Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special

The good news for writers of womag (women’s magazine) fiction, is that Woman’s Weekly are increasing the number of their Fiction Specials, from 10 to 12 per year! Maths was never my strong point but I make that one a month! And that’s an additional 40 stories – at least – that they’re going to need.

Their sales must be OK – or on the up (I’ve just tried to find the circulation figures on the internet but didn’t have any joy. Anyone else know how to find them?) – and I do wonder how many people who buy the fiction specials are actually writers or wannabee writers of their stories? But whoever it is, I hope they keep on buying! (And if you want to write for this magazine, you really need to be buying every issue and studying the stories, to see the kind of thing they’re publishing).

As one of their ‘regular’ contributors (not as regular as some, although I do have a story in the latest issue), I got a special email the other day, telling me the good news but also with a few guidelines for lengths and styles that they are looking for – so I’m sharing it with you here – and then, what are you waiting for? Get writing!

“From January 2012 Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special will come out 12 times a year instead of its current 10.

This is thrilling news and we thought we’d take the opportunity to thank you once again for your work, and to encourage you to keep submitting your stories to us.

We need 1-pagers (900-1,000 words), 2-pagers (1,800-2,000 words) and “longshorts” (2,500 – 8,000 words).
We’re going to need even more variety in our stories, so, to repeat what we said in our letter at the beginning of the year, it’s really important to have the confidence to write in your own voice and to take a chance on being fresh and original. This doesn’t mean crazy sci-fi plots or non-WW themes. It means being subtle, with lashings of ‘Show Don’t Tell’.

For your guidance, we are still receiving more stories than we require on the following themes: “retired/redundant hubby getting under my feet”; adopted children being reunited with their mothers; brides with cold feet; death and depressing old age!

We also feel that not all our contributors read the magazines regularly (not you, of course!) and would recommend that you keep up to date with what we’re doing.

So forget Christmas shopping and fire up your computer. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.”

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16 Responses to Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special

  1. Thanks for this, very helpful. I’ve been a WW reader off and on since I was a child as my grandmother and mother read it. I’ve recently returned to it as they have revamped it since the last time I read it and I quite like it.

  2. Helen says:

    That is good news – especially when so many magazines seem to be cutting back on fiction. Back when I was trying my hand at writing for women’s magazines, I did submit a handful of stories to them, but never got anywhere. I did read a few copies to try and get a flavour of what they were looking for, but clearly didn’t succeed (oh well!). Perhaps I’ll buy a copy and have another look. Nothing ventured and all that…

  3. This is great news – thanks for sharing it, Helen.

  4. Keith Havers says:

    Thanks for the info, Helen. And the guidelines. Really encouraging news.

  5. Neeks says:

    Thank you for passing this information on to the rest of us, how very generous! I haven’t read them in a while, maybe I should go back and take a look. Thanks again!

    • Neeks, it may seem ‘generous’ (and thank you for making me sound so lovely!!) but other writers have helped me on the ‘way up’ (and I’m still on my way, incidentally!), specifically Kath McGurl on her Womagwriter blog and Alex Gazzola on his ‘Mistakes Writers Make’ blog (links are on my blog if you want to have a look at them). So I’m just paying that back a little bit.

  6. Amanda says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Helen!

  7. Thanks for this news Helen, I just had a rejection from them yesterday, they have another of my stories, so always hoping. With the rejection yesterday, they were saying send for guidelines, I could have saved a stamp, never mind. Always good to hear of more fiction.

  8. Alice says:

    This is really great news and thank you so much for posting this very informative email 🙂 I’m one of the wannabee writers who buys the fiction specials! I never miss one! It’s just a shame I haven’t managed to nail a story they like yet…oh well, must keep trying (and reading!)

  9. Stephanie Holliday says:

    Thank you. You’ve reminded me about them which is one (of many) good things about your blog. I get bogged down sometimes and can’t think what to do next and your blog often picks me up and sets me off again.
    I like the fact that you can write stories of different lengths for them.
    Congratulations on getting one of your stories in print.

  10. valerie says:

    Thanks for that, very kind of you.

  11. womagwriter says:

    Thanks Helen – I’ll post a link on my blog to here so more people can see the latest. It’s all about sharing!

  12. Kath Cavanagh says:

    Hi Helen – thanks so much for sharing. I’ve not had any luck so far with WW although I keep on trying. Maybe now that they’ve some extra space my chances or rather all our chances with them will improve. Good wishes


  13. I actually wrote a novel about a groom with cold feet and the very determined bride looking for a replacement for the wedding day! Bliss Chase, on Amazon. Unfortunately, I have personal experience of cancelling my own wedding and trying to warm up my own feet. They’re toasty now I’ve found the right chap though! 🙂

  14. Rose Bray says:

    Thanks Helen for your blog. I’m a woman who for a long time has enjoyed reading Woman’s Weekly and the Fiction Special. Although I read novels at other times, I find that these short stories are just the right length when I’m tired and need something to lull me off to sleep!

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