News and views from the world of women's magazine fiction.
Is it possible to submit to People's Friend by email. Also, can anyone suggest any other magazines accepting submissions?
People's Friend don't accept e-mail submissions. Yours magazine and The Weekly News do though.
I'm thinking of taking the plunge with my first attempt at a Woman's Weekly serial. Have I got this right for my first submission? A brief publishing CV, part only, then a brief synopsis of the following 3 parts and wait for their answer before I go on? Or do I write all fours parts before I contact WW? As you can tell, I'm nervous. Their standards are very high and I don't want to blow my chances before I even start!
@ L - when you sub to PF you can ask them to reply by email, which saves the return postage.Quite a few others will accept emailed subs - Ireland's Own, That's Life, Allas and You, plus the ones Keith has mentioned. The contact details are all on the blog.@Keith - thanks!
@ Sally, Geraldine Ryan gives some info on that in the 12th May post on here.I believe Gaynor likes you to contact her with the idea first, so she can see if it might fit and so you're not working on something she won't use because she's already got something similar planned in.
It's going to become difficult to search for questions and answers in the comments on this page.It might be an idea to periodically summarise them in an FAQ section in the page's body text.
A FAQ page is a good idea, Captain Black. Once questions are starting to get repeated I'll try to do that.
Has anyone had recent success with a Feature to a mag? It`s dawned on me that my failed story subs may be telling me to send off non-fiction - when I think of it, I do find that easier to write... (No worrying about what happens in the end)
Thanks for your help everyone.
@ Dolores, not something I have any experience of, other than with writing magazine, but if that's what you like to write then give it a go.If anyone writes features for womags and would like to do a guest post on the subject, please let me know.
@ L, Narrative magazine - http://www.narrativemagazine.com/However, they seem to have reading fees. I can't find out on their site what those fees are or whether or not that's for everything. Is anyone else familiar with this publication?
@ Patsy, I don't quite understand "Allas". Somewhere I read I can choose to submit in English? That's all I am able to submit in, as I don't know Swedish! Actually, I have Swedish ancestry, so perhaps I could submit an article to them. Do they take articles as well?
@ Patsy, thanks for letting us know that we can ask People's Friend to respond by email. I've added that to my submission guidelines for the Friend. This is becoming a very helpful section of womagwriter!
@ Fay - I don't know anything about that magazine, but reading fees for submissions are not at all usual.Yes, you can sub to Allas in English. I do and they've bought some of my fiction. If you look on the 'kontakt' page of their website (and make use of Google translate) I think you'll find people to contact about non fiction submissions.
Thanks, Patsy - shall keep eyes peeled here - there`s a huge variety of stuff appearing and as Fay says, it`s becoming a very helpful section. (Under your magnificent direction)!
I agree, Patsy. The "reading fees" for "Narrative" sounds more like submissions are contests. I discovered this market when a reputable author listed "Narrative" in her credits.Thanks for the info on "Allas". Will check it out further.
Reading fees? That does not sound right.Money should flow towards the author, not away from them.I get that Narrative Magazine are non-profit and want to cover their running costs, but there are other ways to do that, besides penalising hard-up authors. I would personally give them a miss.
@ Captain Black - Right! But I can't quite work out from their website if they charge reading fees for ALL submissions. They say they charge a reading fee for "unsolicited submissions"! Aren't all submissions to them unsolicited?! http://www.narrativemagazine.com/node/360
A bit out of date, but these links might help…forums.writersweekly.comabsolutewrite.com/forums
@ Captain Black - thanks. I definitely won't add Narrative to my list of markets!
Does anyone know of any publications/womags which publish poetry? I know the People's Friend does (I read Emma Canning's recent blog on this) - but are there any others??
@ Alwyn Arnold - You could try Evergreen magazine: "Britain's Lovely Little Green Quarterly". They published my poem "The Writer's Prayer" in their Winter 2013 edition. Their poetry seems to be all rhyming verse and it's a lovely nostalgic little magazine. Their sister magazine is "This England". They say "Poetry should be meaningful rather than 'clever'. Short poems(6-24 lines) stand the best chance, but do not submit more than three at any one time." Payment per poem used to be 10 pounds sterling. Don't know if it's still the same. http://evergreenmagazine.co.ukGood luck!
Many thanks Fay. That's very helpful. I hadn't heard of those mags. I'll definitely give them a try :-)
@ Alwyn Arnold - sorry I should have said those guidelines are for Evergreen. I don't know what the guidelines are for This England.
