Fiction Ed’s Blog: 154 Years Of “Friend” Fiction

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It’s our birthday this week! “The People’s Friend” will be 154 years old on January 13.

Published since 1869, we’re officially the longest-running women’s magazine in the world.

Fiction has been at the heart of the magazine since our very first issues.

Fiction In Our Early Days

When we launched in January, 1869, our first Editor, David Pae, said, “We intend that fully one half of the ‘Friend’ shall be devoted to fiction. The Friend being intended for fireside reading, nothing will be admitted into its columns having the slightest tendency to corrupt the morals either of old or young.”

The “Friend” has only had ten editors since 1869, which is quite remarkable – and each of them has held true to these principles.

Open To Everyone

From our first days, the “Friend” had an open-door policy as regards submissions.

Submissions remain welcome from everyone, published or unpublished, and every submission is read.

Evolution, Not Revolution

When it comes to our stories, it’s all about evolution, not revolution.

So we gently move with the times, whilst keeping the “Friend” values of decency, fairness and friendship at the heart of everything we do.

“Friend” stories have remained essentially unchanged, through the years – strong storylines; interesting characters; and upbeat, heart-warming endings.

And we keep in touch with readers through regular market research, our letters page, and our Warner holidays, to make sure we’re up to date with the type of stories they like (and don’t like!).

Looking Forward

We welcome submissions of short stories, poetry and pocket novels.

Our Specials now feature twenty stories in every issue, and our weekly magazine still features seven brand-new short stories and two serial instalments in every issue.

We’re planning more online workshops for authors interested in writing for us, in 2023.

And our pocket novels celebrate their 40th anniversary in June of this year.

I’ll get the candles ready!

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!