Editor’s Diary: Our Next Chapter

First new-look cover

A wonderful new-look for “The People’s Friend”, in shops from February 21, 2024!

I’ve been a journalist for a quarter of a century now. It’s a brilliant job – getting to write and meet people from lots of interesting walks of life is a privilege I never fail to appreciate. Over the years, there have been several memorable moments that hold a special place in my heart, but suffice to say the highlight of my career so far has only just happened.

I am sitting in my office with the paper proof of our first new-look issue of “The People’s Friend”, having just sent it to press, officially marking the beginning of our exciting next chapter.

Cover of newly-updated 'People's Friend' magazine

“The People’s Friend” is an institution. A magazine loved by millions for decades and through generations of readers. Last year, I was extremely honoured to be appointed editor of this wonderful publication, and as I said at the time, I could feel the weight of all that history on my shoulders.

However, being an editor is not really all that difficult; as long as you bear in mind one unfailing truth: We are working for you, our readers.

Everything we do is for all you amazing people who go out and buy a copy of the magazine every week. And by “we”, I mean our fiction experts; our writers; editors; designers and illustrators and me. We all want to do the best job we can for you in every issue we produce.

As a new editor looking through an issue, I asked myself a question: What can we do better? If I may be so arrogant, I felt the genuine answer was not a lot. The “Friend” is packed with entertainment. Everyone who works on the magazine loves it, and you feel that warmth on every page. Of course, we asked you too, and you told us exactly what you thought – most of it was positive, some of it was constructive, but all of it came from a very good place.

And so, with a few ideas bubbling away, we set about the task of making “The People’s Friend” better than ever as we move into this, our 155th year of publishing.

A brighter and bolder cover for “The Friend”

Now, after several months of blood, sweat, tears and laughter, we are ready to introduce those changes, which I hope you are going to adore. First, and most obvious, is our cover. It’s brighter and better, with the stunning artwork that has graced our covers for most of our 155 years being presented more vividly than ever before. You almost feel like you can step into the picture and be there!

“The Home Of Great Reading”

Inside the magazine, you will see a “fresh lick of paint”. We have brightened it up, while still giving you all the wonderful stories and features you enjoy. Everyone who knows the “Friend” knows it is the place to go for short stories. We publish more than any other magazine, so just to save me from having to climb up to the rooftops and shouting about it, we have introduced a new tagline, “The Home Of Great Reading”. I hope you agree it sums us up nicely.

We are still as committed to publishing the very best fiction. It’s at the heart of everything we do. It has been all through our history and will be for many years to come. As we have always done, we will continue to champion new writing. We love giving opportunities to budding writers and it means that you get to read fresh, fantastic stories every week.

We’ve also added in new articles. Our archive is a treasure trove of history and entertainment, and it’s only right we share it with you, so every week we are taking a memorable trip into the past.

We know how much you love our stories, our cookery, knitting and craft – in other words all the creativity in the magazine, both in terms of what you read and also what you can do. We will be celebrating creativity at every turn in bigger and better ways.

“The People’s Friend” is about great reading and helping you make the most of your “me-time”. We want to make you smile, laugh, and feel all the emotions as you read your magazine. The big question is, are we succeeding? So now it is over to you. Let me know what you think about our next chapter. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Take a look at our Facebook Live readers’ question and answer session, drop me a note on social media, or email me at pfeditor@dcthomson.co.uk.

Here’s to the next 155 years!

Read Editor’s Diary: Walking The Walk

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