Thursday 28 September 2023

Sad news about YOURS

I've been seeing various rumours about Bauer adopting a policy of only using previously published fiction in their magazines (for which they wouldn't have to pay as the most recent contracts either give them all rights for accepted material, or allow for reuse).

After contact with a reliable source, I can confirm that this is the case for Yours magazine, and that after many years Marion Clarke is to lose her job as fiction editor there. I didn't sell many stories to that market, but Marion's name is one of the first which I wrote on the A4 envelopes I sent out my first submissions in. I'm sure that, like me, all those who've worked with her wish her well for the future. 

This news is very disappointing for writers - and seems unfair to readers too.

My source (very credible but currently wishing to remain anonymous - which makes me feel like a proper journo!) says that they believe Take a Break will continue to accept new submissions. I certainly hope that's the case!

Anyone got any good news to share?


ados123 said...

It's very sad, Patsy. I only sold a handful of stories to Marion at Yours (more to Yours Fiction) but she was very nice to work with. She even emailed me once to say that a reader had written to her telling her how much she enjoyed my story. I wish her all the best.
Good news - TPF have just put a call out on Twitter for 3000 words stories from unpublished (by them) writers. Send to

Anonymous said...

TPF getting 3K stories for the lowest rate possible?


Carrie said...

Very sad news about Yours, and the few times I've dealt with Marion she has always been lovely, so wishing her well.
I hope to goodness that TAB don't follow suit!
I've still got some 3K worders out with TPF but still not heard anything so it would be nice to do so especially if they're asking for them.

Sharon boothroyd said...

I feel sad about Yours as a lost market, but I only sold a few there.
It must be awful for Marion to receive news out of the blue like this.
Like others, I sold more to Yours fiction. We still don't know what's happening there either, do we?
The thing with re-prints is that some readers are going to feel cheated and mis-led, and not feel as though the mag is good value for money.
They expect to read a new story every fortnight, and not one that's been published before.I certainly would, anyway.
New fiction should be regarded as maintaining a high standard - but hey ho. I don't suppose it's about what's best for the mag. I expect it's about cutting costs.
Thanks for call our re: TPF, but after many years of trying, (yes, even with longer fiction) I can't see them wanting my stuff!

Chris Sutton said...

Agree, Sharon, this is all about cost cutting. It is a shame that yet another mag is going down this 'no new fiction' route, and I can't help feeling that sales will taper off, as readers start to recognise stories they've read before. If so, it could be that the mag is hammering a nail into its own coffin. Makes you wonder, would they do this with articles, interviews, or fillers? Can't see it somehow, can you?

It's sad for Marion, too, to be elbowed aside this way. Some publishing houses really do seem to be quite ruthless in how they treat their staff, don't they.

Sheelagh said...

Gosh that's sad news indeed. I never got around to submitting there but its nice to have the option and its very sad news for Marion. I wish her well and hope the future brings even better things for her.
Yes it can be very annoying to buy a magazine to enjoy a good read only to find you have read them before. I tend to be a discerning purchaser though!
No general good news, just another story 'sort of' accepted by Woman's Weekly. Will just have to wait and see.

Susan Wright said...

I sold my first story to Yours back in 2002, and they've taken a lot of my stories since then, so I was very sad when I heard that we're about to lose another market.
Sad for Marion as well because she's always been lovely to work with.
I should have guessed this was coming though when Yours used one my stories in a recent fiction special, which had been previously been published in Fiction Feast.

Bubble said...

I think I only ever subbed once to Yours, but I still feel the pain of this. Sad for the market and sad for Marion.

Elizabeth McGinty said...

Another market gone and I feel so sad for Marion and any other staff affected.

carolb said...

Feel so sorry for Marion, and all the writers effected.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying to find out more about this for us, Patsy.
I've had a few stories published with Yours and am really sad that this is another market gone.
I feel especially sad for Marion as she was always so lovely. Like Alyson, she once sent me a letter (with address cut out) which a reader had sent in about my story. I really appreciated that.
I hope that Take a Break Fiction Feast don't go down this route even although I'm not on their closed list. I think it's in all our interest to have a thriving healthy market of magazines which take short stories. It seems that most magazines these days go down the route of articles about celebrities and I'm not really interested in reading that kind of stuff.
Some good news for me - I'm going to have a story published in October's edition of Best of Woman's Weekly.
I enjoy reading about everyone's news on this blog. Sharon H

Maisie Bishop said...

That is very sad news, especially for Marion, who was always helpful and professional. Like everyone else, I wish her well for the future. I've had one story published in Yours and two in Yours Fiction. Very frustrating to lose another market.

Marguerite said...

This market is getting continually squeezed - a great shame. More likely a target for my tales, I know, than some of the other mags. I have sold my two sole stories to Yours Fiction - crossing my fingers it really does reboot in January as planned. On a brighter note, FINALLY managed to get a copy of the Yours Yearbook :) Susan Wright made a comment on here a few weeks ago about it being a lovely book :) I remember the Dairy Diaries... anyone? Anyway, very similar but bigger - pleased with it :)
Well done for anyone with accepted subs this week. Looks as though 2024 will be a challenge - we'll just have to find some new avenues.

Anonymous said...

I had this email from Marion on Wednesday 27th September.

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, I am unable to accept any new submissions as Bauer Media has introduced a policy of using previously published short stories in its publications.

I’m sorry to disappoint you but I hope you will continue to enjoy reading Yours magazine.

