The market I’ve chosen to kick-start this new page is ‘Reader’s Digest’, a long-running and well-known magazine the world over. It’s published in 50 different editions and in 21 languages. It offers writers lots of opportunities, especially in the way of filler slots including readers’ letters about articles published in the magazine, jokes, funny anecdotes, end of article fillers, travel stories and gardening tips. The publication is also open to full length articles but the editor prefers ideas in the first instance. The magazine pays for all filler slots and articles. To find out more, here are some useful websites:
Reader’s Digest UK: http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/
Reader’s Digest USA: http://www.rd.com/
Reader’s Digest Canada: http://www.readersdigest.ca/
Reader’s Digest India: http://www.readersdigest.co.in/
Reader’s Digest Asia: http://www.rdasia.com/
Reader’s Digest South Africa: http://www.readersdigest.co.za/
This is a British magazine but one which is happy to receive stories from all over the world. The magazine uses roughly four true-life stories about cats and their owners in each issue. These cover a range of topics. In a recent issue stories included a cat owner taking her cat on holiday with her, a couple of unusual health stories and the story of a cat owner who is allergic to her own cats.
As well as true-life stories, there are lots of other slots to target offering prizes and gifts. The letters page covers four full pages and there’s a two-page section full of cat photos. Book reviews for books featuring cats are also invited. In the kitten section, there’s a caption competition and various other slots including kitten photos and a ‘Kitten of the Month’ slot.
The website is a little basic but if you click on the current issue, it’ll show you some of the pieces they’re publishing so you can gain a clear idea of just what they’re looking for:
My Weekly Letters Page, ‘All About You!’:
Letters and e-mails from all around the globe are accepted and unlike many letters pages, this one isn’t full of letters relating to previous articles published in the magazine. Therefore, anyone can write in.
A lot of the letters are accompanied by photos. Popular letters and photos feature children, animals, family members from past times and special celebrations. Only a few lines of text are necessary to accompany photos. In a recent issue the longest letter was 45 words and the shortest the grand total of eight words! All letters printed win a cash prize. Contact information can be found on the website:
This quarterly small press publication from the UK has gained in popularity and is now read all around the world. ‘Scribble’ runs an on-going short story competition inviting stories on any theme up to 3000 words. The publication prides itself on encouraging and inspiring new writers. Work is accepted from unpublished and experience writers. To find out more, visit the website:
The Guardian, Saturday Supplement, ‘Family’:
British newspaper, The Guardian, has a Saturday supplement, titled ‘The Family’. Inside, there are several opportunities for writers to send in pieces for specific slots. The paper pays a small sum if published.
The ‘Snapshot’ slot features a photograph of a family member. The writer then reveals the story behind the photograph.
Under ‘Playlist’, the writer explains why a certain music track is his/her or a family member’s favourite.
‘We love to eat’ is all about food and details the ingredients for a beloved family recipe. Information about how to make the dish is included here and what it is about it that’s so special.
Most newspapers have letters pages and ‘The Guardian’ is no exception but in the Saturday supplement, they also have a filler slot for ‘A letter to…’. This is usually a letter from the heart and is often from the writer to a family member – a son, daughter, mum, dad etc.
The paper’s website has a section devoted to this supplement where examples of the slots can be found:
Freelance Market News: * UPDATE MAY 2016 – Magazine has ceased publication *
‘Freelance Market News’ is an excellent research tool for writers and is packed full of markets for short stories, fillers, readers’ letters and articles and as well as running its own monthly writing competition, there’s also a page of competitions in each issue.
In addition to providing market information, you’ll find lots of writing tips and good advice. The magazine also offers a writing opportunity in itself. There’s a letters page welcoming writers’ views on all things writing related and the editor is always happy to see article ideas.
A sample issue and further advice can be found on the website:
This is a quarterly flash fiction competition accepting entries up to 500 words. Flash fiction is great fun to write and as it’s short – most competitions range from between 50 – 500 words, it fits in with other writing projects. ‘Flash 500’ has been going for four years and offers good prize money, with £300 awarded to the winning entry.
If you take a look at the website, you’ll see that there are some other exciting competitions to enter:
The People’s Friend:
This long-running magazine is primarily known for its short stories, which are character-driven, traditional, feel-good tales. The fiction team are hugely encouraging and often offer advice if you’re close to being accepted.
The magazine also publishes features and poetry.
They have recently given their website an overhaul and there’s a great ”Guidelines for Writers’ page, where you can then download guidelines for short stories, features and poetry. Click on the following link and it’ll take you to the right page:
Best Of British:
‘Best of British’ describes itself as ‘Britain’s Favourite Nostalgia and Heritage Magazine’. It’s a monthly publication, which invites articles on all aspects of British life from the 1930s to the 1980s, from holidays, to books, to clothes, to everyday life.
