The Lady is the oldest weekly women’s magazine (founded in 1885), a quality national. Our annual short story competition is announced in an October issue (entry is free; the first prize is £1,000). We publish a short story every week.
What excites you about a piece of writing-
It is important – in a short story – that there is a beginning, a middle and an end. Although it may seem obvious, many stories that are sent in don’t have an ending! Believable, sympathetic characters and good descriptive writing is appreciated. It is a difficult task to deliver this in a story 2000 to 2200 words long, but it can be done.
and what makes your heart sink?
Depressing stories, clichéd stories.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
The Lady doesn’t have favourite writers. There are writers of short stories who send in their work on a regular basis, and often get their work published. They have read the magazine closely and know what we like! We’ve had stories by Ruth Rendell and Maeve Binchy in The Lady, so there have been some top authors in the magazine.
It would have been useful to have a detailed idea of what they really won't publish, just in case a writer sends stuff that is unsuitable. I have read the magazine and get the general idea of their readership but am still unsure if they would be willing to do something a little different if offered it.