The “Friend” Story Templates

Visual Generation Inc. © story templates

When looking over your submissions for publication in the “Friend”, the Fiction team has specific word counts to consider.

This is thanks to our story templates, which are designed to make sure we can everything we want to into each issue.

Currently, our preferred weekly story lengths are as follows: 1200 words, 1800 (x3), 2000, 2700-3000 words for our opener, and finally a 3000 word story.

Our Specials differ in story length.

Stories included there follow this pattern: 1000 words (x2), 1500, 1600, 1700, 2000 words (x3), 2500, 3000 (x2), 3200, 3500, and our maximum short story length of 4000 words.

Every other month you’ll find a long read in the Special, too, which reaches 9500 words.

The purpose of this post isn’t to bamboozle you. It’s to highlight the value of flexibility.

If you had hopes that your story would appear in the weekly, only to find that it’s 2300 or 2400 in length, then it might be a better fit for the Special.

Remember, though, the stories you write for us don’t have to be right on the money.

There’s generally 10% flexibility on word counts. Our Production team have well-honed editing skills.

Just write

If your story requires substantial editing, this might involve us asking you for a rewrite. But as you can see from the above lengths, there is plenty room to manoeuvre.

Other factors we take into account when making our selection include whether your story is suitable for the weekly or the Special.

The Special is worth mentioning here, that’s where bolder or grittier storylines often find themselves. If you want to try a new story idea out on us, it might be worth keeping the Special word counts in mind.

Finally, trust in your own inner editor.

Write out your first draft to your heart’s content. Then through careful editing, find a home for it with one of our many story templates.

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

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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”.