On Target

My posts to this blog are a bit erratic but that’s because every so often I get my head down and power through all the stories waiting to be read. Do the day job, as I think of it.

I’ve just had a spell like that in order to clear all October submissions from my drawer.

I hate to see a clear three months between their month of arrival and when I read them! So, November next as the calendar turns to February.

But on the subject of submissions, I’ve just read some really great stories that I’ll be buying to share with “People’s Friend” readers. What made them great?

The sense that the writer had done her/his homework on the “Friend” and how we’re changing, had worked hard to create something a bit different, a bit original, entertaining… and had then written their story especially for us.

But I also read some disappointing ones that had plainly been dashed off for the womags market as a whole and sent out without proper consideration for our requirements.

As I try to explain to those writers, and at the workshops, all the womags aren’t the same.

Yes, there are a few stories that will suit all of us, but we each have different types of readers, a different style and tone to our pages, and that has to be reflected in the fiction content. I’m short changing “People’s Friend” readers if I compromise on that.

So while, to the writer, it might seem to make sense to take the scattergun approach and send the “Friend” thirty general womag stories, on the assumption that we’re bound to take something, there’s a good chance I’ll reject every single one of them as just not being right for the “Friend”.

And I’m sure the other women’s mags would have the same reaction.

On the other hand, if I receive ten, five, two, or even one very well targeted story that I can tell has been crafted just for “Friend” readers, it’s more likely to become a sale.