Woman's Weekly Fiction Guidelines

(197 ratings)
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Woman Woman's Weekly Fiction Guidelines

We regret we can't accept stories by email. Please include an sae in case we have to return your manuscript.
Fiction is a vital ingredient of Woman's Weekly, the place where readers can escape and switch off. This doesn't mean predictable plots or old-fashioned romances. Escapism means getting involved in a really gripping tale with believable characters. Above all, we are looking for originality and a wide variety of themes and moods, such as mystery, humour, relationships and family issues, with warmth still an important factor. Try to be subtle in your writing and remember the maxim: "Show don't tell". We recommend you read several issues of Woman's Weekly and Woman's Weekly Fiction Special to get a feel for our audience.
Unfortunately, we can't offer criticism, but if your writing shows promise, we will contact you.

What we are looking for

For the weekly magazine:
Short stories of 1,000 and 2,000 words
Serials in 3 or 4 parts of 3,300 words each
For Fiction Special (At least 20 stories 12 times a year):
Stories of 1,000 to 8,000 words

General tips

° We read only typescripts. Handwritten work can't be considered.
° Double line spacing on one side of the paper only and wide margins.
° Number each page and make sure your name is at the top of each page.
° If sending stories from abroad, please enclose an international reply coupon.
° If you would like us to acknowledge receipt of your manuscript, enclose a stamped, addressed postcard.
° Please note that it can take up to sixteen weeks for manuscripts to be considered, and that we are unable to enter into any correspondence by email.
Please send stories/serials to:
Fiction Department, Woman's Weekly, IPC Media, Blue Fin Building,
110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU.


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Your comments

Sheila Hannah

Hi Gaynor My writing name is Mary for magazines and a published author last year. I plan to write a story for the Woman's Weekly Fiction magazine and maybe a ghost story or romanitc one. I live in Lancashire and love to write creative writing my hobby. What about crime stories? Sheila :)

Anna M Stott

Thank you for your quick response, Gaynor. I appreciate it very much. Best to you also, Anna

Gaynor Davies

Hi Anna, thank you for your enquiry. Yes, we publish stories from overseas readers. Please note from our guidelines (above) that we can't unfortunately accept them via email. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Sandra, thanks for your query. Payment is by negotiation when we agree to buy your story. Best wishes, Gaynor

Sandra Slack

Hi there. I'm just wondering how much you pay for stories. I am a budding novellist but could do with another source of income to fill in the gaps between the larger works. Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but I can't find any mention of it. Thanks

Gaynor Davies

Thanks, Maureen. Best of luck. Gaynor

Maureen Jeffs

Thanks for the answer Gaynor. My story, Murphy, is now around 1800 words and has been posted to you today.

Anna M Stott

Hello Gaynor, Do you publish American writers? I love reading and writing short fiction. I subscribe to magazines to read and enjoy the short stories and then I want to try and write one and submt it to the magazine. I am not a rich person and cannot subcribe to every magazine I would like to. Hence, my above question. It would be silly for me subscribe to your magazine if there was no chance of ever being published. Best, Anna

Gaynor Davies

Hi Jenny, If you can weave in another 50 words without spoiling the story, then that would be better. Thank you. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Maureen, yes, that length is acceptable - 1,800 words is better, but we can still work with 1,700. Look forward to hearing from you. Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Flora, please email with full details. Gaynor

Maureen Jeffs

Hi Gaynor, Is a story of approx 1700 words acceptable for the Fiction Special. Maureen


Hi, I posted a story to you in November and reading through your guidelines now have realised i didn't send a s.a.e with it for acknowledgement of it's delivery. The title was 'Beauty'. Is there any way to check it has been recieved? Thank you.


I have written a story but it has a word count of 850 words. Is this acceptable or should I lengthen it? Thankyou.

