Fiction Sneak Peek: September 2, 2023 Issue

Hello and welcome to our weekly review of the fiction in our latest issue.

This week, we’re looking at our issue-dated September 2, 2023, on sale Wednesday, August 30.

Short Stories

Our opening story this week is Leonora Francis’ “Forgive And Forget”. Murna and Rupa’s friendship is broken. But can it be repaired? Illustration from Ruth Blair (above).

An apple tree has been there through all the important moments in one family’s history. “A Branch Of Hope” is by Rebecca Holmes.

We’re in 1939 for our next story, where news of the outbreak of another war has just been on the wireless. “Holding On” is by Alison Carter.

It’s “Never Too Late” to meet someone, in Eirin Thompson’s story illustrated by Ruth Blair…

…and issues in a relationship come to a head after a fire, in Jennie Gardner’s “A Burning Issue”. Artwork, Ruth Blair.

Two friends rise to a cookery challenge, in Sara Partington’s “Recipe For Success”. Illustration from Sarah Holliday…

…and in our final story of this issue, we’re on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Amazon – but all’s not as it should be. “Smooth Sailing” is by Lucy Chester.


A new serial starts today – “Under The Apple Trees”, by Sara Partington. Can new volunteers help Abigail make a success of this year’s harvest? In five parts, it’s illustrated by Gerard Fay.

In the final part of “Sabotage At The Big Top”, do recent events mean the future of Opal and Gold’s Circus is secure? Kitty-Lydia Dye’s serial set in the 1840s has been illustrated by David Young.

Look out for a new serial starting next week.


The show meeting is today, in Lydia Jones’ “The Show’s The Thing” – and Tash couldn’t be more nervous…

…while over on Glenda Young’s “Riverside”, will George and Mary make up on their anniversary?

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!