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 about writing for The Friend.

  1. 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.
  2. They read everything they receive because they never know when they will find the next diamond.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. This does not mean they want boring and same old.
  6. They like young romances.
  7. They like feel-good.
  8. They like to be entertained.
  9. They like a positive outcome.
  10.  Stories they see too much of are:
    1. Old lady who is scared of young people. Really???
    2. New widow thinking about sheltered housing, even though she is only 60.
    3. Empty nester seeing daughter off to university.

So, there you have it? Think you could write for The Friend. They have a website and a blog and are very active on Facebook and Twitter. Why not give them a go. And please give my love to Shirley.

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. 🙂


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