Story Starter: Coffee Or Tea?

Something different for the Story Starter this week: an illustration instead of the usual photograph.

We’ve been tidying our artwork files as well as every physical file in the soon-to-move office, and we’ve found a couple of illustrations we’ve not used yet. So, anyone got an idea for a story to go with this one?

As usual I’m looking for something of around 2000 or 3000 words. But can I take this opportunity to point something out? We get a lot of stories coming in that are 2500 words – slap bang between our two preferred lengths. It means that if we took that story we’d have to cut out one fifth of it, or add in around 500 words, both jobs that I think are best done by the originator of the idea. So can I ask you to be mindful of our lengths? This Mrs Picky-ness is driven by the fact that in modern publishing, pages are designed to a template, and our story templates require a prescribed number of words.

Thank you so much!

Other News

We move premises over the weekend of April 15/16, meaning Monday, April 17 we’ll be ensconced in our shiny new office. We’re being given our first sight of it in induction tours before the move itself, to explain about access, and fire evacuation procedures….and where the coffee stops are. You know, all the essential information.

I had mine on Tuesday of this week, and although I had an idea it would be super-smart, the refurbishment is spectacular, especially to someone who worked in the old-look building for years. It’s the same shell, the same exterior, but there the similarity ends. It’s now more akin to our Fleet Street premises. Lovely.

You’re going to ask about the new address? From April 17, it will be The People’s Friend, DC Thomson & Co. Ltd., 2 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 9QJ – which will be very familiar to some of you if you wrote for the old letterpress magazines like Red Star or Secrets, or the People’s Friend Story Collection, or to the central fiction department (which no longer exists).

But as I’ve said before, the Kingsway premises will still belong to DC Thomson, and be staffed, so don’t worry about any stories being lost during the transition. They’ll catch up with us.

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.