Ten Stories NOT to send to Woman’s Weekly

Woman’s Weekly at Blue Fin Buildings

I was lucky enough to be teaching with the very lovely Gaynor Davies at Woman’s Weekly last Monday. Here are a list of stories she currently does NOT WANT because a) they have too many already or b) they’d been done to death. So PLEASE DON’T DO THESE. hot off the press.

  1. Stories about weddings.
  2. Stories about funerals.
  3. Stories about women finding themselves by doing a bungee jump (who’d have thunk it!)
  4. Woman looking after neighbour’s cat/dog/budgie and coincidentally finding the man of her dreams! (Damn!)
  5. You think it’s a child’s first day at school (told from viewpoint of mum) but it’s actually a man leaving a woman. (that’s one I haven’t even thought of!!!).
  6. Retired husband getting under wife’s feet.
  7. Stories about adoption – mother finding child or child finding mother.
  8. Stories about infidelity – how many actual endings are there? Either she forgives him or she doesn’t.
  9. Stories in letter format. Or any other story structure that you have sold them a few times. (It was good the first time – but not quite so original on the third outing!).
  10. Children persuading elderly parents to downsize.

So what else is left? We asked Gaynor this. Here’s what she said. Stories about people, warm stories, quirky stories, believable stories. Stories with ends that do not read like the punchline to a joke. Maybe a bit of something sensual – but still within the Woman’s Weekly boundaries. These can stretch further than you think.

They  are always short of 1000 words (900-1000) and 2000 words (1800 to 2000) and also 8000 words for the Fiction Specials. Happy Writing.

And did I mention I have two new novellas out – both previously published as Serials for Woman’s Weekly – in case you’d like a feel for what they DO like 🙂

Someone Else’s Child. Click here for a closer look.

Facing The Future. Click here for a closer look.

My novel, Ice and a Slice, is also on promotion from November 1st. 99p for a full length novel. Click here for a closer look.
Thank you for reading.

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22 Responses to Ten Stories NOT to send to Woman’s Weekly

  1. Tracy says:

    Thanks Della. Putting my quirky sensual head on to write something.

  2. Patsy says:

    I wonder if I should be pleased or concerned that several of the done to death storylines had never occurred to me.

  3. Great post Della! Very useful – I appreciate it.
    Sharon from Kishboo emag.

  4. Julie Day says:

    Hopefully my story will fit in the heart-warming category. I have now given my character a big enough problem to get solved (your formula) and based it on personal experience (Gaynor’s words). I will also be working on later this year, the story that I read the start to at the workshop, as I know that will have a heart-warming family feel to it.

  5. That’s really useful – thanks, Della!

  6. Sue Blackburn says:

    Thank you for sharing that Della. Really useful 🙂 xx

  7. Diane Boaden says:

    You have spurred me on to write the story I have been meaning to get down to for ages! Thank you Della x

  8. Really good feedback Della, thanks. I hoped to get to the WW London workshop but events kinda took over as they do. Hope you are healing well.

  9. Sue Barnard says:

    Thanks for that, Della. Much appreciated 🙂

  10. Hi Della, thanks for this, really useful to know, now to get my thinking cap on.

  11. This has certainly encouraged me to finish a story I drafted a fortnight ago. Your mention of ‘sensual’ has reminded me why I started it in the first place! Thank you for sharing this, Della.

  12. Nicola says:

    Thank you for the useful information, Della. I haven’t quite hit the mark yet with Woman’s Weekly. But I will persevere.

  13. Linda Sprott says:

    Thanks as always excellent advice and you are so generous with your advice. Might use NanoWriMo to do some stories and 8,000 word specials.

  14. Alan Williams says:

    Really appreciate the info Della. Thanks so much for the insight. Anything that refines the acceptable story range is more than welcome.

  15. June says:

    No! Have recently sent a story about a wedding. No wonder I haven’t heard anything. Thank you so much for the tips. Back to the drawing board

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