Fiction Ed’s Blog: Ten Quick Tips For Submission Success

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If you’re an author and you’d like to see your work published in “The People’s Friend”, here are ten tips to help you achieve submission success.

1. Read the “Friend” regularly to help you keep up to date with the stories we publish – the word counts, the genres, the tone. Reading the magazine cover to cover helps give a clear picture of what our readers like (and don’t like!). Any changes in the magazine are evolution, not revolution; we listen to reader feedback regularly.

2. Write for your reader. Consider what “Friend” readers look for in a story. Write each story with a specific audience in mind.

3. Don’t be afraid to write in your own unique ‘voice’. Everyone has their own stories to tell – and we want to hear them!

4. Give your main characters a name.

5. Make sure any dialogue sounds natural – try reading it aloud.

6. Be aware of what we’re NOT looking for – anything violent, with bad language or an uncomfortable level of intimacy, is a no. We don’t publish stories under 1000 words, ‘flash fiction’, or anything over 4000 words (other than our Long Reads).

7. So, what ARE we looking for? Enjoyable short stories with strong, memorable female characters and an interesting storyline, which reflect modern life whilst bearing in mind that many of our readers have a traditional outlook.

8. Be mindful of setting. Not all our stories need to take place in the UK.

9. Check your story’s structure – it should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Something needs to happen during the story, which brings resolution to a current situation. Your reader should feel better for having read your story.

10. Even our most successful authors don’t have success with every single submission. It also often takes more than one attempt to achieve a first acceptance.

Good luck!


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 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!