In May 2015’s UK Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special I have my very first story publication. 🙂 It’s a bit surreal to think that my piece is one of the ’20 Brilliant Stories’ advertised on the cover, but on page 34 there it is; one of my own favourite stories to date, called SPRING EPITHET.
It feels like this has been a long time coming, as the story itself was actually written in late 2013 for a competition with the prompt of ‘Spring’. When it didn’t succeed there I brushed it off and sent it off to Woman’s Weekly via post in October 2014. Then, I was pleased (slight understatement – ‘astonished’, ‘excited’ or ‘crazy-happy’ might fit better) to find an email from the Deputy Editor in my inbox in January 2015 to say that they ‘liked the story very much’ and would like to purchase it to feature in their magazine. Paperwork organised and payment agreed, it’s great to finally see it in print in their May Fiction Special. Not only that, but they have paired it up with some lovely artwork that I really like.
It’s not just about seeing my name in print, but I also feel proud to be published alongside stories by authors such as Della Galton with the final page of the story even opposite Jane Wenham-Jones‘ column for the magazine – both of whom I met a couple of years ago when I attended one of the Woman’s Weekly Writing Workshops in Manchester. [They are hosting some more, currently only in London – click here for details] At that time I had submitted one story to the magazine, but was unsuccessful and speaking to Della, Jane and Gaynor (the Fiction Editor) I understood why. My first attempt had been far too simple and cliché; it was early into my short story writing and I hadn’t yet quite got the balance right. Spring Epithet was my second submission to Woman’s Weekly, and I’m glad I waited until I had some more experience of writing under my belt because it seems that it really paid off.
Seeing my story in such a staple of short fiction like this has spurred me on and given me some much needed self-belief. I loved this story and I’m so glad it’s found a home where other people can enjoy it (I hope). I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of the magazine as a contributor but it’s well worth the £1.99 price – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the other stories (my fave so far is Husband No. 6 by Jane Bidder). So, if you do invest in a copy – on the UK shelves from Tuesday 7th April – I’d love to hear from you once you’ve had a chance to read my work!