Take a look at the website for further information:
This small press publication is aimed at new and established writers. The editor, Christine Carr, is particularly encouraging to new writers who lack confidence and who are looking for that first publication. The magazine is subscription-only but Christine is always happy to send a sample issue for a small fee. She accepts poems, short stories and articles of any length and theme (bar erotica) from subscribers. Take a look at the following link for more information:
That’s Life! letters page:
The magazine has just upped its payment for letters printed to £75 per letter and a ‘not to be sniffed at’ £100 for the letter of the week. The page is full of letters and photos on all sorts of subjects, from family reunions, to funny things children have said, to hilarious photos.
You can find out more information about the magazine from the website: http://www.thatslife.co.uk
Letters can be sent by e-mail to: email@example.com
Take A Break’s Letters Page:
Around six letters per issue are featured on the ‘We’ve Got Mail’ page of this weekly women’s magazine. The star letter pays £75 and is usually a hear-warming family story. Other letters can earn writers £50. They usually publish one letter about an article previously published in the magazine and one letter which relates an amusing incident. The remaining letters cover all sorts, from pets, to poems, to events readers have been to.
To find out a little more about the magazine, go to the website: http://www.takeabreak.co.uk
Letters can be sent by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing Magazine: Competitions:
‘Writing Magazine’ can be bought in most good size newsagents in the UK. It’s a monthly publication for writers, packed full of useful information on all aspects of writing. The publication also holds monthly short story and poetry competitions. For anyone who likes a set theme, these competitions are ideal. Examples of competitions they’ve held include a short story centred around a journey and a Tanka poetry competition.
Writers who subscribe to ‘Writing Magazine’ will also received the publication’s sister magazine, ‘Writers’ News’. It’s also a monthly magazine and is full of market information. ‘Writers’ News’ runs subscribers’ only monthly short story and poetry competitions, again, usually with a set theme/form. To find out more about the magazines and competitions, go to the website:
Woman’s Weekly Fiction:
This woman’s weekly invites short stories from published and unpublished writers. Two stories are featured in each weekly issue, one of 1000 words and one of 2000 words. They also feature serials in the weekly magazine.
In addition to the weekly publication, there’s a monthly fiction special, packed with 20 stories in each issue.
They publish stories with a romantic theme but they’re also on the look out for fresh, original fiction including humorous stories and ones with a mystery element to them. Although they’re keen to avoid predictable, old-fashioned stories, the stories have a particular feel and style to them so it’s a good idea to study several issues to get a good feel for what they’re looking for. The website will give you an idea of the type of magazine they are and the readership they cater for. You can also find a link to the current fiction guidelines on the homepage:
This quarterly pamphlet accepts any genre of fiction up to 500 words and any type of poetry to 40 lines. Payment is in copy only. The editor, David Tyrer prints several other regular publications and has now set up ‘Awen Online’ and other zines. You can send work by post, including an SAE to:
4 Pierrot Steps
71 Kursaal Way
You can find out more information and see examples of published work at: https://atlanteanpublishing.blogspot.com
‘The Lady’ is renowned as ‘England’s longest running weekly for women’. Published continuously since 1885, it accepts letters and articles from both women and men. On the letters page, they like to hear your thoughts on previous articles published in the magazine, as well as your views on all sorts of other matters. ‘Letter of the Week’ wins a prize and there’s also a section on the letters page, titled ‘The Lady and I’, which offers the writer a prize for a short piece of no more than 350 words about how ‘The Lady’ helped the reader in some way. Articles are welcomed on all sorts of subjects ranging from history, to people, to places.
Describing itself on the website as the magazine ‘for elegant women with elegant minds’ , ‘The Lady’ is a little different from women’s weeklies such as ‘That’s Life!’ and ‘Take A Break’. So thorough research of the magazine is recommended before you start writing for it. You can view a back-issue on the website for free. Go to http://www.lady.co.uk and click on ‘Read our Digital Edition’.
Most of the national newspapers in the Uk give away a free TV magazine every Saturday with their paper so surely people don’t buy them anymore? Wrong. You’ll find several TV magazines at your local newsagents, from the long running TV Times and Radio Times, to TV Choice, What’s on TV, Total TV Guide and others. Each one is packed full of TV news, celebrities, quizzes and questions, as well as a very detailed TV schedule. Most also have a letters page.
In the majority of TV magazines every letter published receives a small cash payment.
