‘Pardon My French’ – how it was published.

I am thrilled my story ‘Pardon My French’ has been published today in Love Sunday (the magazine that comes with The Sunday People). Thank you Love Sunday magazine!


Quite a few people have asked me how this has come about, so I thought I would share the story’s journey.

It started life as a 2,000 word story, sent to The People’s Friend. They said this:

“Many thanks for letting us see your short story… I’m afraid we’re going to pass on it at this time as overall we felt it was just too over the top.”

Anyone who has worked with The PF before will know that their feedback in invaluable; most magazines don’t have the time (or inclination!) to give feedback, but PF is really keen to encourage and help writers. So, another thank you, this time to The People’s Friend, for making me think and for being so polite.

Pardon My French went off to Woman’s Weekly next, after indenting some paragraphs (PF prefer no formatting, Woman’s Weekly like some paragraphs). They said this:

“We enjoyed reading it, though I’m afraid we won’t be proceeding with a commission on this occasion.”

More useful feedback – they enjoyed reading it. Thank you Woman’s Weekly!

While I was trying to find another market for the story, which was tricky because so many magazines are closed to unsolicited submissions and prefer to work with writers all ready known to them (how do they expect anyone to get started?), I read an article on the fabulous Womag website. For those of you who don’t know, Patsy Collins runs the Womagwriter’s Blog, and it is an absolute mine of useful information about everything to do with Women’s magazines and a great place to hang out if you need cheering up after a rejection. Thank you Patsy!

The article that caught my attention was this:

Sharon Boothroyd on ‘Love Sunday’

Thank you, Sharon! Through you I discovered a new market for short stories and thought I would give it a go.

I cut down Pardon My French to 1,500 words and tweaked it a bit, then sent it off to Flavia Bertolini at Love Sunday (see Sharon’s article for all the details). Flavia acknowledged receipt by email the very next day, then accepted the story the next week. It was published eleven weeks later, that’s today. Thank you Flavia!

I am delighted with the illustration chosen and over-the-moon that Love Sunday put a line about my People’s Friend Pocket Novel at the end of the story (did I mention the lovely PF are publishing my novel as PF Pocket Novel Number 883 on 21st March 2019?).

I have compared the story I sent to Love Sunday with the one printed today and learnt a couple of things for next time which I am happy to share:

Love Sunday like single quotation marks.

Love Sunday use less semi-colons than I do (most people use less semi-colons than I do). They prefer the dash.

To end up, I thought I would take the chance to shamelessly promote my own two self-published novels, Make a Joyful Noise and The Funny Business of Life, because if you can’t do that on your own blog, where can you do it? Both the novels are half-price (99p) to download for your kindle at the moment; they are also available in paperback. I can guarantee they are quite ‘over the top’ but hopefully not too much and only in a good way!

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