What Happens To Your Story Once It’s Been Submitted?

Ever wondered what happens when you send a story in for consideration? We follow a ‘Friend’ story, from arriving in the office to appearing on the page.

Step One – Your manuscript arrives When your manuscript arrives in the ‘Friend’ office, it’s firstly sent to our Admin Team to be logged. This is the most efficient way of ensuring it’s tracked. We know how important your work is to you, so we try our best to keep it safe.

Step Two – It’s directed to the Fiction Team If you’ve previously had a manuscript accepted by us, you’ll already have a dedicated member of the team who deals with your work. If not, your story joins the queue of manuscripts by new writers waiting to be read. This takes time, as we receive upwards of 100 submissions every week, and we read and give consideration to every single one. If at this stage, your story isn’t deemed suitable, we’ll get in touch to explain why.

Step Three – It’s passed to Shirley If a member of the Fiction Team feels your story is a ‘Friend’ possible, we compose a short critique before passing it to Fiction Ed Shirley for her perusal. Bearing in mind that Shirley also has stories and serials by her own authors to read, this part of the journey can take time – up to 16 weeks during busy periods.

Step Four – Decision Time If Shirley’s decision is ‘no’, the story is passed back to the team, who then contact the author, letting them know why it hasn’t been successful, and providing constructive feedback on the best way to move forward. If it’s a ‘Yes’ from Shirley, the story is passed to Angela, who reads and gives final approval to every story that appears in the magazine. Angela also has a queue of manuscripts, serial instalments and serial suggestions awaiting reading, so this stage can take some weeks.

Step Five – Payment and pre-production If your story is successful, you’ll be contacted (usually by email) to let you know. The payment process begins now, as the ‘Friend’ pays on acceptance. We also request a Word Document at this point, for our Production Team.

Next – We liaise with our Commissioning Illustrations Editor, Sarah, to decide which type of illustration would be most suitable, and come up with a brief. The first option is to commission artwork from one of our talented team of illustrators. Option 2 is to look for a more modern image from an image library. Option 3 is to scan our artwork archive for something which may fit the bill. Sarah also designs artwork herself.

And finally… Once your story is illustrated, it’s filed in Shirley’s drawer, ready for inclusion in a future issue. Which issue it appears in is dependent on whether or not it’s set in any particular time or season, the story’s length, and also how it will ‘fit’ with the six other stories (and two serials) in any given issue.

Ready to send that story in?

Read through our Fiction Guidelines first – www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk>SubmissionGuidelines> PF Fiction Guidelines

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!