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 about writing for The Friend.
- They buy 633 short stories a year – 641 if you count long reads. That’s 17 a week. Which makes them the biggest consumer of women’s short fiction and a very good market to try.
- They read everything they receive because they never know when they will find the next diamond.
- They are traditional and have a hardcore of readers who are easily offended – the ones who express dismay that consuming alcohol has become commonplace in fiction.
- Hence, they like to offer in their fiction, escapism, comfort, the feel good factor rather than the harsher edges of reality. Think reality in soft focus.
- This does not mean they want boring and same old.
- They like young romances.
- They like feel-good.
- They like to be entertained.
- They like a positive outcome.
- Stories they see too much of are:
- Old lady who is scared of young people. Really???
- New widow thinking about sheltered housing, even though she is only 60.
- Empty nester seeing daughter off to university.
And here’s a quick cheeky plug for my book about writing short stories. The Short Story Writer’s Toolshed. Click here to check it out. 🙂