Fiction Team’s Abbie Visits The Office


As I drove the familiar route to our office building last week, I couldn’t help but feel excited.

I was going to see two of my Fiction team colleagues in the flesh — one for the first time!

Getting into the building was anything but familiar, though.

Outside the back door, I fumbled to put on my mask while holding my umbrella, only to realise I needed to call the front desk to let me in. All of our passes no longer work.

I took my mask off and tried again.

Then mask back on, use the hand sanitiser just inside the back door, sign in.

I raced up the stairs and headed to the “Friend” corner of the office. Two people were already there — Lucy and Tracey. And they looked so glam!

I’d only ever seen Tracey on video calls, so it was a bit like meeting someone off the TV.

And I’d only met Lucy a few times, once being my interview. It was all a bit surreal.

I almost forgot the reason we were at the office in the first place. We’d all travelled in to sort through our recent submissions.

Normally, the submissions would be put in an order as they come in but, with nobody at the office, we had piles and piles to work through.

All delivered by our unsung heroes while we were away, the office posties.

I was amazed by how many overseas submissions we had, from Greece to New Zealand!

After a while, we stopped for a quick coffee break.

Although we do chat online through various apps, it was nice to finally have a natter face to face.

It’s amazing how different a conversation feels in person. I think we covered every topic.

Then we were back up the stairs to sort through submissions again.

When it got to lunch time, we decided to call it a day and head off again back to our little home offices. The visit definitely raised my spirits, and I think Lucy and Tracey felt the same.

Now, it’s two down and two to go.

Maybe one day soon I’ll finally meet Alan and Manon . . .

For more from the team, read our blog here.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.