. I found it much harder than writing stand-alone short stories, but I'm hoping that, now that I've done it once, I will have learned from the experience. I also read a reader's lovely letter in this week's issue of 'The People's Friend' about one of my stories, for which I am very grateful. Congratulations, Patsy, on achieving fifty stories with the 'Friend' - I remember you blogging about your first acceptance with them, and it doesn't feel like all that long ago. Happy writing, everyone!

Sheelagh said...

Well done Eirin on getting an acceptance for a serial that's a great achievement & thanks for sharing the process, always useful to get an insight into the hard graft involved to get a sense of perspective.

Patsy said...

@ Fiona – Oh, well done! And thanks for letting me know that the competition link was useful.

@ Alyson – That's weird. Your first comment went into spam. No idea why.
Well done on the acceptance, and on finishing a PN!

@ Mrs Fed-Up – I know how frustrating the long waits can be. I withdrew a lot of stories for that reason last year. If you've not given your assigned editor a nudge recently it might be worth doing that and stating how long you've been waiting. I've heard from others who have very recently got replies (including acceptances) after doing that.

@ Marguerite – Congratulations on your successes. I hope you get to see the annual soon.

@ Michael – August does seem early for annuals, but TPF is already out, so hopefully the wait won't be too much longer.
Well done for the high flying writing!

Patsy said...

@ Kate – I hope you've been doing something fun, if you've not had time for writing?

@ Sheelagh – Congratulations on the articles!
Waiting does seem to be a bit of a theme at the moment.

@ Susan – If you've not done so recently, try emailing your assigned editor and saying how long the stories have been out for. That's worked well for a few people I've heard from.

Thanks for the update on the Yours annual.

@ Sharon – It's good to know April is buying stories. Hopefully she'll get round to responding to everyone reasonably soon.

Totally agree that a lack of definite responses is de-motivating. Even worse when what you thought was a sale turns out not to be.

@ Elizabeth - well done on the poetry success!

Patsy said...

@ HB – Keeping trying is the only way to get successful!

@ Sue – I've only had a few articles published. Probably coincidence, but all my sales came from submission of completed articles rather than pitches. Doing it that way isn't usually advised, as you may write a piece that's never used, but I found the pitches nearly as hard to write as the finished piece, so didn't think it much of a risk.

@ Maisie – It's such a shame that writers are becoming demotivated by the lack of responses. I totally understand that, as I've felt the same way myself in the past. There doesn't seem to be a simple solution. Well done for the Yours success.

@ Eirin – Congratulations! Definitely proves that one rejection (or several) shouldn't put people off trying again – if they want to, that is.

My first sale to TPF doesn't feel that long ago to me either – certainly it's not long compared to my writing career as a whole, as it took me a long time to get on the right wavelength.

Susan Wright said...

I finally heard from Lucy at PF yesterday.
It wasn't good news. 3 rejections, but at least I know now and I can try the stories elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes send current well researched and literate articles to the national press. Yes, I know, tilting at windmills but I have very occasionally struck lucky with them. But what I find depressing is the total lack of response most of the time. Honestly, how long does it take to key in 'thanks, sorry, no' and send it? At least I'd know. And I'm always so polite to them. Disappointing. Sue