Fiction Sneak Peek: July 15, 2023

Getty Images/iStockphoto © A new father holds is newborn in his arms as he looks down smiling at the baby. His wife is sitting up in her hospital bed in the background. She is wearing a hospital gown and smiling as she watches her husband enjoy a moment with his new son. The infant is just wearing a diaper as dad enjoys some skin-on-skin time.

Every Tuesday, we take a quick look at the fiction in our latest issue of the “Friend”.

Here’s what you’ll find in this week’s issue, on sale Wednesday, July 12.

Short Stories

TV presenter, Suki, feels out of her depth when it comes to knowledge of stained glass, in Alison Carter’s “True Colours”. Artwork by Andre Leonard.

We welcome a debut author next – Alison Marlow. Set in 1807, a chance encounter with a stranger spells change for Martha and her solitary life at Candle Cottage…”A Flicker Of Change” is illustrated by Jim Dewar.

A granny and her granddaughter are looking out for otters, in our next story, but these graceful creatures are nowhere to be seen. “Otterly Wonderful” is by Sara Partington.

A new friend helps sensible Kate realise how much she has to offer, in Fran Tracey’s “Be Like Beryl”. Artwork, Kirk Houston.

Harry is the only son in a family of daughters. With a baby on the way, could it finally be time for a boy? By Teresa Ashby, “Baby Blues” is illustrated by Karen Milne (above).

Joy is feeling deflated – she has a good degree, but can’t find a job. “The Perfect Blend” is by Amanda Quinn.

Our final story is “In Full Bloom”, where a grandma helps her grandson regain his confidence – will she find romance along the way? Illustration, Kirk Houston.


A new three-part serial starts today – “Summer At Sandy Stables”. It’s the summer of 1976, and with the long heatwave affecting business, Eve and her friends have a fight on their hands to keep the stables afloat. By Julie Goodall, with illustrations by David Young.

It’s the penultimate part of H. Johnson-Mack’s “Carving A New Path”, and Louisa is determined to get to the bottom of things. Artwork, Kirk Houston.


Find out if Tanya can make a good first impression at work, in Stefania Hartley’s “Welcome To Quayside”…

…while over on Glenda Young’s “Riverside”, why has George’s uncle left him an inheritance?

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!