I’ve got a story in November’s Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special, called ‘Notes from Miss Norris’. It’s only my fifth WW acceptance this year, which isn’t many, so please excuse my boasty-boasty trumpet-blowing for a moment.
A quick glance at my spreadsheet (below) shows me that I’ve sent Woman’s Weekly 12 stories this year, so far. They’ve accepted 5, turned down 4 and I’m waiting to hear about 3.
I have different colours for womag stories (yellow), competition entries (mauve), poetry (orange), successes (blue) and stuff that hasn’t yet found a home and can be sent out again (red). I LOVE my spreadsheet! In fact, when I get a rejection, the one consolation is, that it’s an excuse to fiddle around on Excel for ten minutes or so (OK, half an hour).
The inspiration for the story came when I was surfing the internet one day (as I do, quite often) and I came across a newsletter from a headmistress to parents, asking them to a) collect conkers and b) write out – and illustrate – their family’s favourite poem, in order to decorate the school’s new library.
It gave me the idea for a teacher who constantly sends notes to parents, via the children. What if, I thought, one of the mothers couldn’t read and didn’t have a ‘favourite poem’? How would she cope? And the story grew from there. So you see, it’s proof that surfing the internet is NOT a waste of time: it is valuable research for stories.