Writing For “The People’s Friend” Special


Thinking of submitting to “The People’s Friend” Special?

Here’s a quick list of all you need to know!

When are the Specials published?

A “Friend” Special is published every three weeks. So we publish around 17 every year.

How many stories are in each Special?

Each issue usually contains fourteen short stories, although certain seasonal issues have more.

This year’s spring issue had eighteen stories, and our upcoming summer Special, on sale July 8, has twenty!

How long are the stories?

Story lengths aren’t quite the same as they are in our weekly magazine.

Each Special has 2 x 1000 word stories, 1 x 1500, 1 x 1600, 1 x 1700, 3 x 2000, 1 x 2500, 2 x 3000, 1 x 3200 (the opening story), 1 x 3500, and 1 x 4000.

We allow authors to submit stories that fall either 10% over or under the word count.

Who reads the Special?

The Special attracts a slightly wider age range than the weekly.

But the values of the readers remain the same.

So while Special stories can be slightly more modern, edgy or challenging, we avoid stories that may frighten or shock, alongside anything too contentious or controversial.

We also avoid anything featuring undue violence, swearing or intimacy.

What is “the long read”?

Every second issue contains a “long read” (with puzzles in the alternate issues).

Around 9,500-10,000 words long, long reads are cosy crime stories.

Specials with extra pages, such as our Spring Special, occasionally feature two-part stories. These are 6000 words in total, split into two 3000-word reads.

Is payment any different?

Payment rates are exactly the same as the weekly edition of the “Friend”.

So first-time authors begin on £80 for a short story, rising to £95 after a seventh successful submission, and again to £110 on a seventh subsequent successful submission.

How do I submit my story?

All stories — whether for the weekly, Special, or Annual — should be sent to us here on the Fiction Desk.

Guidelines for submitting during lockdown are available here, and general guidelines available here.

Whichever publication you have in mind, always keep the reader at heart.

For more from Fiction Ed Lucy, read her blog here.

If you want to make sure you never miss another issue of “The People’s Friend” Special, click here to take out a subscription today.

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!