Story Starter: Dutch Tulips

Dutch tulips and windmills, typical sights in the Netherlands

Friday and I’m running out of afternoon! So, today’s Story Starter image of Dutch tulip fields and windmills is presented to you with little commentary, suggestion or description. It’s simply a matter of “Here you are!”

Oh, but actually I do want to say one thing, though it’s not about the Story Starter image.

The People’s Friend hasn’t got to be almost 150 years old by being complacent. We constantly push ourselves to be the best we can be and produce the best magazine we can: the best content whether it’s features, stories, serials, illustrations, photographs, and now website and social media feeds. And we adhere to the highest production values, too, doing our darndest to make sure every word is spelled right, commas and capitals are in place, and apostrophes are in only the right places.

As Chris Evans said on his Radio 2 programme this morning: It doesn’t have to be bad to be better. What a great line. What a great mantra to live by and work by. And actually, though I didn’t know the line before this morning, we do our best to be mindful of its sentiment every day and always have.

Spreading the word…

Over the last few months, however, we’ve been spreading the word, as it were, urging all of our writers and illustrators to adopt this ethos, too. It’s meant us pushing them to rework stories and serial instalments, sometimes more than once, to get them just right. Illustrations, too. And I can honestly say I think our stories are just getting better and better.

And if I think a contributor’s not giving it 100%, I bristle for me on a professional level, but I bristle more for People’s Friend readers, the most wonderfully loyal readers in the world, who deserve the very best.

It’s for them that the whole People’s Friend team – features, production, fiction and design – work to be the best every single day. We want you to, too.

The pic, by the way, captures the essence of the Netherlands, and is actually a close-up of a souvenir box of chocolates in a gift shop at Schiphol Airport. So is your story about the Netherlands, souvenirs, chocolate, tulips, bulbs, windy days, a grain mill ….. or something else entirely?  The usual 2000 or 3000, please, with still no need for 1200 word stories. We’ve got more than enough of them coming in!

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.