Let’s Get Serious About “Friend” Fiction


We’re in a privileged position here on the “Friend” because we publish so much fiction.

There’s no other magazine quite like us. Not only do we have our weekly, but our Specials — which come out every three weeks — have a wealth of stories, too.

A couple of weeks ago we had a piece on here about busting the myths that surround “The People’s Friend”.

One of the myths we encounter most often is about story content.

Yes, we have strong guidelines about what we feature in our fiction, but that doesn’t mean to say we won’t print challenging and topical stories.

In particular, we tend to feature slightly more challenging stories in our Specials, as Fiction Ed Lucy recently mentioned here in her Writing For The Special article.

That doesn’t mean they can’t also appear in the weekly.

There will always be a place for light, feel-good stories in the “Friend”. But we can also have stories with a more serious theme.

The world and society can be a serious place sometimes, and we do like that reflected in our fiction — just carefully.

Stop for a minute!

Now before you rush off and write a story featuring someone like Hannibal Lecter . . .  don’t!

It’s all about how you handle the story.

Circumstances should be very much the backdrop to the story. The characters and plot should be at the forefront, and the tone and outcome should feel like a “Friend” story.

You can make an emotional impact and still avoid anything distressing. We want to the reader to finish the story and feel good.

The beauty of “Friend” fiction covers is that it covers so many different genres and eras, which gives the opportunity for strong stories that can make an impact and leave an impression.

We love our lighthearted and fun stories, but we also love our sagas and long read crime.

That’s why we welcome all writers. Everyone brings a piece of themselves to a story, and we want those stories!

Just remember: no violence, swearing or anything distressing.

Simply strong character-driven fiction that reaches a satisfying conclusion.

For more writing advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Looking for some inspiration? Try one of our Story Starters by clicking here.

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!