Fiction Ed’s Blog: Pocket Novels Q&A

Our latest pocket novel, ‘Love On The Run”, by Sarah Purdue (above), is out today!

Fiction Ed, Lucy, has the answers to your questions on writing and submitting pocket novels to the “Friend”.

“I have an idea for a pocket novel. What do I do now?”

Send a brief synopsis (one side of A4 is usually about right) and the first three chapters of your novel to Tracey Steel –

“How many words should I be aiming for?”

Larger-print “People’s Friend” pocket novels have a word count of between 37,000 and 39, 000 words.

“What sort of genres are popular?”

Aim for similar genres as would appeal to the reader of our weekly “People’s Friend”.

Romance is always popular, as is cosy crime, mystery, drama, and family stories.

“Contemporary or historical?”

We’re happy to consider pocket novels set in the present day, or the past.

We try where possible to alternate between historical and contemporary stories.

“Where should pocket novels be set?”

Pocket novels can be set anywhere! The UK is popular, as are sunny climes, snowy destinations, cruise ships – the world’s your oyster.

With many of our readers being based in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, these remain popular pocket novel settings, too.

Seasonal settings are popular, too.

“What’s the payment for a pocket novel?”

Payment is £300 per novel, payable on acceptance.

“Who keeps the copyright?”

The author retains copyright.

“Can I sell the novel on once it’s published?”

Yes. Once your pocket novel has been bought by us, we retain the right to publish it first.

After that, you’re free to sell it on, in its published version.

Before You Get Started…

Try reading some pocket novels, and a few issues of the weekly “People’s Friend” to give you a feel for the type of fiction we publish.

Best of luck!

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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!