Working On The “Friend” 150th Fiction Special

150th Fiction Special

As part of the Fiction team, I’m proud to have worked on the 150th Fiction Special.

The 36 stories in the edition reflect what the “Friend” does best – entertaining the readers with a variety of storytelling voices. Something we’ve been doing since 1869!

I remember one of the Fiction team’s first forays to the Archives, where the bound volumes of past “Friend” publications reside. The team couldn’t help but reflect on how privileged we all were to read the stories our editorial predecessors published.

The Victorians

I have to say, I enjoyed compiling stories from the Victorian era the most.

Reading was part of everyday life back then, and during this time ghost stories became more popular in the pages of the “Friend”.

Though the Victorians didn’t shy away from the hardships of life, they could just as easily infuse their stories with humour.

Stories often had morals to them, too – crime would be punished, good deeds rewarded. For me, it was an era where writers opened their hearts to their writing.

This is no more evident than in the poetry of the time. Often brooding, often reflective, the Victorians didn’t shy from sharing their angst.

And we still share some of that angst amongst ourselves all these years later. For example, the famous words of poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

“It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

Fiction is at its best when it reflects real life, capturing moments that the reader can not only escape to, but relate to just as well.

It’s my belief the stories we incorporated into the 150th Fiction Special highlight this superbly.

“The People’s Friend 150 Years Of Short Stories Special Collector’s Edition” is on sale from September 2, priced £6.99.

If you don’t want to miss out, you can pre-order your own copy today from the DC Thomson Shop.

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 tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.