These have been out a week or two now and I can't recall who emailed asking if I knew what they were, so in the hope that whoever it was reads my blog, I'm posting here.
Remember, you can only sub one story per month now and they're no longer returning unsuccessful stories, so if you haven't heard back after 6 mths, presume it's a 'No thanks.' The upside means if you send via snail mail, you don't need to include a sae. I'd imagine most of us send by email anyway.
Have to say, I don't particularly like this new system but then I'm not the one drowning under submissions, am I? Let's just hope if we get a 'yes' we ARE informed within that 6 mths or the story might've been sent elsewhere and that could involve a messy email to withdraw it from some other editor's pile.
Don't forget that anything you send now should be aimed at the January/February issues and they're specifically looking for:
1400-1600 words Twist in the Tail - Light hearted or very moving themes.
700 word Coffee Break - Again, light hearted or moving.
1200 or 2000 word Romance stories - Light hearted themes.
2500-3000 Long Reads - I'm guessing this can be any theme as they don't specify.
My Weekly Pocket Novels
I think I'm right in saying you can send in your ideas for these at any time. NOT the whole thing, mind. Send only a synopsis and the first three chapters in manuscript form or via email...I'd go with email seeing as the post here in the UK is a bit 'iffy' at the moment!
If the editor likes your proposal and wishes to proceed, she'll ask you to send in the full novel electronically - use Rich Text or Word document(I'd go for compatibility mode if you're using the latest version of Word to avoid sending them pages of gobbledy-gook!)
Word count: around 30,000 words, no more than 32,000. Love, passion, romance and adventure being the key words. Female viewpoint. Contemporary or historical, they can be set anywhere in the world.
'We look for stories with a strong, developing romance between two identifiable characters. Within the time it takes to read one of the novels, we would like the reader to share and experience the breathless/breath-taking excitement of a growing relationship.'
Word of warning: Before you embark on a pocket novel, you should know the fee isn't huge! It's approx £200 and there aren't any Royalties. Plus you can wait up to a year before you know whether or not they're going to publish, and that's AFTER you've submitted the whole thing. Okay, you could maybe condense it to suit other mags but it's a lot of work. When you consider what Take A Break will pay for a 1000 worder...well, don't know about you but I don't write for fun. Having said this, I'd still like to crack the market. Can't resist a challenge!
So if you're up for it, it's the usual address: firstname.lastname@example.org
and mark it for the attention of Maggie Seed.