Behind The Scenes: Lucy, Reading & The Weekly News


I thought it might be useful to do a general Behind The Scenes to bring you up to date with things here in the fiction team.

First of all you know we welcomed Lucy to the team when Alison retired. She’s settling in brilliantly. Likes the rest of us, which is always a plus! Loves the magazine. Loves the work. Loves working with all the writers she’s getting to know. I hope her writers are enjoying getting to know her, too.

And you know Lucy’s put out a call for more poetry writers to join our ranks, too.

This was queried on Womagwriter’s blog: whether the poetry was an addition to our remit. Would it distract us from story reading? Not at all. Poetry has been part of the fiction team’s remit for years, with one member taking responsibility for it. It was Alison, who retired. Now it’s Lucy, who has a real appreciation of it. Guidelines for poetry here, by the way. 

But about the fiction team’s remit….

We’ve always juggled reading all your stories with proof-reading as part of the magazine’s weekly production process. But we’ve recently moved over to a new production process with a different workflow. That’s freed up some time for us. We’ve really noticed it over the last couple of weeks: just how much more reading time we all have. It’s great news for us and for you.

It’s good news for us since we took on The Weekly News fiction, too. It helps balance out that extra reading time required.

And on the subject of The Weekly News, I had our techs reinstate an auto-acknowledgement on the WN email address. I hope it’s helpful for you.

We’re still very much adhering to Jill’s guidelines for WN with one change, dictated by the re-design of the WN pages. Minimum WN story length is now 1200 words. But other than that, we’re still looking for stories with an edge, humour, a twist, a crime, embarrassing social situations…

We’re seeing lots of spooky ghost stories come in, which is good. However, it’d be great to see a greater variety of themes to mix in among them.

I think that’s it for today. Thanks for popping in!

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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.

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