Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Friday, 17 February 2012

Interesting figures

There are some interesting sales figures for some of the women's weekly magazines like Women's Weekly, Bella, Best, The People's Friend, Woman's Own, etc over on Womag's blog. The figures show a general downturn but Take A Break reigns supreme as does Woman's Weekly. And people's Friend haven't done too bad out of it either.

What's worrying me is that none of these magazines, in their comments, mentioned their fiction sections as helping to sell their magazines! Women's Weekly spokesperson put it down to cookery, celeb and home. It makes you wonder how much of a priority they put on fiction and whether they value it. It's a shame that magazine sales are, in general, falling with more people going on line or their Kindle to read magazine content. Keep that in mind when you are writing your short stories and haven't yet been published. Magazines are under pressure and both fiction and non-fiction writers may feel the squeeze as editors try and save money.

 It's hard to get fiction published in the magazines that carry them because they receive so many submissions - supply outstrips demand. There are too many writers vying for too few publishing slots and that raises standards, which is a good thing, but it also means that even if you have a good story, it may well still be rejected purely because they've filled their fiction slots. It could also be, however, that our stories just aren't hitting the mark and there are far better quality stories being submitted.

So our job as short story writers is to write the very best stories we can.  We need to up our game and view our subbing as a competition. Yes, we are in competition with all the other womag writers out there - some of them whom have been doing it for years. The best thing you can do is read the stories by those womag writers whose names you see frequently in all the major mags that take fiction. You can learn so much from them and aim your sights on achieving that standard in your own work. This is not as easy as it sounds!  One writer lamented that they tried to get their stories into People's Friend for eight years before they gave up! I tried for two years and got fed up and stopped subbing to them for a while until this week. I've sent three into them, two of which were rejected by e-mail within two days of posting (and that was second class!)

With all of this gloomy information do I think that we should just give up and that we would be fair better by putting our talents to other more profitable or less stressful pursuits? No I don't, and if you truly love writing and value your work then you won't either. If you're feeling fed up with all the rejections, and we all do sometimes, then best antidote I know is to keep reading the stories that do get published and keep writing and subbing, but I also switch to writing articles for a while. I've had far greater success with my non-fiction than my short stories and it gives my confidence a boost which gives me the motivation and lift I need to give the fiction another try.

So, in the style of a well known ballroom dancing competition, keeeeeeep wriiiiiiiiiting!

Julie xx


suzy doodling said...

Hi Julie,
I seem to have more acceptances for non-fiction than fiction, though I don't submit so much fiction, so only myself to blame. Keep writing, that's the best way to get better isn't it.

Julie P said...

Hi, Suzy

You're absolutely right!

Julie xx