If you’re thinking about sending in a short story and you’re not quite sure where to start – look no further!
Here’s everything you need to know, in a handy ‘guidelines checklist’, so before you send it off, go over them to give it the best chance of success.
- READ THE MAGAZINE – this is the most important step of all! It’s the best way to gauge the sort of content that would interest our readers, what they feel comfortable with – and what they don’t.
- Be mindful of timescale. It’s a good idea to work around six months ahead. So if you’re sending in a story in April, aim to set it in autumn at the earliest.
- Once your story’s ready, type it on one side of white A4 paper – numbered pages and double line spacing please.
- Include a covering letter, with details of your name, address, phone and email details.
- Don’t forget to include wordage – how many words your story has. ‘Friend’ stories are generally 1200, 2000, 3000, or 4000 words in length, long reads are 9,500.
- If you’d like us to acknowledge receipt of your work, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard; on the reverse side, write ‘Confirming Receipt of (short story title) – The People’s Friend’, and we’ll then return that to you to let you know it’s arrived safely.
- If you’d like your work returned, please enclose an SAE; it’s a good idea to keep a copy of the original.
- It’s helpful to write the Season your story takes place in on the corner of the envelope – Summer, Autumn, etc.
- If your story has a specific theme, eg Remembrance, Valentine’s Day, Christmas – please write this on the envelope too, and send it in in plenty of time.
- Please remember that we receive a huge volume of manuscripts. We endeavour to read through each one and give it a fair chance – this takes time, and it can take up to sixteen weeks (very occasionally longer) to receive a reply.