Magazine Madness Part 8: August Letters

This month I wrote to: Waitrose Kitchen magazine, TV Choice, Full House! and Mature Times.

1.Waitrose Kitchen – £1 in-store, monthly

The main focus of this magazine is food/cooking and all the letters in the August issue were about recipes or articles from previous issues.

The writer of the ‘Letter of the Month’ receives a prize (a hamper filled with food goodies in the issue I read) but other letters don’t receive a prize.

I wrote in response to an article entitled ‘Should You Go On Holiday On Your Own?’ in which two writers described their respective experiences of holiday-ing alone (with the emphasis on the food they’d eaten – or in the case of the man, who’d gone on holiday without his family, ostensibly to write, but who was soon bored, lonely and guilt-stricken – the food they didn’t eat!)

Write to: WK, John Brown, 136-142 Bramley Road, London W10 6SR or email: waitrosekitchen@waitrose.co.uk

2. TV Choice – 42p, weekly

TV Choice is, of course, a TV listings magazine, with lots of adverts and articles about – you’ve guessed it – TV stars and TV programmes.

They print about 5 readers’ letters a week, (‘Have you got views on telly things?’ is the call to action!) and pay £10 for the best letter and £5 for all the others.

It’s simple really  – just drop them a line about a TV programme you’re enjoying or not enjoying.  You don’t even need to read the magazine for this one, although I’d recommend a quick ‘flick through’ in the newsagents so you can see the style of the letters they print (the Letters page is at the back).

I wrote about the new programme on Channel  5, ‘The Batchelor’ , which, sad person that I am, I have to admit I’m rather looking forward to (I’ve seen the American version). In a nutshell, it’s a reality show, where one man (‘the Batchelor’) gets to choose a girlfriend from 25 women, via various ‘dates’ and activities (not those sort of activities! At least, I don’t think so….). Anyway, my complaint was, that the Batchelor they’ve chosen is the very undesirable (in my humble opinion!) Gavin Henson! Why?! It could have been sooo much better! (Bradley Cooper, for example! Or Jim Sturgess!) And basically, that’s my letter.

Write to: Choice Letters, TVChoice, Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London NW1 7DT.  Or email: tvchoice@bauer.co.uk

3. Full House! – 50p weekly

Who could resist the headlines on the front cover of this magazine? From the bizarre to the downright hilarious: “I married my DEAD boyfriend” , “I was TOO TUBBY to ride a HORSE!” and, my favourite, “Eeek! My knickers are HAUNTED!!” (complete with photo of a pair of pants with a ‘Wooooo’ speech bubble).

Full House! Pays £50 for letters with a photo or £25 for letters without a snap. Send them to FREEPOST FULL HOUSE!  or email letters@fullhousemagazine.co.uk

Lots of ‘tragic’, ‘triumphant’ and ‘spooky’ real-life stories, very much a tabloid format. ‘Just Kidding’ is a page of kids’ photos. They pay £25 for every one and they just seem to be a picture of a cute child and a line or two about who they are (need to be a relative, I guess  – not just some random child in the street!).  Email: features@fullhousemagazine.co.u

Then there’s ‘Potty Pets’ page. A bit like the kiddies one, they pay £25 for a photo of your pet and a few lines about them.  Send to vet@fullhousemagazine.co.uk

They also pay £25 for every tip with a photo. Email: cleverclogs@fullhousemagazine.co.uk

And this magazine pays £100 for your holiday story, with photos. They ask you to drop them a line at Travel, FREEPOST FULLHOUSE!  (yes, that’s the full address!)

Or email: features@fullhousemagazine.co.uk . The issue I looked at had a holiday in Bornea  – so probably the more unusual the better – and included some ‘facts’ about how much the holiday cost and the best time of year to go, plus some ‘insider tips’.  But it’s probably worth sending them your photos and a few lines about the holiday to see if they’re interested (and how many words, etc they want), before you go ahead and write the whole article.

I sent them a cute picture of my god-daughter in her Burns Night Tam O’Shanter. Maybe they’ll hold onto it until January and put it in then?

4. Mature Times – free, monthly (pick it up in your local library)

Mature Times is a slim newspaper-format magazine, definitely aimed at senior citizens. Its strapline is, ‘The voice of our generation’ and August’s issue included articles on a 91-year old ‘wing walker’ and, intriguingly, the news that the National Trust has ‘opened its doors to a comic strip’ and allowed the characters from The Beano loose on some of their historic properties.

