WRITING for SCRIBBLE
the short story magazine.
A guide for writers
WHAT KIND OF STORIES DO WE REQUIRE? We publish stories on a wide range of subjects - we are, if you like, an alternative to the mainstream'women's magazines'. These are fine if you like writing or reading a particular type of story, but not much use if you write the sort of stories (horror, crime, contemporary fiction etc) that do not appeal to the readership of that type of magazine. And while we always welcome 'women's fiction', we also like humour, horror,crime, science fiction, supernatural,contemporary stories, etc. So if you want a real chance of being published in a quality print magazine (and perhaps winning £75.00), why not send us your story? Even if it isn't quite right for us, our editor will tell you why (if you have requested a critique). We need stories that are fresh and original; stories with gripping plots; stories about interesting characters that the reader can sympathise with. Most of all, we want stories that entertain the reader. While all stories received are read thoroughly and given every consideration, the following points may be helpful in your choice of material...
SCRIBBLE is read chiefly by adults, therefore, realistic dialogue is acceptable. However, language may be toned down if the editor feels it may cause offence. Your story will stand a better chance of success if it has a beginning, middle and satisfactory ending (not as obvious as it sounds), and contains believable and interesting characters. Stories should appeal to as wide a range of readers as possible. Reasons why a particular story is unsuitable may be many and varied. For instance, it may be because we have just published a very similar story to yours. For this reason, it would probably be helpful to study at least one or two recent issues of the magazine.You should also think carefully about taking advantage of our critique service, which is specially designed to assist the newer writer.
Stories should be no longer than 3000 words.
Your work should be typed or word-processed on single sides of A4 paper and preferably double-spaced. A s.a.e. with sufficient postage MUST be provided for reply or return of unsuccessful mss.
If you do not require unsuitable work to be returned, we can contact you by email if preferred.
If you are not a subscriber, please remember to enclose the appropriate entry fee.
Please provide a cover sheet with name, address and title of story and remember to number your pages and clip them together. Please only send one story at a time and wait for the decision on this story before sending another. This may help you to avoid repeating mistakes – especially if you have asked for a critique.
Annual subscribers may, if preferred, submit work by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not open attachments so please insert your story in the main body of the email and enclose your full name and address including postcode. Please note that copyright on all material we publish remains with the author. We expect First UK Publishing Rights only. This means that you may offer your work elsewhere after we have published it.
SOME EXAMPLES OF STORIES PUBLISHED IN SCRIBBLE...
MOONRISE AT BELTANE by Fiona Curnow ‘A dark historical story of sacrifice and honour set in the Celtic period.’
(Scribble no. 5 spring 2000)
GREEK OLIVES by P. D. R. Lindsay ‘A subtle and amusing tale of ghostly revenge.’
(Scribble no. 8 winter 2000)
THE END OF THE SEASON by Elaine Cowley ‘A poignant account of the sudden change from child into adult.’
(Scribble no. 8 winter 2000)
THE WITCH ON THE HILL by Nevill Strange ‘A contemporary thriller about a young would-be criminal and his elderly ‘victim’.
(Scribble no 12 winter 2001)
THE SWEETSHOP by Mario Petrucci ‘A charming and nostalgic account of a shop-keeper anxious to keep the old traditions alive’
(Scribble no. 13 spring 2002)
THE NEW LEAF by Marcus Sims. ‘A sci-fi story about time travel, with an ingenious twist.’
(Scribble no. 14 summer 2002)
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE: REWARD by Andrew Giles. ‘Western yarn about death in the desert’
(Scribble 14 summer 2002)
THE WALBERSWICK HORROR by Charles Pearson. ‘Tongue-in-cheek horror set in a future world.’
(Scribble no 15 autumn 2002)
COLOUR ME BLUE by David Bonnett. ‘A poignant account of a young man’s relationship with his cynical father.’
(Scribble no 24 winter 2004)
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING by Christine Round. ‘A fascinating story of life on a distant planet where the inhabitants are all blind’
(Scribble 27 autumn 2005)
FINDING TIME by Sarah J. Bryson ‘Contemporary fiction about a day in the life of a schoolteacher driven to distraction by her pupils’ problems and her own distressing personal worries’
(Scribble 32 winter 2006)
BRIGADIER GIBSON’S DAY by Patrick Monen ‘A poignant story about an ex-military man’s loneliness and grief’
(Scribble 33 spring 2007)
FOREIGNERS by Antony Tomlinson ‘A gritty, contemporary tale about one man’s prejudices.’
(Scribble 43 autumn 2009)
ANNA by Sandy Neville. ‘Holocaust story - not for the faint-hearted.’
(Scribble 48 winter 2010)
THE LEVITATION GAME by Roger Harvey. ‘A quirky story about a middle-age woman’s life changing experience.’
(Scribble 49. Spring 2011)
ONLY ONE GOT AWAY by Gail Richards. ‘A grim, contemporary tale of domestic abuse.’
(Scribble 49. Spring 2011)
THE SHOREBRIDGE CHILDREN by Ryan Coull ‘A science fiction chiller about the mysterious disappearance of young children.’
(Scribble summer 2012)
THE HOWDY DOODY LETTERS by Madeleine Purslow ‘Fascinating account of a woman writing to a prisoner on death row. Wait for the twist!’
(Scribble summer 2012.)
SHOOTING APPLES by Rosanna Luke 'Wartime story set during the blitz, showing that the ones who didn't go to fight also played their part.'
(Scribble autumn 2012.)
A SLICE OF CHERRY PIE by Gaynor Jones 'Horror story where a couple of teens pick up the wrong person'. (Scribble 60. Winter 2013)