Fiction Ed’s Blog: Submission Dos And Don’ts

Shutterstock / FrankHH © submitting a story

Thinking of submitting a story? Please check Fiction Ed Lucy’s dos and don’ts first!

Do . . .

Whether you’re a published or unpublished author, please remember to include your name at the top of the text beside the title, on every submission. We need this to ensure your story is correctly credited.

To help speed up communication (and payments), please also include your address and email details at the top of the text.

Remember that information only needs to be included once on your submission. For example, your name and the story title should appear only once.

Check out our guidance about formatting before submitting.

Submit at least six months ahead for weekly issues, earlier for Christmas stories. Our Christmas and New Year stories are generally finalised in October.

Remember that our stories fit a template, so only send stories with word counts we can use.

If your story is historical, include the exact date, or the era, eg Regency.

Please wait until you’ve had some short story success before attempting a serial.

Keep the “Friend” reader in mind when submitting. Is it a story that would genuinely appeal to them?

Send stories as a Word document, and when naming the file include the title, word count, and season, if applicable.

Don’t . . .

. . . resubmit a rejected story unless asked to do so.

. . . send submissions by post — postal submissions are no longer accepted. New authors: please send via our inbox. Established authors, please email your editor directly.

. . . forget that we need time for your story to be read, approved, purchased and illustrated before we can use it.

. . . submit short stories of less than 1000 words.

. . . forget to add whether a story is set seasonally, or for a particular date, in the file name. This is really important as it helps us make sure we don’t “miss” your story for that year.

. . . send multiple stories to our USM address. The system will identify them as spam, and they’ll be rejected.

. . . forget to include dialogue.

. . . send a serial instalment before the previous one is approved, in case changes are needed.

. . . include anything our readers may find offensive. They know about swearing, violence and unpleasantness, they just don’t want to find them in their “Friend”.

. . . send sci-fi or children’s stories — we don’t publish these, I’m afraid.

For more from Fiction Ed Lucy, read her blog here.

Thinking of submitting a story? Click here to read our guidelines.

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 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!