Saturday 16 September 2023

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.

Free entry writing competitions

Thanks very much to Sharon Boothroyd for the link to this ghost story competition with a £100 prize. The stories should be set where you live. I'm really tempted to write a haunted campervan tale – I'm currently in mine, so surely that would count?

This competition is for a book (any genre fiction or non fiction) about a person with a chronic condition or disability. The book must be published between November last year and October this year - self published is fine. There's a £1,000 prize.

This competition is just for novels. They must be the first book by an author over 40. It can be published or unpublished. The prize if £4,000.

And this one is for short stories. £2,000 prize.

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.


Fiona said...

Thanks for all the info and photos Patsy (and Sharon). The ghost story one feels very timely because as some of you might know it’s been Heritage Open Days this last week (finishes tomorrow, 17th) with loads of venues you can visit free and also access to places that aren’t normally open to the public.
Last Saturday I had a full day of visits including attending a local drama group’s ‘promenade’ around the village green giving the history of Bournville, where I live.
I took a notebook with me and have loads of interesting snippets and ideas that might find their way into stories.
Then on Monday I attended a research workshop at Birmingham City Library where we learned about different newspaper resources as well as sneaky ways to find info on paid websites and then request that material free at the library!
I’d definitely recommend looking out for events in your area next year if you’ve not already taken part.

Sheelagh said...

Thanks Patsy, Sharon & Fiona for sharing all that info. I had an acceptance from TPF on Friday & an offer to do two historical research pieces from another magazine so I'm very happy with myself this weekend.

Marguerite said...

The ghost story looks good... right up my street: thank you, Sharon. I won a Fictionette competition but still await the elusive floods of acceptances ;) from any of the subs to magazines I've sent out in recent weeks. Several outstanding competitions but they are mostly end of this month dates anyway. Weird Christmas are having another competition: just something a bit off-beam. Not been successful for the past 3 years but I'll likely have a go. That sounds good, Fiona - sneaky, huh? ;) Well done, Sheelagh for TPF! I'm amassing all the info from this blog for the past umpteen weeks and will sit down and... concerted effort! Patsy, I love the way the comments on the blog seem to gradually continue conversations over the gaps between the posts! That never used to happen so much!

Anonymous said...

I'm getting back into writing fiction again, so I'm finding your blog really helpful. Thank you to you and all other contributors!
I'll try and share any news I have, but after a decade of copywriting, article writing and a role as Deputy Ed of Sustain Europe magazine, I'm really out of the loop! I subbed to PF a few weeks ago and want to get into a pattern of regular submissions. Also working on a languished, nearly complete PN.
I have an comical adult fairytale that was shortlisted years ago in WM (or WN?). Does anyone have any insight on the best place to sub it? Yours? WW? 🤔 They seem to be possible candidates. Off to get a few mags today to see what's in the most recent fiction specials.
Happy writing, all!

Anonymous said...

Nothing new to report. I did drop an email to April at BOWW just over a week ago about a couple of outstanding submissions. To date, I’ve had no reply.

I do have a few good ideas for stories that I hope to write over the autumn.

Thanks for the info and photos, Patsy. And to Sheelagh on your TPF acceptance.


Marian said...

Thank you Patsy and Sharon for the competition news. I haven't really written many ghost stories, but I'm going to have a go at that competition because I live in an area which has some history I can draw on, which might help me a little.

We've been away, so I'm only just catching up on the comments from last week, but like many others, I have always appreciated all the support I have received from the blog. I've found it particularly reassuring during the inevitable quiet periods.

My news is that I had an acceptance from The People's Friend on Friday, which I was thrilled about. And I did get some ideas while we were away, which I hope to be able to use for more stories over the autumn.

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Thanks Patsy for info, comps and photo prompts. Congratulations to everyone who has had acceptances or made submissions.

Fiona, what a great plan using Heritage Open Day experiences for story ideas.

I have no acceptance news to add at moment, but I'm thrilled to have an item in the Children in Read auction, which started life as a My Weekly pocket novel.

ados123 said...

Thanks Patsy for the post and for the competitions. I think I entered the ghost in the bookshop comp a few years ago and came no where - I did sell the story later though! So I might give this one a go too, if I can think of something.
Congratulations to everyone with acceptances and work out. I sent off the first three chapters of a pocket novel this week. No news yet...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the competition info, Patsy.
I’m working on a couple of competition entries due next week.
Congratulations to everyone on their acceptances.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I saw a contest the other day but don't remember where - sorry!

Sue McV said...

Thanks for all the information and many congratulations to all who have had work accepted. I had a story accepted at Woman's Weekly last week but it's ages these days before they see the light of day. I do have one coming out in December, with the same mag. No response from BOWW following my two emails chasing up a story sent ages ago. Giving up on that I think.

Anonymous said...

Thank you patsy for all the info. No news sadly. Sent another email to April regarding a few of my stories but still radio silence - not sure what’s going on there. Had three accepted by WW but was last year so sitting in a possible file somewhere I guess. Congrats to those who have better news. Charlie.

Carrie said...

Well done everyone on acceptances and thanks to Patsy (and Sharon) for the comp news. I'll put my thinking cap on re the ghost story :)
Not much to report here but waiting, like others, to hear back from BOWW. Have got a story in the October WW which I'm looking forward to seeing. And I've stories in the latest TAB FF.
And hoping for some good news from TPF!

Anonymous said...

Hi All. Thanks for all the information Patsy and big 'Well Done's' to al who have had work accepted - or are just keeping on, keeping on! Hoping for a bit of help here. Does anyone have the past few years My Weekly Annuals? I had a few stories accepted for publication in the Annuals for 2022, 2023, 0r maybe even 2024. I ordered the the annual with Our Queen Elizabeth on the front but can't seem to find the stories My Weekly purchased from me. Be great if anyone out there has copies of any and could check if there are any stories by Kate Hogan in there. I have contacted Samantha Anderson but had no response. Many thanks for any help. Good wishes. kate Hogan

Sheelagh said...

