150 Years Of The “Friend”: Evolution, Not Revolution

150 years

It’s been a momentous year for us here on the “Friend”, as we celebrate 150 years of continuous publication.

We’re now officially the longest running women’s magazine in the world, as certified by Guinness World Records.

Here on the Fiction team, we’ve been lucky enough to spend lots of time in our Archives this year, collating stories and poems for our 150th Fiction Special.

So what have we learned in the last century and a half?

Keeping The Reader At The Heart Of The Magazine

The “Friend” has enjoyed longevity because it has always kept the reader, and what she likes to read, at its heart.

Our stories and poems reflect the times in which they were written.

And while the magazine moves with the times, it also retains its traditional core values of decency, loyalty and friendship.

It’s evolution, not revolution

For example, lots has changed in family life over the years.

From a married mum and dad living under one roof with children (and perhaps older relatives) in 1869, families have evolved into lots of different shapes in 2019.

Our reader (and our magazine) respects marriage, and traditional values, whilst acknowledging and respecting the fact that many people now choose to live their family lives differently.

Respecting the past, and the present

So, if you’d like to submit fiction or poetry to “The People’s Friend”, remember that our readers like and respect tradition.

The world around them may be constantly changing, but they (and the “Friend”) stay true to traditional values.

Often, when we undertake market research, our readers tell us, “Please don’t change anything!”

They don’t want to read anything shocking, or contentious, frightening, or nasty.

They like a good read. Strong stories, with memorable characters and interesting storylines.

The magazine continues to evolve by remembering that our readers are “The People’s Friend”.

As Fiction Ed Shirley has said, we’re only its “temporary guardians”.

So here’s to the next 150 years!

For more from the team, click here to read our blog.

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!