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Story set on The Oregon Trail. Advice needed, please.
  • A few years ago I wrote a 50,000 word Pocket Novel for Woman's Weekly, which wasn't accepted. It was a romantic adventure story set on the Oregon Trail and I did a lot of research. I had thoughts about either re-writing it completely and submitting it elsewhere, or maybe picking out events and turning them into short stories - I've just had a different short story published by The People's Friend - but never got round to it. I've now seen that there is a very good short story in The People's Friend which is set on the Oregon Trail. So, I'm not sure what to do now. If I turn the events into short stories, I don't think The People's Friend will accept them if they've just published one with the same specific setting. At the same time, I feel that 50,000 words is a lot to abandon and I'd like to make use of all the hard work.

    Should I re-write it completely and try again with the Pocket Novels, maybe to The People's Friend, as I feel comfortable with their requirements? I don't think the story was suitable for The People's Friend the first time round. Or continue the character's lives in a completely new story after they've reached Oregon? Any other ideas would be gratefully received.
  • The PF pocket novel is shorter than the MW ones anyway, so you'd have to do more cutting, which doesn't always work well. Theirs are 42.000 words, so a new story might work better.

    Looking at the current PN guidelines it says: 'Stories can be modern, wartime, even turn-of-the
    19th/20th century, and they can be set in Britain or abroad. '

    There's a lot of options for your 50,000 words.

    Does anyone know if the large print publishers are open to stories of that length?

  • Thanks, Carol. I'll have another look at it and decide what to do.
  • Oregon Trail suggests that it;s a western setting megrose, is that right?
  • I think you're right that if they've recently had an Oregon Trail short story they won't want another, but a Pocket Novel might well be different. I think it might be worth asking if they're interested before making a decision. No point redoing to suit them unless they're willing to consider it.

    Any chance it would suit Mills and Boon? It's the right length as it is, for them.
  • Thank you, snailmale. Yes, it's set in USA along the Oregon Trail in the 1850s. That's a a good point about asking PF if they're interested, Phots Moll. I'm not sure about Mills and Boon, but I'll definitely look into it. I hadn't thought of that.
  • The reason I asked was that a friend of mine,Diana Harrison has had several Westerns published by Robert Hale/Black Horse Westerns. C40000 words, published in hard covers.
    I think Black Horse might have changed their name but they are still operating in some way so it might be worth a look
  • That's really interesting to know, Snailmale and I'll look them up. Thank you.
  • I believe Black Horse Westerns were taken on by someone else after Robert Hale closed. But I'm sure if you Google them it will come up somewhere.