@Kate, I don't have copies of the My Weekly Annuals I'm afraid.
RE BOWW, hopefully April is alright, I think she had a few health issues recently. My sale of three stories stalled recently (two weeks ago) mid P.O. being sent over & I've heard nothing since either. Odd one.

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Hi Kate,

I have the 2023 My Weekly Annual the one with Julie Walters on the front. You have one story in it, Good Neighbours, and lovely it is too :) The ISBN is 978-1-84535-910-2

Hope that's helpful to you.

Anonymous said...


Elizabeth McGinty said...

You are very welcome Kate :)

Sheelagh said...

Congrats on your story in Ireland's Own this week, Patsy

Anonymous said...

Hurray, hurray! Yours Fiction are going to publish one of my short stories in the November issue. It was a Christmas themed story that I sent a few months ago and had forgotten about. Nil desperandum! After a long spell on the sidelines - really delighted. And very many congratulations to all with similar cheering news. Kind regards, Sue

Anonymous said...

Sue again - further to above comment - closer reading of the acceptance email says my story will be published in Yours magazine and not Yours Fiction - apologies for carelessness. I believe YF is currently closed to subs. Kind regards, Sue

Sheelagh said...

Well done Sue, great news. It really lifts the spirits to get news like that, doesn't it (made all the sweeter after a fallow period). Go celebrate and enjoy

Sharon boothroyd said...

Congratulations on anyone who's had success.
I'm holding off from subbing to woman's weekly as they've had several stories on the reserve list for over a year now and I have no idea when they'll be used.
It puts me off because even if I have an acceptance, of course I'll be pleased but it'll just be shoved on a wait list. That takes the joy out of writing.
I don't aim to write a story, with the end result to be a waiting game of 2 years or more. It's very dispiriting.
I could withdraw them, but they won't suit any other mag.
Well, I suppose I could give it 2 years and then review the situation.
I wouldn't mind so much if it was a monthly magazine but it's a weekly one! You'd think they'd get through stories fairly quickly.

Sheelagh said...

True Sharon though at least they do acknowledge that that is the case and they don't mind if you submit them elsewhere as long as you notify them. Also they do get back usually within 8 or 9 weeks if they are going to accept them and you know for sure at 16 weeks if they are not. I find that vastly better than situations where your stories disappear into the black hole & you have no idea whats become of them.

Anonymous said...

Still hearing of writers perplexed and dismayed by PF's change of house style.

Patsy said...

@ Fiona – Oh, you've done plenty of research already. Heritage open days are brilliant, aren't they?

@ Sheelagh - that's great news. Congratulations.

@ Marguerite - well done on the win, good luck for the subs and thanks for the link!

@ Anonymous – Reading the mags is the best way to see where your story would fit - don't forget to check words counts too (my database, which is a page on this blog, can help with that). As well as mags, look out for competitions. Adult fairytales is quite a popular theme, especially heading towards Christmas.

Patsy said...

@ Michael – I hope you get a reply soon. All editors seem a bit swamped at the moment.

@ Marian - Well done for the acceptance and I hope you have fun writing up those ideas.

@ Elizabeth – How nice to be involved with that project.

@ Alyson – I too have gone on to sell stories which came nowhere in competitions, so they're sometimes worth attempting just as prompts. Fingers crossed for the PN chapters.

@ HB - Deadlines can be helpful – I hope that's the case for you.

@ Alex - I do the same. I'm sure I'll remember but...

@ Sue - Well done on the acceptance. Not getting a response is so demoralising, isn't it?

Patsy said...

@ Charlie – Some people have had responses. I think it's just taking her a long time to get back to people, rather than a more serious issue. I certainly hope that's the case.

@ Carrie – Well done for the publications and best of luck for the ones you're hoping to hear about.

@ Kate - Sorry, I don't have the annuals. I hope someone else can help.

@ Sheelagh – If she's been unwell that would account for the backlog. I hope things soon improve both for her and those waiting to hear.

@ Elizabeth and Kate – That kind of help is exactly what this blog is all about!

@ Sheelagh – Oooh, thanks for telling me. I'm currently away. Hopefully a copy of the mag will be waiting when I get home and I'll know which story it is.

@ Sue - Well done. I can totally understand that excitement over an acceptance stops you taking in all the details at the first reading.

Patsy said...

@ Sharon – I can totally understand your frustration at the long gap between acceptance and publication. We write to be read, not have our work sat on hard drives for years.

@ Sheelagh – Yes, the black hole situation is even worse!

@ Anonymous – The best thing for anyone who is unhappy to do is to speak to their assigned editor.

Linda Casper said...

Thank you everyone for your submission ideas. It is good to hear of the acceptances. I haven't had much motivation to write over the summer and was considering giving up writing (if that is possible for a writer), but an acceptance of a piece I wrote in June to be included in an anthology by Yaffle Press has spurred me on.

Sheelagh said...

@Patsy just checked the website again, story is called Always There

Patsy said...

@ Linda – I'm not sure it is possible to give up. A couple of times I thought I had, but was fairly soon proved wrong. Congratulations on being included in the anthology!

@ Sheelagh – Thank you. I didn't think to check the website - either I didn't ever realise they put the story titles on there, or I had completely forgotten.

Sheelagh said...

I think they only remain there for the week of publication so every Tuesday there is an update for the coming week

Anonymous said...

I’m in the same boat Sharon, have three stories accepted by WW over a year ago now and just sitting on a waiting list! Will just carry on waiting I guess. Charlie.