Saturday, 20 October 2012

People's Friend - A Friend Indeed

I was reading an article about 'The People's Friend' by Tina Jackson in this month's Writing Magazine and one part in particular stood out for me.

In the article, Editor Angela Gilchrist stated that they 'value writers who are prepared to work with the editorial team' and 'like writers who can accept criticism and react to it.'

She also said that 'if we see potential in a writer, the fiction team will work very hard with that person to get them their first acceptance.'

I thought I would tell you about how The People's Friend has helped me - in more ways than one.

I think it is fair to say that if it hadn't been for the fiction team at 'The Friend' I would never have become a published writer - the irony is that my first published story was not in this magazine at all but in Fiction Feast.

After a few straightforward rejections from the magazine, I received a lovely letter from one of their fiction team saying that a short story I had submitted was 'well written but the story was not strong enough'. Fair enough. Pleased with this feedback, I carried on writing stories for them and continued to get helpful and encouraging letters back.

One letter in particular said that they really liked a story I had written but it was unsuitable for their audience. It was suggested that I try sending it to a magazine with a younger audience. I sent it at once to Fiction Feast who bought it. It was my first sale and is called 'Try Saying Yes' -  it appears in the November issue. Thank you 'People's Friend'!

I was so grateful for their help with my first sale that I was determined that I would write a story that would suit their market. I sent another one off and my contact from the fiction team said they really liked it but there were some lose ends. Suggestions were made and determined to succeed this time, I rewrote it. To my surprise and great pleasure the story was accepted.

Finally, a Christmas story I sent to them was liked very much but the editorial team thought the characters more suitable for another market...hence my next sale to Fiction Feast!

I continue to write stories for 'The People's Friend' in the hope that they will like them, even though their payment isn't as high as the other magazines. A story I have been working on with them is on the fiction editor's desk at this moment and I am keeping my fingers crossed for another sale. They were the first people to believe in my writing and without their help I may have given up hope of publication. With their guidance, I think I am becoming a better judge of my audience and I am hoping that this will lead to more sales to 'The Friend'.

In conclusion, a message to all you new writers out there - have a go at writing for this friendly magazine...who knows where it might lead.




10 comments:

  1. They are lovely at the Friend and at D C Thomson as a whole :-) I don't know if I would have kept going in the early days without their advice and kindness! x

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    1. I am just looking forward to seeing my first story in there - although I don't know when that is yet.

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  2. Hi Wendy
    Thanks for sharing your journey with 'The Friend'. As yet, I've had no success with them, despite reading lots of Friend stories and studying the guidelines. But one day, maybe one day...

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  3. Keep on trying, Christine. It took me a while before I had my first sale with them. Thanks for following my blog - I hope you find my other posts useful.

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  4. Hi Wendy, like you I'm targeting People's Friend. I have the magazine every week and read every story. I've had different replies like wouldn't hold the reader's interest, which I think means boring. Another one is not suitable for our readers. I'm going to keep trying though and look forward to following your blog.

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    1. Thanks for following my blog, Susan. People's Friend like their stories very gentle.

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  5. The People's Friend have been brillant and have encouraged me so much. I love working with them.

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  6. After a few submissions, I find them very dismissive, rude and lazy. And I've had some lovely feedback from other magazines - and publications! I can't seem to bend my writing style to the insipid stuff they want.

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  7. All this 'lovely People's Friend' stuff. If you know anything about publishing you'll know that once a story is accepted by PF you relinquish virtually all publishing rights. They can republish it ad infinitum. No repeat fee. and if you don't like it? There's millions of other 'writers' who will pay the required obeisance.

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