I’m especially pleased that it’s been published in the same week as the magazine launched it’s new revamped look.
There are 16 extra pages, which means more space for features and fiction. The magazine guarantees to publish seven short stories – two more than before – and the usual two serials every week.
There’s a new fresher, brighter look, and the contents’ page has been moved from the back to the front. I could never understand why it wasn’t there in the first place. I guess that was just the quirkiness of the ‘Friend’.
I have special affection for this lovely magazine because they bought my very first short story. It wasn’t an immediate acceptance. In fact six months passed after I submitted it when I didn’t hear from them, so I took my courage in my hands and rang the fiction department – and thank goodness I did.
Apparently the editor who read my story had responded with an encouraging two-page letter of suggestions on how the story could be improved. Somehow it had got lost in the post, so the lovely man sent it to me again.
I re-worked my story, following all of his suggestions to the letter. It was like a master class in a discipline that was completely new to me. In all my years in journalism I had never tried writing fiction. It was a whole different mindset, so I really appreciated the chance to work with an expert in the field.
My story Stormy Weather appeared in an issue in October 2008 and it can be read on my website.
Take care all. xx