So what is the editor looking for? Letters for the TV magazines haven’t changed much over the years. Essentially they all want your views about anything and everything on TV. If a drama series has moved you with its heart-wrenching subject matter and warm, believable characters, stunning scenery and sheer brilliance, then it will make an ideal letter. On the other hand, if you think one of the soaps’ storylines has got out of hand, it will also make a strong letter. It’s not just the programme editors want to receive letters about; it’s the people in them too.
As well as the above, the TV magazines sometimes have other mini-slots that they pay for e.g. ‘Rant of the week’ inviting a reader to let off steam about a TV star or programme. It’s a good idea to check the magazine as these slots can change.
Here’s the details for one of the magazines: TV Choice is a weekly publication inviting your views on anything connected to TV.
E-mail your letter to: email@example.com
Writers Bureau Annual Competitions:
‘The Writers Bureau’ run two annual competitions – one for short stories and the other for poems. The competitions run separately with the short story competition opening from the beginning of the year i.e. January 1st and closing on the 30th June. The poetry competition is then open from the latter date until the 31st December.
The total prize fund for each competition totals over £1000 so they’re competitions worth entering. Further information can be found on the competition page of their website:
‘Wanderlust‘ describe themselves as being a travel magazine ‘for people with a passion for travel’. Destinations the world over are covered. Thay particularly like ‘off-the-beaten-track destinations, secret corners of the world and unusual angles on well-known places are always of particular interest’.
If you like travel writing and are interested, they provide very comprehensive writers’ guidelines, which include what they look for in a travel article, tips, payment and how to send your script.
You can find a copy of this monthly publication in selected newsagents, but if you can’t get hold of it, you can subscribe. The magazine holds rolling poetry and short story competitions i.e. if you miss one deadline, your entry is automatically entered into the next competition.
Entries of up to 40 lines are accepted for poems in any form and short stories must be between 1000 and 3000 words.
The poetry competition awards a cash prize to the winner and there are other prizes for runners up. A cash prize for first, second and third place is given to the short story winners.
Entries can be sent on-line or by post. An entry form can be downloaded from their website: http://www.writers-forum.com
The Funny Times:
We all have funny stories and events which have happened in our lives. So why not share yours with ‘The Funny Times’?
This is a US publication which welcomes funny cartoons and funny stories. They pay for both and cover every topic under the sun. As long it has a humorous slant to it, they want to hear about it. You can find out more details from their submission guidelines page, including word lengths, payment and how to send your work:
‘Chapman’ is a literary magazine and one which is held in high regard. For this particular market, it’s all about the quality of the writing. The publication prides itself on publishing the best in Scottish writing (being Scottish based) but they do publish pieces from all across the globe. They welcome poetry, short stories, reviews, critical articles and debate.
The website: http://www.chapman-pub.co.uk/home.php is very interesting and also gives information about what they’re looking for and how to send a submission.
Back issues can be purchased from the website to get a feel for the magazine.
This e-zine recognizes that it isn’t easy to get published in today’s competitive world and so they are particularly encouraging to new writers.
Writers’ guidelines and more about the magazine can be found on their website: http://www.spinetinglermag.com but, as a brief summary, they’re looking for stories of between 1500-3000 words in the following genres: mystery, suspense, horror, crime and thriller. You can read published stories on the website to give you an idea of what they’re looking for in a story.
A small payment is made for each story published. They do accept stories of under 1500 words but no payment is made for these.
Please read their comprehensive submission guidelines thoroughly before sending a story.
Chat Letters Page, ‘We hear you!’:
The letters page typically publishes five/six letters each week. These can vary from a photo of the reader taken years ago, together with an explanation of the photo, to photos of funny signs, to letters about articles and issues covered in previous issues, to funny true-life incidents, to gripes about anything and everything, to photos of children, animals, family etc accompanied with some text. So there’s something for everyone there.
The magazine pays for letters.
To find out more about the magazine, visit the website: http://www.chatmagazine.co.uk
Letters and photos can be sent via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘The Daily Telegraph Just Back Travel Writing Competition:
This daily broadsheet invites writers to send in stories of their travel experiences for their ‘Just Back’ slot.
500 words is the upper limit and if your holiday story is published, you’ll receive £200 in a currency of your choice. £1000 is given to the ‘Just Back’ travel article of the year.
There’s a detailed terms and conditions page: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/4207858/Telegraph-Travel-Just-Back-competition-terms-and-conditions.html
You can view previous winning entries on the follow page: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travel-writing-competition/
Fish Publishing Competitions:
‘Fish Publishing’ have been running competitions since 1994 and their aim is to encourage new writers. They run four different annual competitions:
- Fish Short Story Prize
- Fish Flash Fiction Prize
- Fish Poetry Prize
- Fish Short Memoir Prize
Each competition has a different closing date so do look at this carefully when entering.
