Writing Tips For ‘Friend’ Authors

Shutterstock / Asti Mak © Sign saying 'Helpful Tips' on a light blue background.

Fiction Ed Lucy has put together some quick tips for authors hoping to have a story accepted by the ‘Friend’.

Give It Time

Although some authors have success with their first story submission, it often takes a few attempts.

It’s also not unusual to be asked for tweaks to your story, or a rewrite.

Send The Stories The Magazine Needs

The Fiction Team buys the stories needed to keep the weekly, specials, annual and bookazines well-stocked.

Keep up to date on the website with what the Team are looking for – or check with your editor.

Write For Your Reader

Before you submit a story to any publication, stop and think – will this story appeal to their readership?

Are the characters suitable? Is the storyline relevant? Are the language and tone appropriate?

Read The Magazine

Whichever publication you’re writing for, read it regularly to stay up to date with the tone and content.

Magazines are constantly evolving, responding to reader feedback, so what was suitable even a couple of years ago may now not be appropriate.

Remember That Not Every Story Will Be Successful

Even our best and most consistent authors will occasionally have a story rejected – it’s completely normal, so please don’t be disheartened.

Perhaps there has been a similar story in the magazine recently.

Or it could be because stories of that word count or season aren’t a priority at the moment.

Communication Is Key

Once you have an assigned editor, communication is key.

We’re happy to answer any queries about submissions, or published work.

Stories are often edited before publication, to keep them in line with house style – which is no reflection on your work.

Titles are often changed – to avoid repetition, to be a better fit with the other stories in that issue, or to fit available space.

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!