Stop! Don’t Send In That Story


Check our tick list first to make sure your fiction is ‘Friend’- ready.


  1. Are the pages numbered? Sounds obvious, but this is often overlooked. Numbered pages are super-helpful to the people reading your work, especially if you’re submitting a long read or pocket novel.
  2. Is it suitable for The People’s Friend? You could write the best short story in the world, but if it isn’t suitable for the publication you’ve sent it to, it won’t be accepted. Whether you’re submitting work to The People’s Friend or any other magazine, read the magazine regularly first – familiarise yourself with the content, and work out what their readers would and wouldn’t feel comfortable with.
  3. Is everything consistent throughout? Check that names, place names and character traits don’t change half way through.
  4. Does it make sense? It can help to look at your story with a fresh eye, after letting it ‘settle’ for a couple of days. Check your story has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Does it resolve in a way that’s believable? Is the storyline credible?
  5. Whose story is it? Whose point of view are you telling the story from? Does this stay the same throughout or does it wobble from one to another?
  6. How’s your spelling? Poor spelling, punctuation and grammar isn’t helpful. Take time to read it through before sending it in.
  7. Is the dialogue natural? When characters are talking to each other, is it in a way that sounds realistic? If you’re not sure, try reading it aloud.
  8. Have you kept a copy? Our Admin team log in every manuscript we receive, but we advise that you always keep a copy of your work. Enclose an SAE if you’d like your work returned.
  9. Would you like us to acknowledge receipt of your story? If yes, enclose a stamped postcard with your submission. Pop your address on one side and ‘Acknowledged – Receipt of (your short story title)’ on the other.
  10. Have you remember to include your contact details? Please don’t forget to let us know your name, address, email address and telephone number. It’s very helpful if this is all on your manuscript’s cover sheet.


What makes a successful Friend story? Find out here

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!