I’m happy to report a much-needed glimmer of hope for fiction in women’s magazines! The latest issue of Best (26th July, issue 29/11) – a magazine which dropped its fiction in favour of more of the dreaded ‘celebrity gossip’ pages a little while ago – has a 6-page ‘summer fiction special’ AND it’s announced a short story competition with a first prize of …wait for this… £1000!
What are you waiting for? Whizz down to your newsagent and splash out 90p on a copy (and while you’re at it, check out the ‘Letter of the week’ on page 44, by yours truly – that was a nice surprise as I flicked through this morning!).
You can’t start collecting the tokens (you need 4 in order to enter and you’ll need an entry form from the 6 September issue) until next week – and I assume they will also be publishing full rules and regulations then too – but it doesn’t harm to do a bit of ‘market research’ by buying this week’s copy and reading the three stories that they’ve published, to see the kind of thing they’ll be looking for.
If you’re thinking it all sounds like a lot of hassle – researching the market, buying the magazine, collecting the tokens and then, of course, actually writing a story – just imagine how fantastic you’d feel, seeing your story in print AND holding a lovely cheque for £1000 in your sticky little fingers!
If you’ve never submitted a story to a magazine before (and it may be that anyone who’s already been published can’t enter – we’ll just have to wait until next week to find out) then why not make this your writing project for (what’s left of) the summer? You’ve got just as much chance as anyone else!
If you want a bit of extra ‘help’, Helen Hunt, who knows a thing or two about writing stories for the women’s magazines – as she’s had dozens – if not hundreds – published in the last few years – is running a couple of workshops in Northamptonshire to help aspiring writers. Have a look at her blog for more details here.
PS: If you want to tell Best how pleased you are to see the return of some fiction AND that they’re launching a short story competition, go to their facebook page and be as sycophantic as you like! If they get enough positive reactions, they may well decide to reinstate fiction in their weekly magazine, which would be fantastic.