Why Should You Research The Market?

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It’s easy to think that the hard work is done when you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on your story.

But the work isn’t over yet.

If your aim is to submit your story for publication, there is one vital thing left to do.

Research the market.

Where will your story fit best?

Before you send it off to and editor, consider your story and where it fits best.

Your writing could be flawless, but if the genre, subject matter or tone isn’t right for a certain publication, then you will get a rejection letter.

It’s not because the editor personally disliked the story, but every magazine has an identity.

Editors have to think about their readers – what kind of story do they want to read? What are they expecting? What don’t they want to see?

If a story doesn’t tick all the boxes, then it has to be a no.

Tailor your submission

When you send out a CV, the best way to impress a potential employer is to research the company and tailor your CV to fit.

It’s the same when you send in a story. You don’t have to change your story, but find the right fit.

The best way to learn about a publication and the kinds of stories they publish, is to read past issues.

You’ll get a feel for its unique identity and decide whether or not your story would fit with the other stories published there.

You can also look a publication up online if they have a website and social media presence.

If they have a presence online, they most likely have submission guidelines.

It’s really important to read through these carefully as it can steer you away from the simple reasons your story may not be considered.

“The People’s Friend”

At The People’s Friend, we aim to leave our readers feeling uplifted by the end of a story.

We often describe our stories as tender, touching, moving, amusing, charming etc.

Could your story be described using a similar adjective?

It doesn’t mean a story can’t tackle tough issues, but there needs to be a balance. Our established writers do this really well, so have a read of their stories to get a better idea.

Our Tracey has also written this helpful guide on the subject.

Genres we accept include romance, contemporary, historical and cosy crime but it doesn’t stop there. Alan goes into more detail here.

We don’t publish fantasy, sci-fi or horror. We do accept stories that feature subtle supernatural themes, however they shouldn’t be too scary or shocking.

Story lengths we accept can be found in our submission guidelines. Alan expands on this in his post about our story templates.

If your story is right for us, please use the address in our submission guidelines to post your manuscript to our office to be picked up on our return.

Good luck!

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