Publishing Shorter Stories In “The People’s Friend”

Shutterstock / Garsya © shorter stories

Of the shorter stories we publish in “The People’s Friend” every week, we often have an abundance of 1200 word submissions, both in stock and in our reading queues, waiting to be read.

1200-word stories

Every weekly issue of “The People’s Friend” is set to a template.

Fiction-wise, that means that every week we feature:

  • two stories of around 3000 words
  • four of around 2000 words
  • one of 1200.

So we only need 52 x 1200 words stories a year, plus one for the spring section of our Annual.

Our 1200-word pieces often feature an illustration from the Shutterstock picture library.

1000-word stories

1000 words is the shortest word length we feature in the “Friend”. Fiction of this length is reserved for our Specials, and almost always accompanied by an illustration from the Shutterstock Picture Library. Most of the time we’ll select a vector image (which is computer-generated, as opposed to hand-drawn).

We also feature one 1000-word story in the spring section of the Annual.

As our Special is on sale every three weeks, that equates to a total of 35 stories of 1000 words needed every year.

So, we feature fewer of the shorter stories in the “Friend” than other lengths, but receive a great deal more in from our writers. They are especially popular among writers new to the “Friend”.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’ve submitted any work of these lengths, then it may remain in the reading queue for much longer than the stories we include more frequently in each issue.

Most-used lengths

The story lengths we use most of are 2000 and 3000 words.

And although historical settings are always welcome, generally speaking we have a maximum of one historical story in the weekly.

So stories with a contemporary setting are always in demand!

For more from Lucy, click here to read her blog.

For more from the rest of the “Friend” Fiction team, click here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!