Story Approvals


On the Fiction Team, with over 100 (yikes!) years of magazine editorial experience between us, we like to think we know a good story when we see one. Though the team are well versed in the “Friend way”, a second opinion is a good thing if there is an element of uncertainty regarding a character, subject matter or storyline.

With different background experiences among us, there is always a colleague willing to lend their creative voice to a story’s appraisal. In turn, this will help with writer feedback, or it simply may be the nudge needed to put the story over to Fiction Ed Shirley.

That’s another positive element I like about “Friend” fiction, in that there are various story approvals needed before the final “yes” is given. After a story has been handed over and hopefully approved by Shirley, the story has to be given one more endorsement, that of Editor Angela. So it can be up to four – five on occasion – different stages before a story is finally bought.

What Is Art?

It might seem like a long drawn process, but this method of reading makes sure only the best fiction goes in the magazine. If art is subjective, then we like to believe the stories we publish in the magazine are there by merit since they have been read and sequentially liked by various members of the team.

From a writer’s perspective, it’s always worth sharing your story with a valued friend or family member. That second opinion can count for so much. And when I say valued, I mean honest. Don’t choose that reader because you know they will tell you what you want to hear – choose them because they will tell you the truth. Good storytelling is worth that investment alone.

Read more inspiration and advice from the Fiction Team.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.