Fiction Ed’s Blog: Review Of The Year

Shutterstock / enterlinedesign © Sparkly lights in background; the year '2023' pinned upon piece of string.

Fiction Ed Lucy takes a look back over the past twelve months.

Saying Goodbye

Manon went off on maternity leave in March.

In April, Poetry Editor, Abbie left for new adventures.

And at the end of June, after 29 years with the ‘Friend’ – fifteen of them as Editor – we said goodbye to Angela, and welcomed new Editor, Stuart.

Saying Hello

Karen Milne joined the Team in April, to cover the role of Commissioning Illustrations Editor.

Karen has been working with our talented team of freelance and cover illustrators to keep our artwork looking lovely.

Coming Back To The Office

During 2023, we adapted our ways of working and are now in the office from Monday to Wednesday, working from home Thursdays and Fridays.

Wherever we’re working, we’re always contactable by email throughout every working day.


Our smaller team has made some changes, to allow us to make the best possible use of time.

To focus fully on fiction, we’ve cut down on website pieces, and no longer send date-of-publication emails, posting the details instead on X so that the information is still available.

And poetry submissions have closed, for unpublished poets.

Good News

The good news is that the ‘Friend’ commitment to fiction remains unchanged.

We’ve signed up lots of new authors during 2023.

We publish more fiction than ever – over 769 brand-new short stories every year.

Lucy’s Fiction Ed blog is online every Thursday morning with advice for authors.

Look out for submissions windows for unpublished poets – we’re currently accepting poetry until Christmas.

Looking Ahead

We’re always mindful that our readers and writers ARE ‘The People’s Friend’ – we’re just taking care of it for you.

As Christmas approaches, we’re getting our 155th Anniversary issue ready – with all stories written by authors new to the ‘Friend’.

155 years as the home of great reading continues!

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!