Thursday, February 17, 2011


Magazine publishers pay well, and if we can do something we’re passionate about and get paid for it – Why not? What a bonus!

But before you sit down to write something brilliant or dig out those stories you are eager to find a home for, research your market. Read what the magazine publishes and study the guidelines. There are a lot of good writers out there. Let’s not fool ourselves – competition is fierce and the supply of stories exceeds the demand. Be smart and give yourself the best possible chance in the first place. Be confident too; don’t be afraid to give your story an edge. I’ve said it before: TAKE A CHANCE AND CHALLENGE YOURSELF! Explore your writing and see where it takes you. Trust your ability as a writer. Trust your muse. Whether you change the perspective or tense of the story, explore different emotions, ask yourself a ton of ‘what ifs’, come up with a clever twist that impresses the reader or something entirely different – give it a go! When you finish your story and read it out loud, you will know if that chance you took is a winner.

Keen to write something but don’t know where to start? I have discovered a useful tool which stirs up those creative juices. Writing from Life (2nd Edition) by Lynne Hackles is a creative writing book which inspires and motivates. I am impressed with the way Lynne has managed to create a book which is not only informative and entertaining; it gives you somewhere to go when you’re not working on a writing project and need to be inspired, or when you are working on a writing project and get stuck. Writing from Life not only guides you through the processes of writing it provides exercises which enable you to explore another depth of creativity. Writing from Life helps you to unlock a treasure trove of material that you can record and use when it’s needed. You soon learn your life provides an abundance of material for your writing. Writing from Life is truly a writing tool worth obtaining.

Here are some short story markets you can obtain guidelines from and who are currently accepting submissions:-

Take a Break and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast:-
Basic Fiction Requirements:
  • TAB 1000 - 1200 (max words). Looking for a strong plot with a twist in the tail.
  • FICTION FEAST – All lengths, all types of story.

Norah McGrath
Fiction Editor
4th Floor
Academic House
24-28 Oval Road
London NW1 7DT

Woman’s Weekly Fiction

For the weekly magazine:
Short stories of 1,000 and 2,000 words
Serials in 3 parts of 3,800 words each

For Fiction Special (25 stories 8 times a year):
Stories of 1000 – 8000 words

Fiction Department
Woman’s Weekly
IPC Media
Blue Fin Building
110 Southwark Street
London SE1 0SU



  1. I so agree about reading things out, Diane. And I agree about Lynne's book too.

    I enjoy your blog and have awarded you a Stylish Blogger Award. Details at I hope you will share seven things about yourself on your blog and pass the baton to 15 more bloggers, but no worries if you’d rather not.

  2. Hi popped over from Teresa's blog. Very useful info on your posts, thanks, always a great way to take care to follow the rules. I'll be back for more reading.

  3. Thank you so much Teresa, appreciate that :)
    Many thanks Patsy and MOB.
    I am slowly building up my followers list ... looks a bit woeful at the moment (though quality of followers is great ;), hopefully others will join in the blog and find it useful. Thanks again everyone, you are all very supportive, and I truly appreciate that X

  4. Hi Diane - found your blog through Teresa and I'm now following it. Look forward to visiting you again!

  5. Thank you Rosemary... appreciate that :)

  6. Hi Diane...very useful information for all writers. Keep it going!