Many people may think that The People’s Friend is old fashioned. After all, it’s immediately recognisable among the rows and rows of other magazines that fill the shelves of newsagents and supermarkets. But don’t think for a minute that just because it looks as if it’s barely changed over decades (believe me it has!) that they haven’t moved with the times. Why not pop over to the website and see what I mean. They have a great website, a fabulous blog by the team at PF as well as those from writers, illustrators and other contributors.
Most importantly, they know their readers; they know what they like and what they don’t want to see in the pages of their favourite magazine, that’s why they’ve got staying power.
There’s a wonderful letter from a reader that enitirely proves the point and you can read about it over on the team’s blog
I sold my very first story to The People’s Friend and have sold many others since and they are one of the few magazines that still give author feedback. If they like your writing but you’re not quite there yet they will give you advice and encouragement that will help you fashion your story to fit their reader profile. You would have to pay enormous sums for one to one advice like that. I’d encourage any would be writers to look at the Friend. Put your prejudices aside and read a few issues, get familiar with what they are looking for. Why do you think they chose the particular stories in that issue? I can more or less guarantee that you won’t like all the stories, after all who goes into the library and wants to read all the books in every genre? Some things are not to our liking and that’s not a problem. We don’t all like the same TV programmes do we. Do we?
Take out a story you’ve got lingering in a folder somewhere and think how you would write it for the Friend. Or take a look at the stories in one issue and try and come up with your own story that might fit in that issue. Look at the stories; what they are about? who are the characters? what are their ages? Most people think PF is full of stories about old people WRONG – a BIG FAT WRONG. They’re the people who’ve never read an issue and have made assumptions.
Don’t make assumptions, get yourself a copy, read every story and try and write something yourself. Finish it, send it off, let me know how you get on.