Fiction Ed’s Blog: Our Cover Artwork

When readers tell us what they love about the “Friend”, one thing that’s often mentioned is the cover.

It’s one of the things that makes the “Friend”  unique.

We’re the only magazine to have cover artwork.

How do we decide on the location of each cover?

Deciding On The Cover Locations

It all starts with the Features Team, who work closely with our team of freelance writers.

Sometimes, one of our freelance team will have put forward a suggestion for a location which would make an interesting feature – the cover is always linked to the Cover Feature on page 8 of every issue.

Or Alex might suggest somewhere, if it’s to tie in with an anniversary or event – for example, we had Windsor on the cover to coincide with Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations (above).

Our freelance team are well spread out across the country, and we know we can rely on them for their local knowledge.

Arranging The Artwork

Alex finds an image of the location we have in mind from a picture library, and sends it to Illustrations Editor, Manon.

Manon does a few ‘mock-ups’ of cover artwork using these images, and sends these to Editor, Angela.

Angela gives final approval and chooses a date for the feature/cover, making sure to alternate between Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish covers.

Angela’s also careful to make sure the scenes are different, from one issue to another.

J. Campbell Kerr

Manon then sends the refs and briefs out to one of our five “J. Campbell Kerr” illustrators, who work with watercolour, ink, or gouache, depending on their style.

When the image is posted back to Manon, she scans and colour-corrects it, to make sure the cover looks as close to the original artwork as possible.

We’ll look at our covers through the years in next week’s blog – hope you can join me then.



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!