What Am I Looking For?


I’ve had a few enquiries this week about what I’m particularly looking for storywise at the moment.

I’ve noticed that most writers’ default length is 2000 words, and yes, they’re really useful, but I’m always, always, always looking for stories in the 3000 word range, of which I use two a week and five per three-weekly special. See? High demand! So if you think about it, your chances of success with this longer length are far greater because of a, the demand and b, the lesser volume of competition.

I’m always looking for romance (!), period or modern, young or mature surprisingly few writers write romance for us and also good solid family stories. Our other genres are junior and general.

Season? Well, I’m still buying summer stories, but also looking beyond to autumn, winter and, whisper it, Christmas. If your story is set in a particular season, it’s handy if you note it on the envelope, and I can alter its place in the reading order. But you can submit a season-specific story at any time of year you like I just adjust when I might read it.

You’ve also noticed, I hope, that we have a slightly different kind of story in our specials, what we call the Long Read. It’s 9500 words and it’s a People’s Friend style thriller/mystery/crime. The important words to note there are People’s Friend style think more Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie than Wire In The Blood or Luther! Our writers are having fun with these and I think they’re going well, so why not have a go? Given the extra work involved, though, submitting an outline’s advisable in the first instance.

You can find our guidelines for everything but the Long Read by following the tab on the home page.

My in tray awaits!