Who Reads My Story Before It Goes To Press?

My Story

When you send a story to the “Friend”, it’s read firstly by a member of the Fiction Team. If Tracey, Alan or Lucy feel it would be a good fit for the magazine, it’s passed to Fiction Ed Shirley.

If she’s in agreement, it’s then passed to Editor Angela.

But what about after the story is approved for publication? Who reads the stories between them being given the go-ahead, and when they actually appear in the finished magazine?

Once A Story’s Been Given The Go-ahead

Firstly, we contact the author to let them know their story’s been successful. At this point, we ask for a Microsoft Word document of the text.

This document is scanned into our system, ready to be checked.

Next Stop: Our Production Team

Production Ed Judey leads the sub-editing team of Margaret, Jacki, and Sharon.

Every week, Fiction Ed Shirley provides the Production team with a checklist for all seven stories in each issue, detailing the author and illustrator for each one.

The stories are divided between the team, who carefully read everything over. They check spelling and grammar; cutting or adding text to fit available space; and above all make sure the story fits the “Friend” style!

Over To The Design Team

The subbed story then goes into our Design team’s system. They lay each story out digitally, ready to be checked.

The laid-out pages are then read by both a member of the Production team, and then Judey. After this, Editor Angela gives them a further read.

Only then will the page be assigned back to the Design team. They are now ready to print out a copy for the dummy.

The “Dummy” And The Weekly Meeting

The next step is for our Design team to print out a copy of each page of the magazine, which is sellotaped into the ‘dummy’ issue.

The dummy is a paper mock-up copy of the “Friend”, which is passed round the office for reading before the magazine goes to press. The thinking behind this is simple: the more “eyes” on it, the less likely it is that errors will slip through.

Once the dummy’s been read, Editor Angela goes through it with us at our weekly staff meeting on Monday mornings at 9.30 a.m.

It means everyone has one last opportunity to check over the text and the images, so the magazine you see is the best it can be!

It’s now ready to be printed and sent out for our readers to enjoy!

For more behind-the-scenes insights, read our Team Blog.


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 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!