The #PFWritingHour: Your Top 5 Questions


The #PFWritingHour is one of our most popular threads on Twitter, where writers and readers alike come to ask our Fiction team questions, and to talk with one another.

It’s great for us to see our audience coming together to talk about the great stories in the “Friend”, and sharing their unique experiences, hints and tips.

Here, we’ve collected the top 5 questions we’re asked every week during writing hour, and given you our answers.

We hope these help!

What are your story word counts?

We’re quite specific as we work from templates on the magazine, so they are as follows: 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 9500 (for our Long Read Crime).

Our serial instalments are 5000 words each, and our Pocket Novels 40,000 words.

Can your stories be set abroad?

Our stories can be set almost anywhere, and in almost any era! As always, our advice would be to read the magazine to see the sorts of stories we publish.

When in doubt, feel free to drop us a line and ask.

How long will I wait for a decision on my story?

We receive a huge amount of manuscripts, so you should expect to hear something within 16 weeks.

It can take longer if your story is “under consideration”. This means it’s being read by the Fiction Ed and then Editor Angela herself.

You can imagine how busy they are, so bear with us.

When should I send seasonal stories in? For example Christmas, Easter, St Valentine’s?

You should send them in around six months in advance. This allows for reading, illustrating and scheduling.

What happens when my story arrives in the building?

Every manuscript is logged on to the system and given a unique code. If it’s from an unpublished author, it will go in our Unsolicited Manuscripts (USM) cupboard.

These stories are divided up between the Fiction team. If you are a “Known Author”, your story will be given to the Fiction team member than you always deal with.

Every single story that’s submitted is read, so that’s why it can take a while to hear back from us!

#PFWritingHour takes place every Tuesday at 11 a.m. over on our Twitter channel.

Follow “The People’s Friend” on Twitter here and join us next week!

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!