27 Years of Success!

Tel: 0161 819 9922

Coffee Break Fiction for Women’s Magazines

June 3rd, 2011

Sally JenkinsBreaking into the women’s magazine fiction market is difficult. Over the last decade several publications have abandoned fiction altogether and at least one (My Weekly) now only accepts stories from writers already known to them.

So what’s the best way into this market? I did it with the sub-1000 word story.

The Weekly News publishes three stories a week, one of which is usually 800 words. Take a Break uses a 900 word story each week (plus more one-page stories in its sister magazine Fiction Feast). If you’re lucky enough to have a foot in the door already, My Weekly uses a 700 word story per issue.

Ten Tips to Short Fiction Success

1. Keep the number of characters to a minimum and tell the story from the point of view of the main protagonist.

2. All the action should happen in one place – there are too few words to move the characters around.

3. Use a short time-span – write a slice of life not a saga.

4. Start the story in the middle of the action – long-winded scene setting will exhaust the word count.

5. Focus on one small incident.

6. Avoid adverbs and adjectives – find stronger, more specific verbs and nouns.

7. Remove ‘empty’ words such as ‘quite’, ‘just’ and ‘actually’.

8. Dialogue brings characters alive and moves the story on – but avoid wasting too many words on tags such as ‘he said’, ‘she replied’ etc.

9. Don’t reveal everything at the beginning of the story – keep the reader guessing.

10. Use a twist ending – but it must be plausible and satisfying.

Market Notes

The Weekly News is read by both sexes and doesn’t often use romance or chick-lit stories. The editor does like crime, humour and ghost stories. She also uses a lot of twist endings.

Take a Break is looking for contemporary fiction aimed at women. The editor likes a twist that ‘arises out of the story rather than a detail kept from the reader’.

Full market details are available at http://womagwriter.blogspot.com/.

Sally Jenkins writes short fiction and articles. She has been published in My Weekly, The Weekly News, Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum amongst others. Her blog contains writing competitions, market news and general thoughts on the literary world: www.sallyjenkins.wordpress.com.

Comments Off on Coffee Break Fiction for Women’s Magazines

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.

About The Author: Diana Nadin

Blog Home

Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

Bookmark and Share