@Alwyn Arnold - I think Yours magazine publishes poetry. Might be worth checking but last time I looked they used one per issue on their letters pages.
@Emma Canning - Thanks a million Emma. I'm living in Ireland and not sure if you can get Yours here - but will definitely investigate :-)
Hello. I wonder if anyone can help with this one...I have recently sold a story to The Weekly News (DCThomson publication)Allas magazine in Sweden also want to buy it.What I'd like to know is whether I have the right to sell it to them under the terms of the contract we all signed in 2013...I am in the process of corresponding with Allas and Jill Finlay from TWN but just wondered if anyone has already resolved this question?Thank you.PS This question is going to appear as from 'Anonymous'. I'm not anonymous. I'm Janice Sadler - only I can't seem to get the Google Profile to work. Thanks.
If it's already been published in The Weekly News then I believe you're OK. If it hasn't yet been printed then you don't have the right to offer it elsewhere.
Congratulations, Janice! What a lovely dilemma to be in!
This is Janice again...Hi Patsy - thanks for your help. Yes, I think you're right. My only worry is that DCThomson acquire a Swedish publication and publish my story before 'Allas' has the chance to publish it. They buy First Swedish Rights so then they wouldn't be the first in Sweden to publish it, would they?Oh dear... Am I just a worrier??Hi Fay,Thanks for your kind words - and yes, I know I'm very lucky.
The post about poetry -I've had several poems published in both YOURS and The People's friend. If you want to see your poems online, you could try this site:http://www.poempigeon.com/ No payment but you may receive feedback, plus you can comment on other poems too.
@ Sharon Boothroyd - Many thanks for that Sharon. I hadn't heard of that site. I'll definitely follow that up :-)
Hello,Can anyone tell me how much leeway you get with the word count for a My Weekly pocket novel? Do you have to write exactly 50,000 words (+ or - 100, say), or can it be anything between 48,000 and 52,000 for example?Kate
Hi Patsy.I've just found your blog and its already answered some of the questions in my head.I've written for years and only had one thing published in a union publication.Please can you give email addresses or how to submit pieces to mags for publication.Thank you.P.S.I've also written a short illustrated children's Christmas story, which I'm self publishing in November.
@ Kate - I'm not sure how close it needs to be - hopefully someone else here will be able to give you an idea.@ Katerina, If you scroll down to where it says 'magazine guidelines quick links' then you should be able to find most of the information you need to submit to each one. I suggest reading a few issues to get a feel for what they take, if you're not already a regular reader.Good luck with your Christmas story.
The People's Friend say in their submission guidelines to use double spacing and not to use "para indents or formatting". I always double space my stories and I tab in for paragraphs. Does anyone know what they mean by "paragraph indents"? Perhaps they mean not to indent a whole paragraph in a block? And I don't understand what they mean about no formatting. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
I think they mean they don't want the tabs, Fay.
@Patsy - Thanks, but if I use double spacing how do I indicate each new paragraph?
@Patsy - I emailed "The People's Friend" and Shirley Blair, Commissioning Editor, kindly got back to me. She says 1.5 to double spacing is easier to read. And apparently, it’s the formatting that writers include in their documents that causes problems - tabs, indents, etc. However, she says because it’s rare that a paragraph ends with a full line of text, it should be clear enough where each new paragraph begins.
Hi Patsy and co (I hope at least one of you can point me in the right direction)I've had a tiny bit of success with That's Life (Australia) under my pen name Kirsty McBride and fancied giving a factual feature writing a try for them. I think I've got a brilliant idea (don't we all?) and have contacted them enquiring about guidelines for their Your Health section of the magazine but as of yet have heard nothing back.I'm just wondering if anyone has written a feature for the magazine could give me a clue about what kind of word count they expect. If it were a UK magazine I'd be able to go out in the morning and do my research but being in Northern Ireland, it can be a right hassle getting some of the UK magazines!Thanks in advance,Shane.
Patsy, are My Weekly magazine still not accepting submissions from new authors?
Sorry, Shane - haven't tried writing a factual piece for them. I suggest trying the general enquiries email address to see if they have feature guidelines.
Not at the moment, Nora.
Hi Patsy,I'm thinking of sending a story to Allas, but the characters in it have got very English names like Keith and Alan and Duncan!Do you think I should change them to Swedish names or just leave them as they are?Sue Wright
I'm not sure it'll make much difference, Sue - but I'm guessing it wouldn't hurt to have a few of them with Swedish sounding names.
