1. Bella (weekly. About 70p)
Some of my letters aren’t having quite the desired effect! Firstly, the National Trust Magazine and now Bella have treated my email as a ‘customer complaint’ and have replied directly to me. (Which, I am fairly sure, means my letter won’t be published).
You may remember that I wrote to the National Trust, pointing out my irritation with some of their over-zealous volunteer ‘guides’. My letter was passed on to the Customer Care manager, who then sent me a long email in reply – complete with video that he’d used at a recent training session! It did sum up the problem quite nicely and it was funny but was it too much just to print my letter and send me a pair of binoculars?!
Something similar happened when I wrote to Bella this month about the demise of their fiction. It was the first time I’d bought Bella for years and I was shocked by how it’s been ‘dumbed down’. There are lots of ‘real life stories’ and celebrity gossip. And of course, no fiction. They devote a whole page –which could be used for a story – to HOROSCOPES! Which is what I wrote about – with, I hope, a fairly ‘light touch’ but I got a serious (and depressing) reply from the magazine, explaining why they no longer carry stories: “After twenty fabulous years we simply wanted to update our look. The result is that we have added more fashion and celebrity features, but kept the old favourites such as moving real life stories, home, beauty, health, book, music, film and television reviews, prize puzzles, horoscopes, travel etc.Unfortunately, due to these changes, we no longer have the space to publish a Fiction page. I am terribly sorry to disappoint you. However, I have passed your comments onto our Editor who appreciates all reader comments, and will bear them in mind for future issues…”
Perhaps I’m being too critical (although I did also say that I ‘loved the new image’!). They won’t want to highlight their ‘failings’ on the readers’ pages, after all! I need to remember to praise the magazines a bit more! email: email@example.com
This month, I also wrote to – 2. ‘Love It!’ (68p, weekly)
This is another of the many ‘tabloid’-type weekly magazines, full of (often gruesome and stomach-turning!) real-life stories and celebrity gossip. This one does have a letters page though and they pay £15 for each letter published and there’s a prize (worth about £60) for the star letter. They also offer £60 for the top tip and £20 for all others (send a photo of your tip too). All the letters in the issue I looked at referred to articles from previous magazines, so if you want to write to ‘Love It!’ then you probably need to splash out and buy a copy.
I wrote in response to one of the articles in the magazine and without going into too many details – it involved an invention that you put in your pants!
If you want to write to Love It! then email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Love it! 2nd Floor, Swan House, 37 – 39 High Holborn, London WC1V 6AA. Send your tips to the same address, or email: email@example.com
3. Asda magazine doesn’t have a letters page but they do ask you to email them with your comments on the magazine. All I can think is that they haven’t had enough letters, so far, to make a letters page! So I have written to them in praise of all the lovely veggie recipes that they include in each issue (I’m not a veggie but some of my family are and it makes catering for them nice and easy). Let’s see what happens! If you want to write to them, just email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Golf World
My partner treated himself to this magazine at the airport when we went ski-ing, so I grabbed it for the letters page. It did of course though, set me quite a challenge, as I don’t know anything about golf! The magazine’s letters page, ‘Viewpoint’ prints lots of letters (all about golf, of course!) and although they only give a prize for the Letter of the Month, it’s a good ‘un: in the May 2011 issue the writer of the Letter of The Month was awarded a golf trolley worth £300!
If you want to write to Golf World, email: email@example.com
In the end I sent them a slightly tongue-in-cheek email about the fact that Britain now has the 2 top players in the world (Lee Westwood and Luke Donald) but we’re not hearing much about them. If we had the 2 top male tennis players in the world, the press would be going mad. I suggested Lee and Luke needed to get a bit sexier…a la Rafael Nadal…!! Ah well, it made me smile anyway.