What’s Happening On The Fiction Desk?


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Hello, and a warm welcome to this week’s Fiction Ed’s blog.

It’s been busy since the start of the year, so here’s a round-up of what’s happening on the Fiction Desk.

Welcome Back, Manon!

Nice news to start the year – Commissioning Illustrations Editor, Manon, has returned from Maternity Leave.

Karen Milne, who’s been covering for Manon over the past nine months, with remain with us until mid-April.

While Manon and Karen are both with us, if you’re an illustrator or cover artist, please do simply keep in contact with whoever commissions each piece of artwork.

Writing Bursary Competition

Our Writing Bursary Competition is open until Monday 5 Feb at 11.59pm.

We’re looking for brand new, 2000-word stories from amateur authors, in one of these categories – Thriller, Comedy or Romance.

There are two age sub-categories – writers aged over 30, and under 30, at the time of writing.

Stories should be suitable for publication in ‘The People’s Friend’, with suitable language and tone.

We’ve been busy reading, and the overall winner will have their story published in a future issue of the magazine.

Our Updated Guidelines Are Ready

We’ve refreshed our Fiction Submission Guidelines.

Please take time to read through them before submitting fiction, poetry or pocket novels.

Please remember to include your details on the word doc when submitting.

Our New Look – What’s Changing?

You may have noticed some ads in the magazine, flagging that February will see the look of your ‘People’s Friend’ being refreshed.

The content inside will not be changing. We’ll feature exactly the same amount of fiction.

What We’re Looking For

For our weekly issues, we’re now reading for late spring into early summer.

For the Specials, we’re well into summer.

And I’m already looking at our little Annual for 2026; seasonal stories which would suit our template are welcome now.

Lucy Crichton

Better known as “Fiction Editor Lucy”, I am always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, I enjoy working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of “Friend” fiction!