Fiction in women’s magazines

Here in southern England we’ve had a hot, steamy week and several lightning storms. Also, a friend of mine has a lively, new puppy. So what with the humidity and the bouncing dog I haven’t felt much like felting.

Instead, I’ve been looking at the short fiction in women’s magazines. Woman’s Weekly is my favourite for fiction. My Weekly comes a very close second. There are other excellent story-carrying magazines, of course, including The People’s Friend and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast.

This type of short fiction is a very distinctive genre. If you wanted to write for these magazines you would have to read them for several months first. I’ve never seen fiction like it anywhere else.

Each magazine has its own readership. For example, The People’s Friend is for older people, whereas Take a Break sits at the younger end of the market. Writers should keep this in mind when deciding which magazine to send stories to.

I can only write that type of fiction after immersing myself in it first. It has a unique tone and flavour. Stories tend to be upbeat and focused on female protagonists. Sometimes they’re about single, domestic incidents. Other times they briefly and concisely cover a lot of action, even a lifespan. The narratives are firmly voiced, whether in the first or third person. There’s a great deal of telling, not showing.

Some of the magazines also regularly publish low price novellas called “pocket novels.” There is a blog post about My Weekly pocket novels here.

It’s been a useful week. I’ve signed up for a course in romance writing on the basis of it.

 

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