Why We Say Submit Six Months Ahead

Shirley talks submitting stories to The People’s Friend

I’ve had my head down reading your submitted stories for several days now, trying to make up the ground I lost with my nearly three-week holiday back in June.

It’s amazing the impact it can have on the reading queue.

But I’ve broken off to write this because I’ve noticed something.

I’m reading the stories that were submitted in April. Even with my holiday leave, I’m not hugely late in doing so. Normally I would have them finished by the end of July, whereas I’m just halfway through the pile. So, running behind by just the three weeks of my holiday. Not too bad considering the volume (*pats own back*).

Lots of these stories are set in summer. Summer music festivals. Summer parties. School holidays. Summer weddings. Summer.

Now, hold that thought.

At the same time, I’m scheduling the September issues of our weekly The People’s Friend. Tomorrow it’ll be the Sept 22 issue. Very late summer.

Can you see?

Those summer-themed stories that I’m coming across in the reading pile have been sent in too late to be considered for this summer’s issues.

I always advise writers that it can take up to 16 weeks for their stories to be read. That’s four months.

And yes, you might say, well, that’s now. April May June July. What’s the problem?

But, from me they still have to go across to Editor Angela for final approval. From there they go to admin and through the payment process.

They have to be illustrated. If your story’s going out to an illustrator rather than being illustrated from our stock library, that can take another few weeks. After all, they’re busy people with lots of other work, too. They can’t just drop everything at our behest.

That’s why we advise writers to submit stories a full six months ahead of the season you’re writing for. OK?


Looking to submit a story? Check out our submission guidelines here 

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.