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Help and advice?

edited November 2005 in - Writing Tales


  • I am so new to this, but so enthusiastic!  Everyone on this forum seems so knowledgable, but please bear with me, everyone starts somewhere.  I have a completed short story and the drafts of another couple underway.  What is my next step, who should I contact now?  Can I email my story to the ladies magazines?  Any help/advice appreciated/
  • If you're interested in writing for the womens' magazines it's useful to write to the fiction editor (enclosing a stamped addressed envelope) for their fiction guidelines.  These will tell you about word counts, layout, how to submit etc and give you a better idea of what they're looking for.
  • Try their websites too Sarajane.  Some have links for writers who'd like to contribute.  Good luck.
  • Welcome Sarajane,

    To assume everyone here is "intelligent" may be tad too complimentary. I don't think any of us claim such, rather the opposite.

    As for locating sales for your compositions, I fear some of the more experienced would advise that you have sort of put cart before horse. It's supposedly easier to choose your outlet then write to suit their requirements. However, don't be dispirited and as already mentioned research the newsagents racks etc., for likely editors and submit your work. Then, don't sit and wait but select an outlet that appeals to your style and write more for that market.

    Good luck.
  • Hello again, I just wanted to add that short story competitions are also a good way to get started, especially some of the smaller ones which don't have such a large number of entries.  Should you find the stories you're already working on don't quite fit the criteria for the magazines you can always look around for suitable competitions to submit them to.  (Although I do agree with the others above that ideally it's better to tailor what you write for the market you're trying to get into.)  Some competitions will also give you a critique of the story for a few pounds extra which can be worthwhile.  Keep up with that enthusiasm!
  • I appreciate the help and advice.  In fact I am logging in regularly to see if anyone else has replied!!!!  Many, many thanks
  • Don't forget the many excellent small press publishers.  Ideal for beginning writers as the editors are friendly, and readers are sometimes asked to choose the best story of the month etc.  Although you might have to subscribe, I would suggest Linkway and Scribble/Countryside Tales.  Good luck.
  • There are some great competitions in WM and WN. Good luck!
  • Welcome Sarajane - I can only endorse what the others have said, especially Dorothy's comments.  Is there a local writers' group you might join?
  • Hi Sarajane
    I'm fairly new to this and still don't really like admitting that 'I write'.  I have entered a few competitions, no sucess yet but I'll keep trying.  I've also thought of sending my work off to womens mags, my problem was finding the addresses to send them.  I found the following website very helpful as you can scroll down until you find the magazines your interested in. www.jbwb.co.uk.  Click on the short stories icon at the left hand side then scroll down.  Good Luck.
  • You have already had loads of excellent advice. Another helpful tip is The Writers and Artists Yearbook or The Writers Handbook - these give publishers addresses and a brief outline of what they want in terms of type & style, length etc. Best to buy now as the 2006 editions should be in the shops soon. For writers fed up with the narrow approach of the 'women's magazines' and who write really creatively - try www.randomactsofwriting.co.uk and click on the message
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