Back in 2019, Vick and I were keen to collaborate on a new project and hit on the idea of an independent magazine, which would bring together our skills of writing, editing, and design. We also both love books and reading and wanted to create a publication which was a bit more permanent, so it could be kept and dipped into again and again. We have always enjoyed good talks with friends, sharing tales and experiences, past and present – so we decided to publish these real-life stories, in a ‘book-a-zine’ form, which reads like a conversation in print. Friends On The Shelf seemed like the perfect name to communicate our concept. 

We published Issue One in May 2020, financed entirely by hundreds of small donations from our Founding Friends. Issue Two followed in November 2020, Issue Three in March 2021 and now in September we are really proud to bring you our fourth issue.


We are completely independent with all our income coming from sales of FOTS, plus a little from small businesses advertising with us. We produce the magazine without remuneration based from our homes and our contributors also generously write without payment (though we hope this will change as we grow). We are lucky to have a terrific team of helpers who work on a voluntary basis, around their other commitments. It is hard work but we love doing it, finding ourselves inspired every time by the amazing stories we are able bring to you, and also by the response we get from our growing band of readers.


However, to keep going we do need your help with selling copies of Friends On The Shelf. The best way of supporting us is to subscribe. It’s only £21.50 per year in the UK and includes postage. You can start with the current issue or the one after that, and from then on you will receive two issues a year - without having to do anything at all. Issue Five is out in March 2022 - we’ve already started work on it!


You may also, of course, buy any issue individually. We have copies of all our first three issues for sale, so if your collection is missing a copy, please go to the Bookshop page here or email us directly if you prefer, at friendsontheshelf@gmail.com


If you have any queries at all about which issues you have bought, please contact us on friendsontheshelf@gmail.com and we’ll be delighted to help.


And perhaps you will be inspired to write your own story - we welcome submissions. We look forward to our community of writers and readers growing organically, including stories from an ever widening base of people and places.


Rachel Swann, Editor, Friends On The Shelf. 

September 2021

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