About Woman’s Weekly

I haven’t commented on the situation at Woman’s Weekly, although we here have been very aware of it.

The first thing I want to say is that we’ve always had the greatest respect for Gaynor, Maureen and Claire, and are sorry to see them go from their posts.

I never met Gaynor but would have loved to. Working on fiction is a unique branch of journalism, with few of us in the field, and it would have been good to have a chinwag about our shared experience.

I never felt we were rivals; we just happened to work for rival titles. We were more like remote colleagues, with the common interest of discovering, nurturing and encouraging writers in order to offer our respective readers the best stories possible.

Women’s magazine publishing – and print publishing in general – is experiencing a torrid time, and seeing the Woman’s Weekly Fiction Team’s departure is a sobering reminder of that. We are them, they are us. It wasn’t our turn this time, but who knows what the future holds?

But, we are still here, and currently have no plans to change anything about our procedure. Our door is still wide open to new writers and unsolicited manuscripts. We never forget that every single one of our remarkable writers started out as an unknown. And we know there are lots more aspiring writers just waiting for that chance.

New writers bringing new ideas, writing from unique perspectives, are what keep the magazine vibrant, more important than ever in a very competitive and challenging marketplace.

If you want to write for “The People’s Friend” but aren’t sure how, or what we’re looking for, you could always sign up for one of our upcoming workshops. They’re here in Dundee on Sept 21, and in York on Sept 28. For both I’m joined by “Friend” writer Kate Blackadder, who is vastly experienced in both the short story and serial formats. She offers masses of great writing advice and tips, while I talk about what we’re looking for, how we’re changing, and so on.

Why not give it a try? Booking form here.

Oh, and look out for a guest post by Kate next week, when she talks about another invaluable new-writer tool, the writing club. You can also read her writer’s perspective on the changes at Woman’s Weekly in her own blog here.

My final word is simply to wish our Woman’s Weekly colleagues well.

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.