Gaynor Davies

Hi Pat, you should have heard back from us by now. Can you please email and explain what has happened and we will sort this out for you. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Helen, thank you for your enquiry. Payment is by negotiation when we accept the story. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Patricia, lovely to have you back with us and congratulations on your recent success with WW. Look forward to hearing from you again. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Carolynn. You should have heard back from us by now. All stories are read and we reply to them all to say whether it's a 'yes' or 'no'. Our reply appears to have been lost in the post. You are welcome to send in your story again. Please mark clearly on your covering letter that it is a resubmission. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Tara, I'm sorry you haven't heard back from us. We reply to all stories within 4 months so our reply must have got lost in the post. Please do resend it, clearly marking that you are resubmitting 'Here comes the bride'. Thank you. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Laura, I'm sorry you haven't heard back from us. Our reply to The Diner must have got lost in the post as we always reply within 4 months. Would you mind posting it again, and do add your new story to it. Please clearly mark on your covering letter that you are re-subitting The Diner. Thank you. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Suzy, you should definitely have heard from us by now. It takes us up to 4 months to get back to people who have submitted stories so I think your story must be lost in the post - we do reply to all stories. If you would like to send your story in again, clearly marking on your covering letter that it's a resubmission, we'll read it as soon as possible. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Siobhan, sorry we've not been back to you. We've had some technical problems. I've now replied to your query. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Ann, I'm sorry you're still waiting to hear from us. It does take us up to four months to respond to stories as we receive so many but you should hear from us soon. Thank you for your patience. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Siobhan, I'm sorry to hear you've been waiting all this time to receive a reply. It does take us up to 4 months to get back to people who submit stories, but as you have waited so long, it would seem your stories have been lost in the post. If you would like to submit your stories again, clearly marking in a covering letter that you are sending duplicates, we will get back to you as soon as possible. Best wishes, Gaynor

Ann Leo

Hello Gaynor I submitted a story about three months ago and am worried that you may not have received it. I did ask at my local post office about international coupons and it was like I had asked about green shield stamps. The post office attendant informed me that they were no longer in use. I suppose all I can do is wait it out and keep my fingers crossed. I Kindest regards Ann Leo Cork Ireland


As WW haven't replied yet, if you look down the comments you will see that all accepted stories are paid for and the rates are discussed at time of acceptance.


Hi Gaynor, Sorry you must be sick of this question. You say stories need to be 1000 or 2000 words, sorry but how exact does that have to be, is say 100 either way acceptable or does it have to be within say 10 words? Thanks, Mandy

michelle rutter

was my message deleted? i just wondered if you got paid if woman weekly accepted the story?

Michelle Rutter

Hi it may seem like a stupid question but i am unsure. do you get paid for stories you send in? kind regards


Hi again Gaynor, I've emailed Maureen at this address twice now but haven't recieved any response.

Deborah Connolly

Hi Gaynor Yes thank you. Just waiting on the stories I submitted on 26th Sept and 2 November. I have e-mailed Maureen. Best wishes Deborah

Gaynor Davies

Please see my reply above, Helen. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Helen, yes we accept stories all year round and yes, 2,000 words is acceptable. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Sheila, yes we welcome crime stories so long as they are not too gruesome! Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

We prefer stories to be either 1,000 or 2,000 words long. It's hard to fit the in between lengths in but occasionally we can do this. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Deborah, You should have heard back from Maureen by now. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Sarah, I'm afraid we have no stories in the office going back that far so they appear to have been lost in the post on their way back to you. If you would like to resubmit them, clearly marking that they were first submitted in August, we will deal with them as soon as possible. Best wishes, Gaynor

Gaynor Davies

Hi Carol, thank you for your query. I'm afraid we receive so many stories every month that it just wouldn't be practical for us to accept them via email. Sorry about that. Best wishes, Gaynor

Deborah Connolly

Thanks Sarah. That would make sense. It would be nice to know they have been considered even if rejected! I hope however that you get a thumbs up soon. Deborah


Hi Deborah, I am guessing that the replies were lost in the post (Gaynor has suggested this in some of her other replies) as I have received a rejection from one sent after the ones I am querying about which seems a bit odd unless they are lost :-( Hopefully we will find out soon! Sarah

Deborah Connolly

Hi Sarah I haven't heard anything either. I have e-mailed Maureen as per Gaynor's advice to one of the messages. Haven't heard back. Any advice now gratefully received! Deborah


Hello, I submitted two stories in August and received back the sae stating they had been received, but have not heard anymore. What would be best to do in this instance? Thanks, Sarah


Hallo Gaynor My question seems to have disappeared from the list! Are you accepting submissions from new writers and is 2000 words acceptable? Many thanks.


Hallo Gaynor I'm a little confused about whether you're currently accepting stories from new writers. Is 2000 words acceptable? Many thanks.

carol ord

Hi, wouldnt emailing be an easier way to receive stories? Is there a reason why they can't be sent via email?

Deborah Connolly

Hi Gaynor Over 5 months ago, I started submitting stories to Woman's Weekly and I haven't heard anything. I have sent off 10 which were definitely received in the WW office because I got my postcards back confirming receipt. It is possible they have been lost, but I can't get an answer from anyone by email, phone and currently this website. I have a couple more stories but I am not sure how to proceed. Best wishes Deborah Connolly

Sandy Bruce

Hello. In the advice you say that stories should be between 1 and 2 thousand words but there seems to be an issue about a story which is more or less in the middle of these two lengths. Is it more realistic to say that you prefer stories to be either 1000 or 2000 words long?

R.L Tighe

Oops sent this twice as couldn't see my comment the first time, just realised also that the question has already been answered below.

