Fiction Ed’s Blog: The Five-Story Rule

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This week, I’m looking at the Fiction Team’s “five-story rule”, and what it means for authors looking to submit stories.

What Is The ‘Five Story Rule’?

Essentially, the ‘five-story rule’ means that unless you have a separate arrangement with your assigned editor, authors should aim to have no more than five stories with us for consideration at any given time.

Why Five Stories?

Many magazines have ceased publication or reduced their fiction content, so it naturally follows that there are fewer avenues open to short story authors.

Here at the “Friend”, we’ve found that we now receive substantially more submissions for our consideration.

We’re naturally concerned about the response times authors face.

So we’re suggesting that if you’re an author, you have no more than five stories with us, at any one time.

Your Assigned Editor Can Help With Queries

If you have any queries or already have more than five stories with us, please just drop your assigned editor an email. We’re happy to help!

If you do have five stories with us and want to submit another story or one that’s time-specific eg Christmas – please just contact your editor.

Removing surplus stories from our reading queues means contributors will receive feedback on the stories we do have with us, much more quickly.

And it also means that our folders won’t be full of stories which we can’t get to for now.

Moving Forward

We’re looking at ways to reduce response times for “Friend” fiction, and it’s likely that there will be changes ahead, in terms of submissions.

For now, we remain open to all.

Please submit seasonal stories six months in advance.

You’re free to withdraw stories at any time.

And as with all submissions, please keep the reader at heart.

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!