Editor’s Diary: Celebrating Scotland’s Stories


Flatlay of The People's Friend, hands around a coffee and plate of cookies

In my Editor’s Diary this week, I’m reflecting on an exciting few weeks for the “Friend”. And specifically for “Friend” fiction!

We recently announced our plans for a new story writing workshop — with a difference.

Before the pandemic, we ran a number of these full-day workshops. They were held in person in a variety of locations across the UK. And they were always well received by all who attended to learn from then Fiction Ed Shirley and her guest author co-hosts.

It’s fair to say, though, that they had their logistical challenges. For both hosts and attendees!

Fast forward to this year, and the improvement in technology and digital skills brought about by two years of lockdowns and working from home.

Could we, we wondered, create an online version of our award-winning workshop format?

Well, I’m very happy to say that the answer was yes. Current Fiction Ed Lucy is busy putting the finishing touches to her agenda for May 25. She’ll be joined on Zoom for a day of writing know-how by guest author Alison Carter.

And can you believe the workshop sold out in just six days? Which is a fabulous endorsement.

The good news is that we’re already planning a second date for all those who missed out this time. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement about that!

Scotland’s Year Of Stories

In other exciting news, we launched our short story writing competition in May 14 issue. This is open to anyone who hasn’t previously had a story published in the “Friend” and who wants to try writing for us.

We were inspired to run this competition after hearing about the fabulous Scotland’s Year of Stories initiative.

The “Friend” has had a proud track record of celebrating Scotland’s stories and storytellers since its launch in 1869. So we definitely wanted to get involved!

We’re hoping to continue our long tradition of discovering new writing talent by finding a fresh new storytelling voice for the magazine.

And we also hope to encourage more writers to tell Scotland’s stories.

This is a subject close to my heart. I studied Scottish literature as part of my university degree and take every opportunity to champion Scottish writing in all its many forms. So I’m looking forward very much to reading the entries!

Of course, in recent weeks we have also added a new chapter to the story of the “Friend” itself.

We’re back in the office one day a week for Team Tuesdays. Another step forward, and a whole new adventure, for the world’s longest-running women’s magazine!

Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.