Woman’s Weekly: 100 Not Out!

Everyone’s talking about the Woman’s Weekly Centenary special issue, so I thought I’d better get a copy and see what all the fuss is about.

It’s two magazines in one (for £1.25): the ‘normal’ magazine (albeit very centenary-orientated, as you’d expect), plus a reprint of the first ever Woman’s Weekly which came out in 1911 and cost one penny! Ah, those were the days. Except of course, they were living in blissful ignorance of the terrible First World War just three years away – so, maybe not 😦

Anyway, on a more cheery note, the magazine does make for fascinating reading. Although ‘The Lady’ had been around since 1885 and can therefore claim to be Britain’s oldest weekly women’s magazine, Woman’s Weekly was the first magazine for the ‘ordinary woman’.

Some things haven’t changed at all: there’s still plenty of fiction (hurrah!) and readers’ tips (empty cigar boxes, for example, make a very useful ‘tidy’ for cleaning materials!) and amongst the crochet and lace instructions, there are some really funny adverts for various potions and lotions, claiming to be able to cure everything from a headache to ‘superfluous hair’ and to increase bust size (‘I had obtained a superb development in one month’s time’ boasts one apparently happy customer. Katie Price eat your heart out).

Alex Gazzola points out lots of possible article ideas to be derived from the 1911 edition on his blog here and although in one of his comments later, he does later admit that many of these have been picked up in the 2011 magazine (on their ‘How We’ve Changed’ pages), it’s still an education to see how Alex picks up article ideas!

Facebook Competition

And on a completely different subject, Tesco are running a writing competition (to win a Kindle!) on their Facebook page every day this week.

I’m not sure I want a Kindle but it would make a great Christmas present for someone!

Obviously you’ve missed Monday and Tuesday (for which you had to write the start of a crime novel and the start of a science fiction/fantasy novel), but there are still 3 days left, so if you’re on Facebook then why not have a go? (This is the only reason I’m on Facebook – truly – so I can enter things like this!). You have to ‘like’ their page to get access to the entry form.

The genre for Wednesday’s competition, which opens at 10am is ‘romance’ – and you have until 5pm to send your entry via their Facebook page.

A bit of advice: it’s not worth spending hours on this because it’s almost impossible to know what kind of opener is going to appeal to the judges (although the two that have won so far have been short and snappy with a good ‘hook’. Read them below).

They state in the rules that stories that mention Tesco in a positive light will be ‘looked on favourably by the judges’ but neither of the stories that have won so far has mentioned Tesco and they’re both really short – so don’t feel you have to use all 500 ‘characters’ at your disposal. Remember, this is not a mini saga, so it doesn’t have to be ‘complete’ – they’re looking for an intriguing start to a novel. Have a look here.

Good luck!

Winner of the Crime start of a novel (Toni Quandt):

‘The gun was still warm as I picked it up and hid it in my inside pocket. As I turned around DCI Proctor walked in and asked if I had any joy in finding the weapon……..’No, not yet’ I said…’

Winner of the Science Fiction/Fantasy start of a novel (Susan Harrison):

‘Marcus realised this was not going to be the usual type of day, as he stretched out to silence the alarm and discovered that it had levitated out of reach and that, draped in the duvet he was hovering 4 feet off the floor.’

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8 Responses to Woman’s Weekly: 100 Not Out!

  1. Not impressed by the Tesco competition. It’s only open from 10 to 5 which means anyone who goes to work might well find it impossible to enter.

    • Yes, Patsy, I agree, that does seem a little unfair on the ‘workers’ out there (if only I was one…!!!). Someone else has already pointed this out on the Tesco Facebook page but it doesn’t look as though they’re going to change it. But, at least, this is a Facebook competition that’s being judged properly and not by ‘public vote’/popularity contest!

  2. Thanks for this Helen, but I shop at the Co op, out at work, and don’t want a kindle, good luck to anyone who enters from your blog though.

  3. Hi Helen, thanks for the Woman’s Weekly, I’ll try to get one tomorrow.
    Talking of Kindle, for anyone who has one, there are 4 or 5 free Kindle writing books on Amazon. I”ve just downloaded them but I have not had a chance to look at them yet. You may be able to download a free Kindle app for your laptop so you can read the books that way.

    I have to say that last year my husband offered me a Kindle for Christmas but refused because I like the feel of books in my hands. Caved in about six months ago when a colleague brought hers to work, and I wouldn’t be without it now, it goes in my bag everywhere. anyway, plug for Kindle over.

  4. Alex G says:

    Thanks for the shout, Helen. Yes, it was a bit of a quick post to get the news out there about the edition, but then I realised, like you, that everyone was talking about it already and had beaten me to it, to some extent! I think a new edition is on the shelf tomorrow so it’s going to be tough to track down now, I fear…

    • Perhaps, as it’s a ‘special edition’, they’ll leave it out for a bit longer? All the shops I’ve been to had lots of copies left. It will be a real shame if people try to get one and can’t. But no, thinking about it, if there’s a new issue of WW out, the shops will just pack those others away, I suppose.

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