We are always told to read the market we want to try and write for and this is good advice whichever magazine you want to write for but what else might help us to write the kind of story they want? Their guidelines are very clear and writers should follow them if they want to increase their chances. But do you remember the first time you sold to them? How long did it take you and if you've had a few sales with them - what do you think it is that they like about your stories?
We look forward to any advice you can give.
PS: This is what writer, Kay Seeley, has to say on the subject after she attended one of Women's Weekly's workshops.
Woman’s Weekly Fiction Writing Workshop
What they are looking for:
Stories that include universal feelings, the psychology of relationships and poetic writing. Stories reflecting your own experience. (i.e. write what you know)
Characters must be real people with real emotions. No stiff upper lips. Stories that make the reader laugh or cry. They do not accept stories that deal with the sordid side of life. They want pleasure, escapism, good visual descriptions. Stories must have warmth (Gaynor stressed this several times) and difficulties for the character to overcome. They will take cosy crime (i.e. where the crime takes place off stage, written from the pov of the victim or the detective solving the case). They like a good mystery.
Stories must have a satisfying ending – not a so what? Story.
All their stories are character driven.
1000 word stories must have a surprise ending (not necessarily a twist but something to make the reader go Ah!)
2 pagers (1,800 words) must have tension and character development. All stories whatever length must have strong plots where the characters are really tested.
Characters must be totally believable and must be changed by the end of the story. (character arc)
They are looking for originality and a wide variety of themes and moods, such as mystery, humour, relationships and family issues with warmth still an important factor.They recommend you read several issues of WW and WW Fiction Special to get feel for their audience. (Good advice - it really is the only way to do it!)
Thanks, Kay, for sharing.
Hope it helps!