I think I'll try and find some names that work everywhere, Patsy. Might take me some time!Sue
Just name them after the members of Abba!
I did joke about doing that, Patsy, but decided it might be better to look through cast lists for recent Swedish dramas. Plenty of dramas to choose from and plenty of characters with names!Sue
Hi PatsyDo you know where i could find the short story submission guidelines for Take 5 Fiction Feast in Australia? I can't figure out if they are part of the Take a Break or That's Life magazine chain or whether they are a separate magazine. Cheers! LF
Hi LF.They're part of the same group as TAB. The new TAB contracts allow them to reuse stories from TAB in Take 5, so they're doing a lot of that. I have asked for guidelines though, in case we can still sub directly.
Hi Patsy. Thanks so much for your help. I thought i was going crazy as I kept Googling Take 5 short story submission guidelines and nothing would come up! Now it makes sense. Thanks. LF
Hi Patsy.Another question for you: do womags ever accept short stories about cancer? I have researched several magazines and can't find any stories of this nature so was just wondering if this subject is taboo and to be avoided at all costs. Cheers. LF
A story all about cancer might be pushing it, but for most magazines mentioning it should be OK.
btw, I recently sold one where some of it is set in a waiting room for patients undergoing chemo.
Oh that's good to know Patsy - thank you - I sent one off years ago to People's Friend and they wrote back and said it was too depressing (even though I thought it was quite upbeat) so I am trying to rewrite that one! Thanks a lot for your comments!
Hi PatsyI know this site mainly looks at fiction writing but see you have had mention of poetry and non-fiction in replies so I wondered if you or any of your followers know of any magazines accepting short non-fiction pieces. The Lady used to have a Viewpoint feature which used pieces of 250-350 words and I was thinking of items of a similar length. So far I have seen Yours uses pieces up to 300 words and Countryman 3-400 words plus images. I thought of PF but they want longer items 750-1000 words. Evergreen, also mentioned above, came to mind but I cannot see a link to guidelines on their site to check. Ann
Hi Patsy, could you please write a blog post outlining copyright and what we are entitled to do with our own copyrighted stories after they have been published in a UK woman's magazine? I'm particularly interested to know how - and if - I can do the following:1. Submit the story to an overseas magazine.2. Publish it myself for Kindle or in paperback3. Offer it to another UK magazine - is this a definite NO!?
Ok then - I will!
Hi PatsyI'd like some advice about submitting stories to the Weekly News. I sent an email message to Jill Finlay about 6 months ago with my story attached as a pdf and have heard nothing. I now wonder if attaching a file of any sort is not a good idea and would be ignored. Would it be best to submit the words as part of the email message? I did send a further message asking her if she had received it and whether a Word file would be better, but again heard nothing.Hoping you can help.Megan
Hi Megan,You don't hear back from TWN unless it's an acceptance. If you don't get that within 3 months, you're to assume it's a no.Attachments are generally OK for the magazines, but a Word document or the equivalent is better than a pdf (unless anywhere especially asks for a pdf)
Thank you Patsy for your prompt replyIn that case I will try another publication and in future I'll attach a Word file.
Thank you for your nice and helpful blog.C
Hi, Everyone.I submitted a feature article to "The People's Friend" back in the first week of June.I still haven't heard from them and was wondering if anyone had any idea how long they generally take.
Hi PatsyI have two questions:What is the latest with That's Life Australia. I read another comment on here from a reader who noticed the fiction portal on their website had vanished - I had the same experience. Does this mean the end of fiction submissions?Also, I see that TABFF has a new editor. Have their fiction submission guidelines changed or do they remain the same? (I'm referring to your 4th April 2015 article)Thanks for the blog - it's the best out there!
TL (Aus) still accept fiction submissions.TABFF guidelines are in 7th Feb 2016 post.
Thanks for the above answers. How does one go about contacting TL Australia, now? Do you e-mail then in the first instance via their "contact" e-mail?
Heard back from the editor now. New guidelines and contact details will be posted very soon.
Hi Patsy,I'm writing a piece for TABFF. In the story, there is a lyric extract from a famous (real) pop song. Is this allowed or is it forbdden due to copywright issues? It is only a couple of lines and I suppose I could invent a fictional one instead. Any ideas?Thanks
Hi anonymous,'Only a couple of lines' is quite a large percentage of most pop songs! The amount doesn't matter though, if the lyrics are still in copyright and you didn't either write them, buy the rights or have them given to you, then you can't use any part of them.
