Monday, 7 January 2013

Creating Small Things - Pocket Novels

What is a pocket novel?

This is a post in answer to Marianne's question about pocket novels. Marianne, by the way, is the author of two books The Blue Suitcase an historical novel set in Germany during World War 2 and Food of Ghosts, a crime novel with a feisty heroine set on the island of South Tarawa. She is also the owner of the excellent Writing Classes online writing course which set me on the road to writing!

In essence, a pocket novel is a novel that can be read in a day and is around 50,000 words. It is usually romantic and can include a range of genres. To quote form The Pocketeers they are 'a quick and satisfying read'.

As I do not write Pocket Novels myself, I am not an expert but there are other bloggers who are!

Sally Quilford offers excellent information regarding pocket novels on her blog. She is also a 'Pocketeer'.

The Pocketeers are a group of writers who specialise in the writing of pocket novels. Their website is a must for anyone thinking of moving on from short stories to something longer.

The two main outlets for pocket novels are My Weekly Pocket Novels and The People's Friend Pocket Novels.

  • My weekly Pocket Novel guidelines are here (Thank you Sally)
  • The People's Friend Pocket Novels guidelines are here (Thank you Pocketeers)

Also, take a look at Kate Jackson's excellent post on her blog where Maggie Seed the editor of My Weekly Pocket Novels gives a 5 step plan to writing a successful pocket novel.

This is just the bare bones and if anyone has anything to add, please do. Hope this was helpful Marianne.

One day I may be brave enough to try to write one!


  1. Great post, Wendy.
    It is very satisfying to write a pocket novel and I hope you'll write one :-) x

    1. I should have given you a mention, Teresa. I had forgotten that you write pocket novels as well as short stories.

  2. Thanks so much for this info and the links, Wendy. Very helpful - and now I know who the "pocketeers" are ;o) Can't believe I'd not come across the term before!!

  3. oops, forgot to say a BIG thanks for your kind words about The Blue Suitcase, Food of Ghosts and the writing school! The best writers are the ones who don't give up and you are so not giving up :o)

    1. Thanks Marianne and thanks for your question which prompted the post.

  4. They're a great idea for anyone wanting to try a longer length after writing short stories. Heard Maggie Seed at the RNA conference in the summer and she was brilliant! Hope you have a go, Wendy - I'm hoping to try that length too, as I've done shorter and longer.

  5. I may leave it until next year. Let me know if you decide to write one - we could do it at the same timed and encourage each other!

  6. Ha, I learned something today! I've never heard of a pocket novel. Thanks for the breakdown!

    Hope you had a great holiday!