A Happy Birthday For The “Friend”!

Shutterstock / Garfieldbigberm © friend

Happy Birthday to the “Friend”.

On January 13, we turned 152. What a landmark. What a magazine.

So, what better way than to highlight a little bit about what makes the magazine unique.


Whether it’s fiction or features, the content of “The People’s Friend” emanates warmth and optimism.

The first ever editor of the magazine, David Pae, said, “We intend that fully one half of the ‘Friend’ shall be devoted to fiction. The Friend being intended for fireside reading, nothing will be admitted into its columns having the slightest tendency to corrupt the morals either of old or young.”

One hundred and fifty-two years on, the magazine has remained true to those founding principles.

It continues to entertain its readers, offering comfort and becoming a true friend in times of hardship.

And I’m sure I speak for many when I say we all needed a friend during the past difficult year.

Cover & fiction content

The watercolour cover scenes are distinctive and colourful.

They are like snapshots transcending time, welcoming the reader into the magazine.

We often remark on the Fiction team how happy writers are when their names appear on the cover. It means a lot to contributors and readers alike to be associated with the “Friend”.

The content of the magazine always reflects the reader.

Though our readers are traditional in their views, and like to see their values reflected in the stories they read, they are not “traditional old-fashioned grannies”.

They are forward-thinking individuals in today’s modern society.

Characters are the heartbeat of our stories.

They don’t have to be perfect. But the readers want to be able to identify with the characters and trust in them.

Though story villains can steal individual scenes, the heroines and heroes will hopefully steal readers’ hearts.

Closing thoughts

I’ve worked on the magazine for 15 years.

In that time staff have come and gone, we’ve moved premises and had one change of editor.

But one thing has remained the same – the magazine has stayed true to David Pae’s original words.

The “Friend” has a unique identity that revolves around its readers’ own values.

Having attended our recent Warner Holidays, I can’t understate how much the readers care about the magazine.

I’ll always be proud to be part of “The People’s Friend” family, just as many others have before me.

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

To subscribe to “The People’s Friend”, and have your copy of the magazine delivered straight to your door every week, 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 aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.