I arrived home yesterday to the welcome sight of a nice A5 package sitting on the doormat – not only was it a magazine of short stories to read, but one of them was written by me 🙂
Scribble magazine is part of a small and not for profit publishers called Park Publications. Up until recently they produced three publications; Scribble, Countryside Tales and Debut, which is intended for newer writers. I actually submitted my story initially to Debut but, after hearing that it had been accepted, Park Publications, announced that due to rising costs and the economic climate, they were merging Debut with Scribble to create Scribble Incorporating Debut and publish both emerging and more established writers.
The result is a hugely varied magazine containing short stories of all sorts of genres. A warm, womag style tale might sit alongside a hardcore sci-fi story, a violent thriller or perhaps something a bit more ‘literary’. You never know what’s behind the corner which makes each tale something of a mini mystery in itself
Park Publications isn’t able to pay contributors for their work, but you do get a free copy of the magazine (or a vouncher for your next purchase if you’re a subscriber) and all stories published are entered into a ‘reader’s choice’ competition where everyone votes for their favourites and there’s cash prizes for the top three. In addition, if your work is not accepted, David, the Editor provides you with a critique full of hints and pointers about how you can get your writing back on the right track. I had two such critiques before I got a ‘yes’ from him and amidst the disappointment, I had to admit that his thoughts were constructive, friendly and most importantly of all, helpful.
I think Park Publications offers an excellent opportunity for new writers to get their stories into print and also for more established writers who’ve written something a little different that might not find a place in the more commercial markets.
If you want to submit a story to them, the fee is £3 plus an extra £2 if you would like a critique, which I think is excellent value for money. If you subscribe to one of the magazines, you can send as much material as you like free of charge (though they do prefer you to wait for an answer before submitting more) plus you can enter all the competitions they run for free as well. At £15 for a year’s subscription, I think this is a great deal too.
The magazines are accompanied by reader’s feedback pages, where people enthusiastically write in with their responses to the stories in the previous issue. Constructive criticism is encouraged (though strictly no abuse!!) and some readers are, ahem, rather frank in their views! I’ll have to brace myself for that, although for now, I think I’ll just enjoy the feeling of having another story in print, which is still quite a novelty for me…