R.L Tighe

Hi there Could someone please advise me where I can access information regarding pay rates. Many Thanks

Deborah Connolly

Hi Gaynor I have sent off 12 stories in 3 lots of 4 starting on the 18th of September and although I received confirmation they were all received, I haven't heard anything since. I have another 2 that are ready but am not sure what to do now. Can you help?


hello Gaynor, i was hoping to write for womens weekly im interested writing about sex and relationship i was wondering if you could help me get started please email me on thank you


Hi My Lovelies do you accept poetry for printing in your magazine please, as i have a number of poems that i have been writing over the years on a range of different subject matter. Thank you. Dawn x


Do you take poetry?


Hi Editor I sent a short story through to you from NZ and have heard no reply. That was twelve months ago. How do I find out what happened to it? I paid a fair bit to post it, along with reply paid vouchers. Not to mention all the effort I put into writing and editing. Is their an email I can write to about it?

Helen Rolfe

Dear Editor, I would like to write and submit a story...I live in Sydney, Australia. Am I able to purchase international reply coupons so that you would be able to send me confirmation of receipt? And if you decide not to use the story, is the work returned to myself or destroyed? Kind regards, Helen.


Hello, I am considering sending you some stories and I would like to make sure that I understand what you mean by "double line spacing". Does that mean also double spacing between the letters (characters), or just between the lines? How should I set off the paragraphs? I use Word for typing my stories, and usually leave 3 blank spaces at the beginning of the fitst line of each paragraph. Are standard Word 2.5 cm margins all right? Thank you for re.

Pamela Wallbridge

Hi Gaynor, Have just received back my manuscript for 'The Watch'. I have read the guidelines regarding word count but I was wondering what would be the optimum size in order to be considered for publishing in the Fiction Special. My story was 3728 words long, but I have others of all different lengths, and would rather send in one that is the most suitable for the magazine. Many thanks, Pamela Wallbridge

Sonya Dodd

I sent three short stories to you on 22nd May (18 weeks ago) for the attention of Clare Cooper at IPC. I haven't heard anything or had my stories returned. Please could you let me know whether there is any progress with my submissions. Sonya C. Dodd

Chrissie Honour

Hi Gaynor Regarding the serials in parts - is the 3300 word direction for each part absolute or is there any room for variation? In my case, first part is 4142 and the other two parts are equally divided at approx 3450 each. Please advise! Many thanks. Chrissie Honour


My message seems to have vanished...???


would you consider fiction involving dilemmas facing grandparents/stepgrandparents?


In your current WW Fiction Special, Gaynor mentions workshops in Manchester... Can you direct me to info about these, please? Thank you. K


Hi there, my name is Minna and live in South Africa.. I would love to send in some of the stories I have written - please can you tell me what an international reply coupon is. Thank you, look forward to your reply.


How much does your magazine pay for an article you publish. I am unable to find any info on this...apologies if it is posted somewhere and I missed it.

R Mills

Do you accept seasonal short stories?

Jo Payne

You once bought a story from me for the fiction special (A Married Man by Joanna Hill) but that was in 2004! I still have the edition with my story in it, and I am still proud of it. It was Clare Cooper I spoke too, all that time ago, and she even said if I wrote more then I should send them in. I so wish I had done this, but life and jobs and bringing up children, simply got in the way. Now my children are grown up and I am writing again, and will be submitting more stories. I just wondered, in my covering letter, whether to mention that one of my stories has already been published in WW, or is that completely irrelevant? Thanks, Jo

Aliss Langridge

Hi, I sent in a story called 'Sister' while ago but haven't heard anything. Did it get there?

Aliss Langridge

Hi, I sent in a short story 'Sister' under a pseudonym but I haven't heard anything? Is there any news regarding this?

Aliss Langridge

Hi I sent in a short story a while ago now and have not heard anything either way. It is called 'Sister' and I used the pseudonym 'Alice Mellors.' Will I hear anything about this soon?


I posted a short story to the Fiction Department on 29th April. I included a s/e envelope for acknowledgement of receipt. Not heard anything as of today (17th May). How can I check it has arrived?


where can i read any of the fiction, short stories. I don't see any links. thanks

Steve Clark

Thanks for your prompt response to my enquiry regarding fiction guidelines. Hope to be in touch soon.


how do I go about putting a lost physic story for my cat in magazine cat has been missing 4 months and I would love help finding him.


Hi Hayley, Thanks for your reply; whilst waiting I managed to get it down to exactly 1000; sort of focuses the mind!


I would aim for between +/- 50 words either way. I have sold WW stories of those lengths and they have sometimes been edited a bit but have still been accepted. I understand that under is usually easier for them than over.

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