Fiction Team Thoughts, Part Two

Shutterstock / Nikolay Zaborskikh © thoughts

In part 1 of “Fiction Team Thoughts”, Alan and Fiction Ed Lucy shared their feelings on the past year and their hopes for 2021.

Here you can find out what the rest of the Fiction team think . . .


All I’ve ever known during my working life is a busy office, lots of friendships, support and chat.

Even during quiet times when everyone’s reading there’s still a buzz. Swapping all that for my kitchen table has been tough.

Working on a magazine is such a collaborative thing, and the close-knit teamwork is a huge part of the “Friend”. It’s been a difficult adjustment when you find yourself on your own, but we all knew that there would be a time for optimism.

The “Friend” has seen some challenging times in her 151 years, and she’s come through with aplomb!


What a time to start a new job! My first nine months, and likely the rest of my first year, will be spent working from home.

It might have been the best time to start in a way. It showed me how the team can pull together in the worst of times to get the magazine to press each week.

Not only that, but keeping up with website content, hosting the Writing Hour on Twitter and Facebook Live on Fridays, producing a Classics Collection book, starting a podcast, releasing a Feel-good Special and who can forget the knitted bus!

Everyone put so much hard work in because we knew how tough this year would be for our readers.

What I’ve learned is that the “Friend” will always be there to brighten the darkest of days.

I think 2021 will be about learning the job all over again – I have no idea how they do it at the office!

Illustrations Ed Manon

This past year has been full of surprises, no-one can deny that.

I think it taught me to be more accepting and resilient to change and situations out of my control.

It also confirmed to me how important it is to be part of a team you can count on. You can easily overlook it.

It is like biking with the wind blowing on your back. Unless the wind changes and you’re faced with a headwind, making you struggle a bit more, you may not notice how helpful that tailwind has been all along.

“The People’s Friend” team is definitely a tailwind. Even remotely, communication is easy, fun and smooth.

For more from the Fiction team, click 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”.