Category Archives: Short stories for magazines

WRITING GOALS and the Rule of Three!

Do you, by any chance, have a New Year Resolution that involves writing? This idea might help you to keep it. The Rule of Three is one of the most powerful principles I have ever learned. With thanks to Jack … Continue reading


Posted in Flash Fiction, ideas, Inspiration, Short stories for magazines, The Reading Group, Tips on writing, Woman's Weekly, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Writing Courses – are they worth it?

There are so many writing courses around these days. Universities run them, publishers run them, magazines run them. In fact every Tom, Dick and Harry (if you’ll excuse the cliche) runs writing courses. Even the smallest town has a literary … Continue reading


Posted in Short stories for magazines, Tips on writing, Woman's Weekly, Writing, Writing conferences & schools | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

The Short Story Writer’s Toolshed

The Short Story Writer’s Toolshed was first published as a series in Writer’s Forum. I later decided to compile it into a handy little book. Here is an extract I thought you might like. How The Toolshed Works Every writer … Continue reading


Posted in first chapter, News, Short stories for magazines, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Womag Writer – Guest Post by Patsy Collins

It’s an honour to welcome Patsy Collins to my blog today to talk about the Womagwriter blog.  Patsy is a short story writer and novelist. Like myself, she has always found Womagwriter a brilliant resource for short story writers. So … Continue reading


Posted in Guest Posts, Short stories for magazines, Writing | 2 Comments

How do I stop my romances becoming predictable?

Here’s another question from a recent postbag at Writers’ Forum. This one comes up quite a bit.  We’re talking fictional ones by the way! Q A common cause for the rejection of short stories (I know, because I’ve received many!) is … Continue reading


Posted in Dear Della, Questions from Dear Della, Short stories for magazines, Tips on writing, Writing, Writing problems and solutions | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Submitting stories to magazines – should I send a cover letter?

Here is another question from my Dear Della page that I get asked regularly. Q Whenever I submit a short story to a magazine, I give basic details and contact information on the cover sheet. Is it always necessary to … Continue reading


Posted in Dear Della, Questions from Dear Della, Short stories for magazines, Tips on writing, Writing | 6 Comments

Ten Stories NOT to send to Woman’s Weekly

I was lucky enough to be teaching with the very lovely Gaynor Davies at Woman’s Weekly last Monday. Here are a list of stories she currently does NOT WANT because a) they have too many already or b) they’d been … Continue reading


Posted in ideas, Inspiration, News, Short stories for magazines, Woman's Weekly, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

What Do Your Short Story characters Look Like?

Characterisation is the means by which you make your fictional characters appear to be real people. It is probably the most important part of any piece of fiction. If the reader doesn’t care about your character, he or she won’t … Continue reading


Posted in ideas, Inspiration, Short stories for magazines, Tips on writing, Writing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Writing for The Friend

Last week I was lucky enough to listen to a talk – as well as have a chat with – Shirley Blair, Fiction ed of The People’s Friend.  Fascinating stuff.  Here are ten things you may or may not know … Continue reading


Posted in ideas, Inspiration, News, Short stories for magazines, Writing | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Creating Suspense in Short Stories – Three Top Tips

I used to believe that the art of writing suspense was mostly about technique – short sentences build tension and pace, longer sentences slow it down. But suspense means so much more than this. So what does the word suspense … Continue reading


Posted in ideas, Inspiration, Short stories for magazines, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments