Fiction Ed’s Blog: Five Tips For ‘Friend’ Authors

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If you’re an author looking to submit stories to the “Friend”, here are five quick tips to help your work be read more quickly.

Please Send What We Need

Please send what we need – we read what we need, first. The stories we are always in need of are 2000- and 3000-word stories, suitable for ‘anytime’. So stories that would sit well in any issue.

We’re looking for a good ‘mix’ of stories – funny and light, thoughtful and exciting; and some which are time-sensitive to fit in with the rhythm of the year.

We need stories which would be suitable for our weekly issues, our Specials, and our little Annual.

Stories which are always welcome, but which we need fewer of, are longer lengths such as 4000 and Long Reads.

Stay In Touch

Stay in touch with your editor. Got a query about what we’re looking for at the moment? Not sure if a story was received, or when it was published? Drop your editor an email – we’re happy to help.

Be Mindful Of Word Counts

Be mindful of our word counts. We work to set templates, here at the “Friend”. Our weekly issue word counts are 3000, 1800, 1200, 2000, 3000, 1800 and 3000. Special word counts are 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500, 4000, with a 10, 000-word Long Read every alternate Special. We allow 10% either way.

Think Six Months Ahead

Think six months ahead. We’re already scheduling well into Autumn for our Specials, and we’re looking at Christmas stories for our weekly bumper issues, Specials, and ‘Magic Of Christmas’ bookazine.

If your story has a particular date attached to it (eg, Remembrance, Christmas, Valentine’s), please submit six months in advance, to give your story time to be read, paid and illustrated, ready for publication.

Please Only Send Rewrites If Requested

Please don’t send a rewrite unless it’s been specifically requested. We will read them, of course, but as a rule, if we think a story might work well with some adjustments, we will outline these and ask you to resubmit.


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!