Writing fiction for magazines

I was very excited yesterday when I was flicking through Prima magazine, only to find a story I’d written in it.  I’d obviously remembered my first attempt at a magazine story had been accepted for their November issue, but hadn’t realised that was the issue I was reading!

The loveliest part of it was seeing the illustration – my story brought to life.  Just like when you first receive your new book’s cover art, you realise someone has taken the time to become familiar with your characters, and create a visual representation of them.

So, here, for this blog, I thought I’d share what I know about which UK magazines accept fictional stories.  Fewer do now than ever before, but there are still some out there.

Prima – publishes one 800 word story per month in their ‘reader’s fiction’ feature.  Payment is £100 per story.  Of course, it’s unlikely that once you’ve had one published, you’ll get another any time in the near future.  Audience I would say is women 35+.

My Weekly – A slightly older audience, I would say females 45+, My Weekly is full of fiction.  However, you can only submit if you have published a My Weekly Pocket Novel.  Pocket Novels are 50k words and are generally sweet romances, either modern or historical.

They accept unsolicited submissions for the Pocket Novel and pay a one-off £300.  This doesn’t sound a lot for that amount of words, but is worth considering if you have a suitable manuscript for which you’re seeking a reputable home.  Regular contributors to Pocket Novels tell me that you can earn a fair amount from ALCS payments www.alcs.co.uk.

Woman’s Weekly – Long considered the Holy Grail of short story authors, Woman’s Weekly has attracted a lot of negative publicity recently regarding the issue of authors’ rights.  It may therefore be wise to think carefully before you submit.  https://www.societyofauthors.org/News/Blogs/SoA-Blog/August-2018-(1)/On-Womans-Weekly

The People’s Friend – I have heard positive things about the way this magazine treats their authors.  This much-loved magazine has a much older audience (I’d say men and women 50+), and is well-known for its fiction.  They accept unsolicited submissions.  Content is sweet and uncontroversial.

If you decide to submit – the very best of luck!

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