Kind regards,
Marion Clarke
Former contributing fiction editor


Anonymous said...

Hi, I've submitted 8 stories to People's Friend and they are immediately rejected. One in 2 hours, the others in 2-3 days.

Having looked at endless PF's I only conclude that it's because I am a man as none of their writers are. I've had lots of "Placed It On File" replies from Woman's Weekly, so my stories can't be that bad!


Marguerite said...

Oh, no! MM - Many of us have had 'almost instantaneous' rejections from TPF! I think one less than an hour was my record ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Marguerite, it’s just so disheartening.


Ruth/Becca said...

Oh no - so sad about Yours and I wish Marion the very best. What a shame.

Marian said...

I was very sad to hear this. I only had two stories accepted by Yours, but Marion was lovely to work with.

Sharon boothroyd said...

There's several male womag writers.
Julia Douglas has stories in MW and TPF- she's Douglas MCpherson.
There's Geoff bagwell, tony Haynes,Shane Telford and Keith Havers. I too, have had quick rejects by TPF,so you're not alone!
The thing that concerns me about Marion's message is that it says Beaur media. That term covers all their mags.

Alan Barker said...

I submitted one of mine to Yours only a few weeks ago, so it will be interesting to see if I hear anything back. Let’s hope Yours Fiction are open for submissions again in the New Year. Very sad about Marion Clarke but hope she finds a new position very soon. On the plus side, I unexpectedly received a payment from Ireland’s Own this week, having not submitted anything to them in over a year. So am hoping a copy of the magazine with one of my stories in it will arrive any day now!

Anonymous said...

So sad to read about this. I only ever subbed one story to Marion. It was rejected, but later went on to be published in WW. I have a story that I was planning to send to her. Not now, unfortunately. I have had several stories published by Yours Fiction, and like Marguerite pointed out, here’s hoping that it returns in the new year.

If only the mags with closed lists would reopen them - even for a short while. Then they might realise how much writing talent is actually out there.


Sharon boothroyd said...

I think the fiction eds are aware of how much writing talent there is out there. But will it be suitable for their magazine?
Even on a closed list, some choose not to sub material in (what a waste, when so many would love to be on it) and those who do, because of the tough competition, they don't always make the grade.
It is possible to get on a closed list (Not with My Weekly at the moment) but your story must be a right fit for the mag.
There's nothing stopping anyone trying and submitting a story to TABFF, but be aware that if they want your story, as a newbie, you will be expected to fill in a lot of forms.

Anonymous said...


I have never been published in Yours but recently submitted six stories to them, so it was very disappointing and disheartening to hear the bad news. It's a sad situation all round - for Marion Clarke, for prospective writers, for existing writers and for Yours readers. With closed lists, all rights grabs and the market becoming increasingly smaller, it's hard - as a new writer who only started submitting earlier this year - not to feel dispirited. I have decided to focus on other writing projects in an attempt to raise my spirits and am also entering writing competitions. It's important to have something to hope for and with all the disappointing Womag news of late, I'm sure that this is something that we could all do with. Wishing you all some positive news and the best of luck with your writing projects.

Anonymous said...

I ve been told that TABFF is a closed list?

Sharon boothroyd said...

It is a closed list but in 2022, a new writer sold a story to them.
Your story must be a good fit for the mag.
But they had to fill in a lot of forms. They didn't do this, as it felt intimidating and as a freelance, not necessary.
They published the story, but the writer lost their fee and decided not to submit any more stories to them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying. I might as well give it a go then! Do you have an email address that I can send a submission to and an idea of word count please?

Sharon boothroyd said...

Sorry but I need to clarify that it is still a closed list. The climate has probably changed since last year.
The 'new' writer may have been a former tab fiction writer who stopped subbing when the all rights contract came in, then resubbed when this was dropped.
I believe best mag has a closed fiction list,too. Is this open to anyone now? Has anyone got their fiction guidelines?

Chris Sutton said...

Just to clarify...

The 'new writer' mentioned above contacted Alice in advance of sending anything and gave her a brief account of her previously published work in other mags. Based on that, Alice agreed to see a story or two. The one that was published appeared some time before the paperwork for payment was sent out. Only then did she realise the amount of personal information she would need to supply in order to get paid. It was her decision to ask them to donate the fee to charity, although I don't think she ever received confirmation that this had been done on her behalf.

Linda said...

Sorry to hear the news about YOURS I had several stories published by them when I was starting out as a womag writer. Marion was lovely to work with and I wish her well in the future. I have a story in the Yours Yearbook which is not easy to find (try bigger WH Smith stores) but an interesting read, packed with recipes, gardening tips etc - plus a few short stories! I tried to add the story to my ALCS account but the ISBN doesn't work for the 2024 edition - maybe because it's not yet 2024? Really don't know.

Marguerite said...

Thank you for that, Linda :) Was just reminding myself about ALCS but for one solitary story and one in the yearbook, not sure if there's any point. By the way, the Yearbook has reached the Isle of Wight so it must be national!
So sorry that volumes of personal information are required for selling a story - not been my experience so far - thank you, Chris.

Chris Sutton said...

Nor mine, Marguerite. It's usually quite straightforward here isn't it. Even for overseas mags, they didn't require that level of personal info. Usually, you just submitted the bank details necessary for BACS payments and that was it. My friend's experience with TaB was definitely (and thankfully) not the norm.