Good Etiquette on Receiving Feedback

So you’ve sent off your story, and the ideal outcome is that it’s perfect for us, and we want to publish it to share with The People’s Friend readers.

However, we publish only seven stories each week. Fourteen in each three-weekly special. We receive many, many times that in submissions. Thus it’s obvious that we have to disappoint the vast majority of writers.

We genuinely share the disappointment when a writer hasn’t quite made it. We do our best to offer feedback, as positive and encouraging as the story warrants.

If it’s a story that has distinct potential, the writer will get very comprehensive pointers as to where they went wrong. The aim here is that between us we can turn it into a story we do want to publish. Time well spent.

If the story just wasn’t right for us in any way, that feedback will be less. We have to spend our time wisely, and we are not a free critique service; we’re a business. The better your stories are, the better for us.

Now, there are ways to – and ways not to – receive feedback.

I offer just a few examples we’ve received recently.

Some examples

“Never mind, they can’t all be winners, and I always try to learn from the ‘nos’ as well as the ‘yeses’.”

“I appreciate your feedback on “Title” and will give this my best shot at the recommended strengthening measures. I’ll have a new, improved version with you within the next few days. Always happy to try again, if it means another shot at publication.”

“Looks like I’m having a bit of a lean patch. It won’t put me off though.”

“… And for the feedback for my learning curve. Because we never stop learning, do we, and I’m so grateful for all this great advice.”

And another example:

“I don’t agree at all. That’s just your interpretation, which is wrong. I wish writers would receive more respect for their hard work. I say pants to what you said.”


As I said previously, we genuinely share the disappointment when a writer hasn’t quite made it. We are here to help new writers and are one of few publications who accepts unsolicited submissions. We also provide a good amount of Writer’s Tools, Workshops and Twitter chats to help writers – remember, The People’s Friend, really is the Writer’s Friend too.

Catch up with Shirley’s latest Writer’s Tools here and join us on Twitter Tuesdays and Thursdays for chatter on all things writing.


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.