I’ve bought Sue Moorcroft’s excellent book ‘Love Writing’ and I managed to stay awake for about five minutes last night to read a few pages. And then I woke up again at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep! This is sooo not like me! I am a ‘head-hits-the-pillow-and-I’m-gone’ kind of person but I think my brain has been over-stimulated. I am really tired!!!
Today I’ve been to an ‘after tea’* session lead by writer Vivien Hampshire and entitled ‘Save Our Short Stories’ (the latest on where and how to sell them). She was referring of course, to the gradual demise of short stories in women’s magazines which has recently been exacerbated by Take A Break’s decision to drop their weekly ‘Coffee Break’ story. (Booo!)
Vivien has written an article on the subject for the September issue of Writing Magazine (out in the next few days) and this session was something of a ‘sneak preview’ of her findings from all the magazines that completed her questionnaire regarding their policy on fiction.
Vivien and the magazine probably wouldn’t thank me for telling you too much at this stage, so I’ll just say that, although many of the magazines claim to have dropped fiction because their readers no longer want it, it’s not all bad news: Woman’s Weekly and People’s Friend are buying more fiction than ever (a few hundred stories each per year) and there are also the foreign markets to consider (eg: Australia), which I must admit, I always overlook. Maybe that should be a resolution after Caerleon – get some stories off to some of those! The submission details for some of the overseas magazines are, as always, on the wonderful Womag website.
*it’s one of Caerleon’s rather nice little ‘quirks’ that delegates are given the chance to volunteer to run ‘after tea’ sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of the week: hour-long sessions on anything vaguely to do with writing and in which they have experience or a skill. I am doing mine (‘So You Want To Teach Creative Writing?’) on Thursday afternoon and I’m starting to get a little nervous! What if no-one turns up? (or – and this is much less likely – what if about a hundred people try to squeeze into the room?!)