If you'd like to write for Friends On The Shelf, we hope the following notes will be helpful. Please also see the basic requirements for submission, listed below.
FOTS is a conversation in print. We are interested in honest and truthful first-person accounts which reflect the infinite variety of events in everyday life - sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and often both. Whatever the style of writing, our goal is to spark a sense of camaraderie and recognition in our readers.
We're looking for pieces which have YOU are at the centre of the story, rather than journalistic commentary or observational pieces. A story involving something familiar from everyday life can work really well, especially if there are unexpected twists and insights. A story does not have to rely on being outlandish or bizarre for interest.
While our goal is to be readable and entertaining, this does not necessarily mean shying away from painful or difficult subjects – the important thing is to draw the reader in.
We are keen to encourage a wide variety of voices and subject matter – we love to be surprised!
I am eager to help get the best out of your piece so we can present your work in its best possible light.
Rachel Swann, Editor, Friends On The Shelf.
1. We do not publish fiction.
2. All pieces submitted must be previously unpublished.
3. We read everything we are sent - we enjoy this very much - please do write in! Not everything will work for us but we promise to give you an honest response. This may not happen instantly as it is a very small editorial team - so please bear with us.
4. We work closely with contributors on their pieces - this is an important part of our approach. Every piece is edited. Sometimes we request re-writes, usually when we really like the piece and have it in mind for publication. Any work is always done in collaboration with you and only if you are willing. We recommend that you read our first issue to get a feel for the tone of the pieces we have included.
5. We will not be able to publish everything we receive.
6. In each issue we need to balance out different voices, styles and subject matter and consequently may request to hold over pieces for a forthcoming issue.
7. Please send contributions as soon as you can but by Tuesday 3 September 2020 at the latest.
8. Publication of Issue 2 will be in November 2020 and Issue 3 in March 2021. These publication dates may vary.
9. We regret that we are currently unable to pay our contributors though as the magazine grows we hope this will change. All contributors will receive a free copy of the magazine in which their work is featured and can purchase further issues at a discounted price.
10. Word count. Submissions can be up to 1500 words, unless it is to be considered for a 'long read'. We would like to include one or two longer reads in each issue. These can be up to 2000 words maximum. Please indicate if you wish your piece to be considered as such.
11. If your piece is accepted, you may choose to be published anonymously.
12. We will not publish any pieces which involve character defamation or compromise of privacy. The editor’s decision is final.