“Friend” Poetry Through The Years


Since our very first issue back in 1869, poetry has been a much-loved part of the “Friend”.

It’s been said that the Victorian era was the “heyday of newspaper poetry”. And like its sister publication, “The People’s Journal”, the “Friend” consistently featured verse in every issue.

Often written in the Scots language, the poetry touched on contentious issues such as politics, as well as dealing with more “homely” themes like romance, family, and day-to-day life.

We encouraged everyone to submit

Back then – as now – the “Friend” encouraged everyone to send in their poems, regardless of their background, gender, or level of education.

The magazine gave working-class Victorian men and women a voice, and a platform for their work.

The “Friend” editor of the time stated that the magazine would be “open to the contributions of the intelligent working men and women of Scotland” – and the rest of the world!

We’re still open to submissions from all

Nowadays, we’re happy to say that “The People’s Friend” remains open to contributions from all published and unpublished poets and authors.

Poems written by our readers still appear on our “Between Friends” pages. And, of course, we continue to offer free, constructive criticism and advice.

“Friend” poetry – what’s changed, and what’s remained the same?

Much about the “Friend” has changed since that first issue. We’re now a weekly publication, for example, and we include colour illustrations. And a more easily readable typeface!

But as our editor, Angela, says in her preface to our 150th Anniversary Special Edition, the core values of decency and kindness present on every page of the “Friend” remain. And these are reflected in our poetry.

We’re currently on the lookout for poetry for our Hallowe’en, Fireworks’ Night, Remembrance and Christmas issues.

Not sure how to go about submitting poetry? Have a look at our submission guidelines here.



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!