Hi PatsyI've nearly finished writing a short story that involves the main character (teenaged boy) arriving at self-knowledge through getting drunk for the first time. Trouble is I'm now wondering if mags like People's Friend and Woman's Weekly will consider a story involving alcoholic consumption.If you or anyone else could advise me I'd be most grateful.Patsy 2
There are some answers for you in the Oct 22nd post, Patsy 2. I hope they help.
Hi Patsy - can you help with a question about Take a Break please?I've had one story published by TAB and encouraged by this submitted more back in July and August. Their guidelines say if writers havne't heard after 6-8 weeks to write to Norah and chase her up. I did this on October 6 in a letter through the mail but that was 3 weeks ago and I still haven't had a reply to my chase up letter or any response on my stories. Do you know how long the wait is for a reply from TAB?I did enclose SAEs with all of my stories so am keeping fingers crossed that no news is good news...
@ Nora – A few slip through, but usually TAB do respond to all submissions. Some of mine have been out the same length of time, so I suspect it's just taking a bit longer than they'd like. The office refurbishments might be delaying things.
Thanks Patsy! - Glenda
Just a heads up Patsy (and anyone else reading this), I got an email from Norah today wanting to buy a story which was fantastic, but attached at the bottom in big bold writing were the words 'New Policy.'Norah and the folks at TAB would now like any submissions to be accompanied by a short, two to three line summary of the story that you've sent in. Norah would like this summary on the front page, underneath the title.I suppose this might help with the workload at TAB, and help them weed out any stories that just aren't suitable for their market.I hope this helps with any future submissions!
Hi Patsy - and all the Womagwriters out there. I'm thinking of using Creatspace to make my, self-published on Kindle, novel available in paperback. However, I've read that using a Createspace IBSN means few outlets will touch the work, and also that if, at a later date, I want to move from Amazon to other distributions etc, I would have to pay Amazon i.e., Creatspace to buy the IBSN off them. It would be great to hear of the experience and or advice, of other writers on this subject. Many thanks. Kate Hogan
Hi Kate,If you use Createspace you still use your own ISBN if you wish and you can make your book available to other retailers whether or not you do that. If you do use a Createspace ISBN and later make a different version of the book through someone else, you will need a new ISBN.There's a big section on self publishing in From Story Idea to Reader (out on Wednesday.) That part is written by a publisher and includes information on formatting and lots of other useful stuff.
Many thanks for your advice, Patsy. I'm putting your book on my Christmas List! Good wishes Kath
Hi PatsyJust read Deirdre Palmer's interesting contribution where she mentions sending a story direct to an editor who'd contacted her about a previous submission.I'm now wondering if it would be okay for me to send a story direct to my contact at PF in order to avoid, as Deirdre puts it "the huge mountain of the submission pile" - or would that be cheating?Season's greeting to you and to all our fellow Womag writers.Very best wishes, Patsy 2
Hi Patsy 2, if you have the email address of your contact, I suggest asking her if it's OK to do that for future submissions. I believe you'll still need to submit by post, but there would still be advantages for the writer in working with an editor they'll get to know.
Hi, Patsy. I can't seem to find the name of the latest editor at TLFF - I believe there was something on the blog when she took over but can no longer locate it. I always believe in using a name in the submission email if I can. Thanks very much and thank you, as always, for doing a great job.
Hi KittyMany thanks for your reply.Please excuse my ignorance but what does TLFF stand for (googled it but couldn't find any matches)?I was hoping, with my original comment, to suss out whether other successful womag writers submitted directly to their contact rather than join the huge pile of unsolicited Mss.All the best,Patsy 2
Sorry, Patsy 2, I was trying to ask Patsy 1 a new question! I haven't used this questions and answers section before and have probably done it wrong! But TLFF stands for That's Life Fast Fiction, an Australian magazine that, I believe, publishes similar stories to Take a Break Fiction Feast in this country (which has now closed its doors to anyone not on its list of approved writers). And yes, if you have a contact, I think it's always best to sub direct to them. When I sold my first story to People's Friend, I didn't really grasp this and went on addressing stories to the fiction editor which resulted in getting standard rejections, whereas if you send to "your" editor by name (not necessarily the same thing in PF's case), you do at least get some individual feedback. Similarly, with Woman's Weekly, once I'd had a personal letter from Clare Cooper about a near-miss, as opposed to a standard letter, I started addressing submissions to her and eventually made a sale. Anything that gets an editor's attention is worth a try, in my opinion!
