Thinking About The “Friend” Identity


“The People’s Friend” has a unique identity. One that is forever ingrained in the magazine’s fiction content.

To find out what our fiction is about, it’s best to start with the readers.

“Friend” readers want stories that will entertain them, and help them forget about real-life troubles.

And it’s these desires that inform our five core values.


To me, quality is about giving your best.

And in relation to fiction, that equates to finding writers and illustrators who will happily pour their creative hearts into “Friend” content.

It’s never about half-measures.

And that goes for the magazine staff, too. It’s about giving your best, all of the time.


I like the term feel-good fiction.

“Friend” readers know that when their magazine arrives, they will find positivity in its stories.

The illustrations reflect this positive outlook, too. You’ll rarely see downcast characters in “Friend” artwork.

Even a sad story will be tinted with hope.


Our characters and storylines will resonate with readers.

We often receive letters from readers who say they enjoyed a story, and it brought back a happy memory, or even a tear to the eye.

Regardless of whether the heroine gets her man or not, the readers still require an uplifting message.


The magazine has a timeless quality about it, built up over 151 years.

I’ve lost count how many people have said to me, “’The People’s Friend’ — I didn’t know it was still going.”

It’s “still going” because it hasn’t compromised its funding principles.

The magazine’s mission statement from the start has been to produce fireside reading that doesn’t “corrupt the morals of either old or young”.


What’s better than a trusted friend?

Readers know that when they pick up the magazine and read the stories, they won’t suddenly be shocked or dismayed by the content.

We are proud that the magazine evolves with society’s beliefs. And family traditions and respect will always be prevalent in our stories.

And we’re proud of the trust our readers place in us.

It’s an integral part of the “Friend” identity — and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

Click here to explore more of our great Fiction content.

To read more from the team, read our blog here.

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”.