Fiction Ed’s Blog: Quickfire Questions

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A round of quick-fire questions with Fiction Ed, Lucy.

Why don’t you feature male authors?

We do! Some of our male authors choose to write under a pen name.

Where can I buy ‘The Magic Of Christmas’ bookazine?

Supermarkets, and online at

I’d like to try writing for the ‘Friend’ but I’m finding it difficult to get started. Can you suggest anything?

Try reading the magazine regularly to acquaint yourself with the type of stories we feature, our genres and tone.

A visual image can be very helpful in prompt as a story prompt – Fiction Team’s Alan often sends images out to his authors.

When are your Christmas issues on sale this year?

The first bumper issue goes on sale Wednesday, November 29 (issue dated December 2).

The second will be on sale Wednesday, December 13 (issue dated December 16).

Issue dates go back to normal from our Dec 27 issue, dated Dec 30.

What stories are you looking for?

We’re looking for stories from February onwards for our weekly issues.

For our Specials, we’re into early Spring.

We accept traditional stories which would be a good fit for our annual all year round.

Is there anything that would definitely not be allowed in a ‘Friend’ story?

We wouldn’t feature murder ‘as it happened – cosy crime is fine, with a focus on solving the crime.

Bear in mind that the ‘Friend’ is often bedtime reading, so we wouldn’t feature violence or anything really scary.

Swearing, intimacy or unpleasantness are no-nos.

Grittier subjects are okay if an upbeat resolution is arrived at.

Why are my short stories rejected so quickly?

We go into the inbox every day, so your story may be rejected speedily if we happen to be there when your story arrives.

We read what we need, first – 3000 and 2000-word stories are our most-used word counts.

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!