Hi PatsyI'm just about to publish on Createspace and I've noticed that all the paperbacks I've looked at on Amazon (yours included) have the words 'copyrighted material' on the header and footer of each page. Do I need to do this or does Createspace include it on paperbacks? Many thanks Kate Hogan
Kate, those words are put on automatically and only appear on the samples downloaded or seen in the 'look inside feature'. You don't need to do anything about it.If you want any headers and footers to show on the physical copies of the books you will need to put these in yourself, but it's not a Createspace requirement that you have them. (There's lots more information on formatting for Amazon in From Story Idea to Reader.)
Many thanks for the advice, Patsy - much appreciated. Yes I'm working through your book - posting a review soon. All good wishes. Kate
Thanks - reviews are very much appreciated.
Patsy, have you ever submitted to Take 5 (an Australian magazine). They have a good mix of fiction in the mag but I cannot find submission details anywhere on line. I don't know if it is a 'closed shop' mag. Secondly, if and when you are lucky enough to have a story accepted by an overseas mag which is the easiest way to be paid so that money comes into a UK bank account?CheersAlyson
1st question - I did submit ages ago with no joy. They do seem to be a closed shop and et at least some of their stories from TAB - the new contract allows that.2nd - You'll be asked to supply bank details (including IBAN code which your bank can give you if you don't already know it) and they'll pay it straight into your bank.
Hi PatsyCan you or anyone else tell me why, once an unsolicited story is submitted to one magazine, should you wait (up to 16 weeks!) before submitting elsewhere? I've submitted several stories to WW, waited and waited and never heard back from them - not even an email to say they're not interested.By the way, my user name - Patsy 2 - is causing a bit of confusion so I'm changing it to Patricia G. Hope this helps.All the best, Patricia G
I'm going to answer this one in a post, Patricia G/Patsy 2.
Patsy, as you know, TAB now want a synopsis with every story. Does that mean giving away a twist or surprise ending? Or can that be omitted? I would imagine the impact of some stories would be lost if the ending were known before the story is read!
Hi Patsy,I have a question about rights. Back in 1995 I had a short story published in Raconteur magazine (which was actually in paperback book form!). As far as I know, the magazine went out of business a few years later. They had "First European Serial Rights" to the story. They also said all stories they accepted were offered to the RNIB for translation into braille & recording for their talking books & that no fees were charged or paid for this. My question is, since the relevant publication (Raconteur) is now defunct (as far as I know), and no fees applied to the talking books (assuming they used my story), where does that leave me regarding the rights to my story? Am I free to offer it to another publication? or to an electronic publication site - like Alfie Dog Fiction?Sorry about the lengthy query, but any advice would be much appreciated.
Alwyn, you're probably over complicating this question. It doesn't matter whether the magazine you sold the story to is still in operation, nor whether money changed hands. The important part is what rights you agreed to give up/sell. From what you've written, these were "First European Serial Rights" braille rights and audio book rights. That means you are free to offer all other rights - eg First Australian serial rights, second European rights or digital rights.As long as the place you wish to submit to accepts previously published work (and Alfie Dog do) then you should be fine with print or digital options.
Alwyn, Patsy - that's interesting about defunct publications. I've often wondered about a short story I sent decades ago to a publication that no longer exists. I somewhat foolishly gave up all rights to the story. I got paid by the publication, but they never sent me a copy of my story in print. I wouldn't have minded giving up all rights so much if I could have had a copy of the published story! I mean a story is only a story and I have written so many more since then that have been published, with many more in my head!
Diane, if you've given up all rights then whoever has them can sell them on or give them away. You no longer know who owns them, except that it isn't you. Imagine selling a house and the new owner died - that doesn't mean you can move back in.I can understand your disappointment in not seeing it in print, especially if it was an early one.
Many thanks for that clarification Patsy - very informative. Good to know there are still potential markets open to my story!On a different (though not unrelated) point - I've often wondered where the term 'serial' comes from in 'serial rights'? If the rights are related to a one-off story or book - that's not a 'serial' - so why is that term used? Did I read somewhere it originated at the time stories were published in serial form in newspapers? Or is there some other explanation....?Just wondering!
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