Fiction Sneak Peek: March 18, 2023

Hello, and a very warm welcome to the fiction you’ll find in the March 18 issue of “The People’s Friend”.

Seven Short Stories

Our opening story is written especially for St Patrick’s Day – Pamela Kavanagh’s “Beautiful Stranger”, set in the 1880s. Since their very first meeting, Patrick has been mesmerised by Brigid Donohue…Artwork by Philip Crabb.

Next up it’s Alison Wassell’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. Eva, a little girl in Miss Williams’ class, has a complicated relationship with her mum, but still makes her a Mother’s Day card. It gives Miss Williams pause for thought. Artwork, Sarah Holliday.

Ellie loves books, but they’re taking over the house! “Overbooked!” is by Writer Of The Week, Gill McKinlay.

Our next story is set in the 1910s, where one mother has always encouraged her daughter to make the most of her education. Written by Alison Carter, “Nothing To Report” is illustrated by Tracy Fennell (above).

In Rebecca Holmes’ “A Burning Desire”, Martha has a dream – to see a volcano. With an illustration by Kirk Houston.

Naturally-shy Steve is dreading his daughter’s wedding. When a slight panic arises, can he save the day? “Centre Of Attention” is written by Teresa Ashby.

Sheelagh is sure her family have no plans to pamper her on Mother’s Day – so Mother’s Day is cancelled! But there’s someone she’s forgotten about…”Treat Yourself” is written by Eirin Thompson, with artwork from Jim Dewar.


Pete’s new business venture might provide a perfect job for Katie, in Anne Pack’s “When One Door Closes”. Artwork from Ruth Blair.

In the penultimate episode of Deborah Siepmann’s “The Sapphire Peacock”, Anya is desperate to find a way to stay in London. Artwork by Helen Welsh.


The residents’ meeting is a chance to start planning the library of things, in Stefania Hartley’s “Welcome To Quayside”…

…while St Patrick’s Day brings Beryl and Pearl back to Ryemouth, in Glenda Young’s “Riverside”.

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!