I wrote in response to a front-cover article about libraries (author Philip Pullman, who is one of many campaigning to stop the closure of so many of our libraries, has said, “Libraries are not just a source of books. Many of us feel that they symbolise something more, that Britain is a civilised place.”)

They have a healthy-looking letters page, with about 12 letters published but there is only a prize for the Star Letter (which, in August, was 2 audiobooks).  So, you’re not going to get rich by writing to Mature Times, but if you want to send them a comment, email: editorial@maturetimes.co.uk

Or write to: Mature Times, Highwood House Publishing Limited, Highwood House, Winters Lane, Redhill, Bristol BS40 5SH.

Update: a couple of days after I emailed them my letter, I got a message to say they’d put my letter on their website. Here it is! Hmm… I suppose that means it’s not going in the magazine and I’m not going to be in with a chance of a prize! Ah well, I probably got my timing wrong. I will try again another time!

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13 Responses to Magazine Madness Part 8: August Letters

  1. Hi Helen,
    I write to t.v. choice often. No luck yet, but always hopeful. Saga is another good one. They have three star letters that they pay £50.00 each month. Other letters I think get a complimentary copy. Anything to do with being over 50, or on a previous magazine. My letter this month is about the Jane Fonda article. I love the photos of Jane, glam as ever, but the article is like a psychotherapy session. She recommeds sitting with parents, and asking them about their past. All well and good, but if the average Saga reader is in their seventies, seems a bit depressing if they’ve left it until now to talk to parents about the past. So, unusual for me I’m going to tell them I thought that was rubbish. Will keep you informed. Well done on the competitions from Patsy’s blog. Will look later.

  2. Susan – thanks for the info, espeically about Saga magazine. I will have to try to get hold of a copy. Can you buy it in the newsagents or is it subscription-only?
    Helen

  3. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks for some more good ideas. Do you know a railway enthusiast mag that takes letters? Not my usual reading but I’ve got some photos of a lovely little old fashioned railway station near Chester taken a few weeks ago when we were on holiday. I could use it for the holiday piece you mention as well (we stayed in a good campsite right next door to the station.)

    • Stephanie – not off the top of my head (the Railway magazines) but you could try a couple of things (after internet searches?)- WH Smiths may stock railway mags (the bigger branches) and/or The Writers & Artist’s Yearbook will probably list some. Worth a try! Helen

  4. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Just seen Susan’s idea about Saga mag. I’ve just written a piece about the things my grandmother told me about her Victorian childhood (part of a family history thing I’m doing) and sent it to Best of British mag and Yours. I’ll try Saga as well, so thanks Susan

  5. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks. I’ve tried online and can’t really see anything. I thought I’d try the library when I can get out (I slipped and damaged my foot so have been laid up for over a week – thank goodness for the internet!)

  6. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks to your encouragement about magazines I’ve just had an article accepted by Best of British. I’m amazed but wouldn’t have thought of doing it if it wasn’t for your blog. It’s come at a good time because I’ve got my foot in plaster and cant get out so thanks again.

    • Fantastic news, Stephanie! I’m really pleased for you. Let’s just hope this is the first of many! Get going on the next one now. Can I ask what your article was about – and when it will be appearing? Well done and I hope your foot is better soon!

  7. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Its called ‘The Dreaded Home Perm’ and is about the awfulness of having home perms as a teenager in the 60s (showing my age here!). Not sure when it will be printed – they cant say yet.
    Best of British is a nostalgia magazine. I don’t go in for that much because I’m too busy living in the exciting 2000s but I enjoyed writing it. It took me back to my family and childhood – made me feel warm and cosy.

  8. Stephanie – that sounds great! Well done again. I’m sure you’ve got some more of those up your sleeve (or should that be ‘under your hat’!?)

  9. Stephanie Holliday says:

    60 word stories? I think i read about these in one of your Blogs but can’t find it – was it for Real People or Womens Weekly or something else. I’ve just written one and would like somewhere to send it.
    Thanks

    • Steph, yes it’s Real People. Details here – and good luck! There is also (hurrah!) a ’60-word fiction’ slot – send them your 60 word (or under) stories and they pay £25 for those that they publish (one in each issue). Address for sending letters and 60-word fiction is: Real People, 33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DQ or email: letters@realpeoplemagazine.co.uk Remember to include your name, address and phone number.

       

  10. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thanks. I’ll have a go and let you know.
    The Creative Competitor has a free competition on at the moment (plus others). You have to put the synopsis of a story together around a picture they’ve given.

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