Is There A Point When I Should Stop Submitting?


You’ve had a few rejections, but should you ever stop submitting short stories for publication?

If you’re feeling disheartened, Fiction Team’s Lucy has some advice to keep you on track.

Very Few Writers Get It Right First Time

When you look in the pages of the “Friend”, you’ll spot the names of lots of our popular, well-loved authors.

But did you know that lots of writers take several attempts to get their first story accepted?

“Very few writers get it right first time,” Fiction Team’s Alan says, “especially with serials.”

And even once authors are established, not every story they submit will be accepted for publication.

Check Your Story Lengths

Are you sending stories in the word lengths we need?

We can only use a set amount of stories of each word count per year.

Our story lengths for the weekly are the following: 1200, 2000, and 3000 words.

We need three hundred 2000-word stories every year, and two hundred 3000-word stories.

Plus, we also need one 1200-word story per weekly issue.

Story lengths in our Specials can be more flexible.

Consider Setting Your Stories Differently

Have you tried setting your stories in a different time or place?

We’re open to historical settings as well as contemporary, and to stories set at particular times of year — including Remembrance Sunday, Christmas, Easter, summer holidays, Valentine’s Day, Bonfire Night.

Read The Magazine Regularly, And Write For The Readers

Are you keeping up-to-date with the “Friend”?

Reading the magazine regularly is the best way to feel at home with “Friend” style.

Take time to check out our submission guidelines, too. They set out clearly what we’re looking for.

Our Writers Of The Week always have helpful advice and tips for would-be “Friend” authors.

And always remember to write for the readers. Successful stories are the ones that appeal to them.

Take A Break

Are you enjoying the process of submitting your stories?

If you’re feeling that it’s not much fun, perhaps it could be time to take a break.

You may find that when you come back to it, you’ll feel fresher and more ready to give it another go!

For more writing hints, tips and advice, click here.

To subscribe to “The People’s Friend” and have your copy delivered straight to your door every week, click 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!