Fiction Ed’s Blog: As The Year Turns

Blocks with the numbers 2-0-2-3 turning into 2-0-2-4.

A Happy New Year!

With the year on the turn, the Fiction Team would like to wish all our readers and writers a Happy New Year, when it comes.

Our 155th Anniversary

Just after New Year, it’s our birthday!

The People’s Friend has been the home of great reading for nearly 155 years.

Our very first issue (a monthly publication, at that time) appeared on Wednesday, January 13, 1869.

Since our earliest days, we’ve championed authors and poets, established, and aspiring.

In fact, all the stories in our 155th anniversary edition are written by hitherto-unpublished ‘Friend’ authors.

Exciting News

With authors in mind, ‘Friend’ Editor Stuart has exciting news to announce, mid-January.

Please check this blog for updates.

Stories We’ll Need In 2024

I asked Fiction Team’s Alan and Tracey what they hope to find in their ‘in-boxes’, in 2024.

Tracey: “I would like to read more contemporary pocket novels, if possible. Some good family sagas and cosy crime would be great. Please remember to give a description of your main characters too.

Your poetry submissions are great, but please remember we only have a limited amount of openings for poetry.”

Alan: “I’d like writers to try new story lengths. For example, if you are comfortable at writing stories at 2000 words, then perhaps try your hand at 3000.

The same with serial instalments – five and six parts are popular in the magazine, but we’re always looking for longer serials. This can be helpful if you have a serial with multiple characters and storylines.

Don’t be hesitant at trying new genres and time periods, too. A good story idea can often work in any era.”

Lucy: “We’ll need more short stories than ever in 2024. Our most-used word counts are 3000 and 2000-words, and we look for a range of genres, including cosy crime, family, general, comedy and romance.

To submit successfully, know your audience – and the easiest way to do that is to read the magazine regularly.”

See you next year!

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!