Saturday 17 February 2024

Over to you - and another opportunity from The People's Friend

In case you missed it, here's another opportunity from The People's Friend. It's not as good as £10,000 for a single story, but any increase in the amount of fiction being published is good news.

Do you have any
 writing news?

Do you know any market news? Have you heard about any free to enter writing competitions? Or come across calls for submissions or other opportunities?

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

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.

I'm also taking part in a promo thingy. If you're interested in finding new mysteries, crime stories and police procedurals to read (or are just curious) take a look here.


Anonymous said...

Hi everybody,

With this new opportunity from PF, and following on from the Bursary,it still seems to exclude a lot of us. The first opportunity is for 'established' Friend authors (I wish) and with the second, you have to contact your assigned Editor.

Many congratulations and well done if this includes you but those of us who have still to be accepted by the Friend seem left out again.

There does seem an open opportunity in the final opportunity for Christmas submissions but in general, it seems the unloved are still just that!
Or am I reading this incorrectly?

Best wishes to you all, kind regards, Sue

Sharon boothroyd said...

That's the way I read it sue.
I was excluded from entering the bursary and despite being a TPF published poet, I'm excluded from this opportunity as well.
I thought TPF opened Xmas subs to all in April?
I sent them 16 stories last year (some of these I tidied up and I subbed them again later on) and every single one was rejected, so I hope people will understand that I don't feel very motivated to sub them fiction in the future.
I've only sent them poetry this year and I don't feel very confident about that!
The current story competition in best magazine has a pets theme. It's free to enter.

Sheelagh said...

Thanks Patsy for all the updates. I haven't had any acceptances recently but in fairness I haven't a huge amount out there either that I'm awaiting news on. I did manage to get back to writing (non-fiction at the moment) which is always easier for me to focus on when my mind is elsewhere and I've submitted a few pieces in the past couple of weeks, I won't expect to hear back for a while on those though. The main thing is it is nice to be doing a bit of writing again.

Anonymous said...

Advice sought here: I had a first round acceptance (i.e. over to the fiction editor now) from The People's Friend a few months ago and then have heard nothing since. Is this usual and how long does this 'phase' go on for or should I try submitting elsewhere at this stage?

Sharon Boothroyd said...

I can't advise really, but I know that some TPF writers have waited 2/ 3 years for a decision. You could gently chase if you feel inclined to do so.
I think it depends if you're in the '5 story rule' club.
Some TPF writers have been given a limit of 5 stories out at time - and some haven't.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree Sue, from another Sue- maybe we should have a go anyway- rules are made to be broken remember!

ados123 said...

@Anonymous - I would wait to hear from TPF. They should let you know either way with your story but as Sharon says it can take some time, especially if the story is set in a particular season or related to a particular holiday. If you want to do something get on a write another story for them. You've obviously got something there or it wouldn't have moved up the line. Friend stories are not always suitable for other magazines anyway...

I've sold a few stories since the last open post which is nice as things were a bit bleak. I also entered the 500 word Australian story you posted about last week, Patsy, starting with pale sock! So thank you.


Marguerite said...

Ah... the sock! Reminds me to complete and despatch. Thank you, Alyson. I was delighted to be placed second in the Toasted Cheese competition. It's small but international. TPF seems to be asking for so many different and contradictory things at the moment. They seem to want to open up to new and grittier... and yet... Think I'll wait until they come to some sort of equilibrium. On a technical note (!), what is 'alt text' in your newsletter, Patsy? I was clicking for all I was worth and nothing happened? Lovely pictures tho'!

Sharon Boothroyd said...

I don't think there is an increase in fiction at TPF.
As someone has pointed out, they have counted the serial and the ongoing series in with their short stories.

Maisie Bishop said...

As one of the 'unloved' I've given up submitting fiction to TPF. I sent them 3 poems in November. Not expecting anything. I've got a story coming out in Woman's Weekly this week though.

Anonymous said...

It doesn’t apply to me, but the ‘opportunities’ for established Friend authors don’t seem much compared to the Writing Bursary!
I’ve returned to working on yet another draft of my WIP novel. Feeling a bit disillusioned with my short story efforts, but I will probably give the Best Comp a go (thanks, Sharon).

