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 than most magazines, which could be kept and dipped into again and again. We have always enjoyed good talks with friends and 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. Since then we have published five magazines in total with the latest issue out in March 2022.

We are completely independent with all our income coming from sales of FOTS. We produce the magazine without remuneration based from our homes and our contributors also generously write without payment. We are lucky to have a terrific team of friends who lend us their time and skills. 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 to sell our magazines. 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 automatically receive two issues a year.


You may also, of course, buy any issue individually. We have copies of all our 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


If you have any queries at all about which issues you have bought, please contact us on 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. 

March 2022


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