Fiction Ed’s Blog: What We’re Looking For Now

Shutterstock / Alex SG © What We're Looking For

If you’re thinking about submitting fiction, here’s what we’re looking for now.

Getting back into your (writing) stride

When it comes to Fiction submissions here at “The People’s Friend”, there’s usually a slight lull around Christmas and New Year.

Many authors get back in their writing stride around about mid-January.

So whether you’re an established author or a newbie, here’s what the Fiction Team are looking for now.

What we need

The stories that are always most in demand are the ones we use most of – so that’s 2000-word and 3000-word stories which have a contemporary setting, are non-seasonal, and are suitable for any issue.

We always need seasonal stories too, and stories set to coincide with notable dates eg Father’s Day – but please send these in at least six months in advance.

Historical stories are welcome: please bear in mind that we use six contemporary stories and one historical, in every weekly issue.

Our stories fit a template. You can find details of the story lengths we accept on our website.

What we don’t need

Please don’t send in stories of less than 1000 words, asks Fiction Team’s Tracey .

We don’t publish anything less than 1000, and only two 1000-word stories are needed for each Special.

We have lots of 1200 word stories waiting to be read. Please remember we only use one per issue – 52 per year.

We always have plenty of stories set in World War Two – so perhaps try thinking about a different era?

Christmas stories, and long reads

Christmas stories – these are welcome, but after April/May please.

The only short stories over 4000 words which we accept are Long Reads, which are 10, 000 words.

We have a number of Long Reads in the queue for reading, so it would be helpful to us if you focused on other story lengths for now.


Poetry Ed, Abbie says – “I’m  planning the poetry for the March weeklies now, and Specials-wise, I’m looking for May onwards.

Poems with 12-16 lines are still the most helpful.”

Why not try something new?

You know what we’re looking for most often? Something new!

Fiction Team’s Alan suggests going out of your writing comfort zone this year.

Perhaps this is the year to try a different genre.

Or if you’re an established author, a serial?

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

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!