As Alison Rides Off Into The Sunset…

As Alison rides off into the sunset

Many of you will know that our Alison is riding off into the sunset come the new year. And naturally you’ll be wondering what happens next, especially those of you who work closely with her.

First thing to say is that, yes, she’s being replaced. We will continue to be a fiction team of four.

Our new member will be Lucy, who I’ll introduce properly once she’s actually here. She joins us the Monday after Alison’s last day. But the great news is that Lucy has vast fiction experience already. She worked with DC Thomson in the past, as fiction editor for one of our teenage titles, and although she’s been away for a few years, she still has that deep love of fiction and can’t wait to get stuck in. She’s thrilled to be joining the Friend and we’re really looking forward to working with her.

Wee secret. When I phoned her to invite her to join our team, that she’d got the job, there was this lo-ong silence. I was in one of our conference rooms on my mobile, and I thought I’d lost signal. But no, Lucy was just so excited she couldn’t speak.

So, she’ll start on the Monday, and we’ll take time to introduce her to our systems, and then she’ll be ready to get to know you, our writers.

What you can do in the meantime is carry on sending in your stories, addressed to Alison as usual. They’ll get here and be kept safe. It’s more than likely they’ll be assigned to Lucy in due course. And then, once Lucy takes up the reins, she’ll start to correspond with you and you’ll know when to address your material direct to her. And thus we’ll achieve a seamless transition, from the old guard to the new. Just like that.

I’ll leave it to Lucy to give out her email address when she’s ready – and when she has one. I’d better add that to my to-do list…


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.