There is an entry fee for each competition. Excellent prizes are on offer for winning entries, together with publication in their anthology.
The competition is an international one, but all entries must be in English.
To find out further details, including rules, more about ‘Fish Publishing’, how to enter etc, take a look at the website:
The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook Short Story Competition:
Many of you will be familiar with the writers’ bible that is The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. For those of you who aren’t, buy a copy!! It’s full of listings including book publishers and magazines. It’s also packed full of information on all aspects of writing. Most bookshops sell the yearbook but if not, you’ll certainly be able to buy it from on-line bookstores.
Every year they hold a short story competition with a theme. The word limit is 2000 words and if you win, you’ll receive a cash prize of £500, plus a place on an Arvon residential writing course of your choice, as well as publication of your story on www.writersandartists.co.uk
The entry is open to overseas writers.
To find out the conditions of entry, visit the website: https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/competitions
‘Dog Fancy’ is a US publication, which uses mainly freelance contributions. They are always on the look-out for new contributors.
They require articles of between 850 -1200 words. Nonetheless, they don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts and prefer an idea in the first instance.
Comprehensive writers’ guidelines can be found on the following website: http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-magazines/dogfancy/writers_guidelines.aspx
This travel magazine describes itself as ‘an inspirational yet practical planning guide for cultural immersion travel, work, study, living and volunteering abroad’.
There are lots of feature articles on the homepage so you can see the type of piece they’re looking for as well as the reader you need to appeal to: http://www.transitionsabroad.com/
They hold three travel writing contests a year, which are free to enter: http://www.transitionsabroad.com/information/writers/index.shtml
They have an excellent writers’ guidelines page, with a comprehensive outline of all the sections they accept work for, as well as how to send an article, payment terms and information on the competitions:
The Letters Page:
This is a correspondence-themed literary journal, which publishes hand-written letters.
The journal is published three times a year. Each copy is free and downloadable as a PDF file.
They’re looking for ‘stories, essays, poems, memoir, travelogue, reportage, conversation, criticism, speculation, illustration, deviation, and more. If you can fit it in an envelope, we will consider it for publication. There is no theme; there are no restrictions’. But short is their preference.
There’s no entry fee and each published letter will receive £100.
See website for further details.
Writing Times Bimonthly Poetry Competition:
The theme for this competition is an open one and there’s no strict word limit.
There is an entry fee of £2 and the winning poet will earn £25, publication in the magazine and they’ll also be interviewed for the magazine.
Entries are accepted from all corners of the world.
You can find out further information from the website
The Bath Flash Fiction Award:
The Bath Flash Fiction Award is a short story competition, which is on-going. Entries of up to 300 words are invited. There’s an entry fee of £9 and the prizes are as follows:
1st prize: £1000
2nd prize: £300
3rd prize: 100
Two further stories will be picked for commendation.
Check the above link for rules and how to send.
The First Line Literary Journal:
Here’s what they have to say about themselves:
‘The purpose of The First Line is to jump start the imagination–to help writers break through the block that is the blank page. Each issue contains short stories that stem from a common first line; it also provides a forum for discussing favorite first lines in literature. The First Line is an exercise in creativity for writers and a chance for readers to see how many different directions we can take when we start from the same place’.
Their latest first line is: ‘George pressed the call button and said, “Mrs. Whitfield, you have a visitor.”‘
Stories should be sent in by 1st November. There are no entry fees and they pay on publication. They prefer stories to be between 300-5000 words. Poetry and non-fiction are also accepted. For payment, guidelines, submission details etc, see the submission page.
‘Almond Press’ have compiled a list of creative writing competitions for 2016. From the Reader’s Digest 100 word competition, to a playwriting contest, to a novel writing competition, there’s something for everyone.
If you miss one, then there’s bound to be another you can enter, with competitions listed the year through.
Take A Break’s Fiction Feast and Take A Break’s Specials:
‘Take A Break’s Fiction Feast’ and ‘Take A Break’s Specials’ are currently looking for stories for both magazines. You can write to them (by post only) for in-depth writers’ guidelines. The basic requirements are as follows:
Fiction Feast: 800- 1000 words in length. They want a strong story with a twist at the end.
Fiction Specials: Any length up to 3000 words. They do accept longer stories but these are only by prior agreement. All types of story are considered.
To send a story or to request detailed guidelines write to:
Take A Break
H Bauer Publishing
24-28 Oval Road
To get a feel for the types of story that will be accepted, read a few issues of the magazine.
1000 Word Challenge:
This is a quarterly-run themed competition for stories up to 1000 words. Here are some more details for you:
Entry fee: £5 or £8 for an entry with feedback
Take a look at their competition page for more details, including the latest theme and closing date.