Sheelagh said...

Are the details i.e. word count etc for the Best competition in this weeks magazine?

Anonymous said...


I have submitted some more stories to Andrew Shaw at WW and am currently working on a story for the Best short story competition. It seems to me that they rotate the same three themes - pets/animals, Valentine's Day and Christmas, although I may just have missed the other themed competitions.

On a separate note, I recommend submitting letters to magazines because there are some nice prizes on offer, if your letter is selected as the Star letter. I won the Star letter prize for Woman and Home, at the end of last year. The prize is a six month flower subscription, which is perfect for me, as I adore flowers. The third bouquet arrived last week and cheered me up no end, on what was a cold and miserable Wednesday afternoon.

Wishing you all the best of luck with your writing endeavours.


Lindsay said...

The details for the Best competition are in the issue that's on sale now, dated 20 February.

I've had a story placed on file with Woman's Weekly for the first time so thank you for posting the guidelines, Patsy.

Patsy said...

I'll get the details of the Best competition and put them in a new post.

Fiona said...

Thanks Patsy and others for all the info, plus congrats to those with work accepted - star letter Ally27, brilliant!

I sent a short story to TPF in November, responding to their ‘gritty’ appeal. It was written for a competition but didn’t win and not really PF style so fully expected a rejection, but got an email last week saying they loved it and were also buying a summer story I sent in over two years ago!

Hopefully others whose stories were subbed a long time ago might also hear some good news soon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Patsy,

Re the details of the Best pet fiction competition, do they take all rights?

I have bought the mag and studied the (very) small print and there is nothing about 'rights' but rather a lot of general T & C's which might allow this. Do Hearst usually take all rights do you know please?

Sheelagh - word count is 1200. Kind regards, Sue

Sheelagh said...

Thanks Sue

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Patsy, for the info.

I have a story out in WW in two weeks time. I also have another two with Andrew Shaw atm so fingers are crossed.

Re Best’s pet fiction competition. I entered their pet themed competition two years ago. (I don’t recall them having one last year). I didn’t win, but after giving the story a few tweaks, I had it accepted by Yours Fiction in July 22.

TPF fiction competition results are due out soon, according to Lucy. As over 650 entries have been received, most, I assume from unpublished writers, so it’ll be interesting to see the winning entries. As I wrote in an earlier post, a lot of us seem unable to crack their code. So will the judges be picking from the best that they have?

Good luck, though, to whoever the winners are.


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

Anonymous - I agree with Alyson: you should definitely feel encouraged that one of the very seasoned fiction team has sent your story up the ladder; I possibly wouldn't chase up yet, but hang on for a while as the fiction editor and probably the magazine editor will read it before a final decision is made. Either way, I would propose you think about the various elements in this story as it sounds like you have put together a strong piece of work and one which is suitable in content and tone for the 'Friend'. Good luck!

Congratulations to all those who have had recent successes and very best wishes to everyone out there reading this blog and writing.

Sarah C said...

Novels rather than short stories, but Sapere Books are looking for historical novel writers. They have six historical briefs and are looking for a writer for each through a competition. They are looking for the first three chapters and a 2000 word synopsis for the first book in the series and ideas and brief outlines for the rest of the series of books. Open to established, ghost, debut and unpublished writers. You can find details under Sapere Books [dot] com, tab: Writing Competitions. Closing date 31st May. Prize is a five book publishing contract and the competition is free to enter. Good luck x

Sharon boothroyd said...

The TPF judging panel has been announced - it's full of glitzy celebs and a costume designer from strictly come dancing, plus an academic.
I thought TPF was a commercial magazine?
I had assumed that the TPF fiction team would be the judges. I don't understand why these judged weren't revealed before the bursary was launched.
I was excluded from entering both but I would have loved the chance for Sally Lindsay to look at my work.
As she owns and manages her own production company and writes scripts herself, it's a pity she's not running a free to enter drama scriptwriting opportunity for women over 50.
Especially as the female writer who penned the tv drama 'Mr bates v the post office' was 68.