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

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If you’re thinking about submitting a short story, poem or pocket novel to “The People’s Friend” for consideration, here’s what we’re looking for, at the moment.

Christmas Stories

Thanks to everyone who submitted festive fiction.

At the time of writing, we’re finalising the mixes for both our Christmas Bumper Issues, which go on sale in December.

We’ll be in a position to let you know about all Christmas stories over the next few weeks.

No more new festive stories will be considered this year, but you’re welcome to submit Christmas fiction again after April.


In terms of what we need for the weekly, we’re now moving into stories for mid-January, 2023, onwards – so late winter, into spring.

We’re also always looking for 2000 and 3000 word stories which are suitable for any issue.

For the Special, we’re into early spring.

We always need seasonal stories, for example, for Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day – which this year, in the UK, is on Sunday, 19th March.

4000 words and Long Reads are the lengths we’re least in need of, at the moment.


If you’re an established “Friend” serials author, we’re looking especially for contemporary serial ideas.

We like to vary the number of instalments to give our readers variety – between three and eight instalments works best for us.


Abbie is looking for poetry for our February issues onwards.

The length she’s looking for is 12-16 lines – so, suitable for the weekly or Special.

Poetry which would suit Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day, would be welcome.

Pocket Novels

Tracey is looking for pocket novels of between 37, 000 and 39, 000 words.

We try to alternate between contemporary and historical, so both are welcome.

Themes should mirror those in our weekly issues – with the same tone, and genres.


We feature two 30-part series annually, in the “Friend” weekly issue.

Ideas for new series are always welcome!

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!