Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

600x250abundance-achievement-advertising-bank-623046 (1)Writing for magazines (plus local literary info)

Why might you be interested? What opportunities are there? How can you get paid for it? Angela J. Phillip goes in search of answers.


For fun
Not sure that ‘fun’ is exactly the right word but something like that anyway. Satisfaction. Pleasure. Thrill? Relief ? A need to say something and move the words from inside ourselves to outside? There is always a mixture of feelings after you’ve written something (even a shopping list – and people have turned shopping lists into poems). We all know it because we all write even if not for magazines. The reasons are mixed but the primary reason that we write is because something within us drives us to do it and the result is (usually) pleasure.

To be helpful – to change the world (aaaaaaaahhhhh)
Very unfashionable even to admit to such an urge but I bet that it’s a factor in the motivation of many writers – particularly those who write for local newspapers staffed by volunteers (such as Hastings Independent Press or Hastings Online Times). And what about all the bloggers out there who offer information and advice for free? Everyone I know (good people all) has been bitten by this bug to a greater or lesser extent. It’s nice to feel useful.

To attract readers
Some publications have a massive circulation (you need to check when you identify which publication/s you would like to write for). You may be able to attract readers to your blog or website and tempt them to look at your other writing.

Good for your cv
The more you have published, the easier it gets to keep on doing it. When you submit your work to a magazine, the first thing they’ll be interested in is your previous experience in this area.

To get paid
Ah, at last. Would be nice, wouldn’t it? Someone wrote to me recently to say how much time she spent researching the articles she wrote. She writes for several local publications and wondered if there were magazines that might pay. That’s what prompted this post.  Thought it would be worth finding out about because she can’t be the only one who would like to be paid. From what I’ve read, there are plenty of magazines that pay – but it’s not easy to get them to accept your work, especially if you’re just starting in this area. Not easy, but definitely possible. Read on….


Identify the magazine/s that interest you
Did you once work as a bricklayer? Do you love food and are you knowledgeable about it? Have you spent time on anything like losing weight/ getting healthy/ growing vegetables in an experimental way? It could be anything but you need to know what you’re talking about. Or it could be fiction – some magazines pay for short stories.
* update – thanks to Gill Metcalfe (a successful writer for magazines) – It’s best to begin by aiming at lesser known mags rather than the big ones as the ones with wide circulation hardly ever bother to reply. 

Think of what you could offer.
Once you’ve identified the kind of magazines that would suit you, you need to think of an article that might interest the readers. The obvious ones like the general topics mentioned above that were helpful in identifying the magazines in the first place won’t be good enough. Those topics will usually be either too general (more a subject for a book than an article) or so obvious that someone will already have covered them. You need to check back issues and narrow the topic down. Think of something specific that won’t have been covered but that will still be of interest.

It’s the same with fiction. Read the kind of stories that appear in the magazines you like. Now think of something original, something that the readers (and the editor) wouldn’t be able to resist.

Write a query letter or pitch
Make your pitch short, informative and inviting – a one sentence blurb (that would invite people to read on) followed by a brief synopsis. You need to include some information about yourself but keep it short. You need to include brief information on any experience that is directly relevant to what you’re offering to write about and say a little about your publishing experience.


UK and Ireland markets
List of publications open to freelance writers with brief details plus further links.

51 Magazines that need freelance writers
This is a useful list because it includes the basic details of what the magazine wants before giving the link to the specific site.

65 Magazines that pay writers
Another list with details – haven’t checked this thoroughly, but it does include a list of 7 feminist magazines for those of you who may be interested as well as airline magazines from a variety of countries.

There are more of course and you can also get paid for writing for blogs but I’m going to leave that for another day. Good luck!

photo – Britta Jackson at

News & Events

Thursday 12th March 7 pm – Write Night – A Writer’s Journey with Sam Dvey and Chrissy Hamar-Brown hosted by Wayne Herbert on behalf of New Writing South Tickets £5/£3 see details

Thursday 19th March 6 pm – Sheer Poetry at Bookbuster’s 39 Queens Rd, Hastings £3 on the door

Wednesday 1 April  6 – 7.30 pm Reading & music from Clive Parker-Sharp’s novel ConeBoy at Printed Matter Bookshop 185 Queens Rd, Hastings TN34 1RG

Coming soon probably starting in the autumn – Staglit Tuesdays at the Stag Inn in the Old Town 6.30 – 8.30 pm  Monthly.  This is a chance for writers to read short extracts from their work and sell their books – and for readers to listen & comment. If you are interested in attending these events and/ or you would like to read from your work, please contact Angie and you will be included on the email list.

CALL FOR EVENTS INFO – please contact me directly if you would like your event to be included in the HOT weekly Bookchat column. Please write to Angie

Writing Competitions

Short Story

Hastings Literary Festival 2020
Short story – up to 2,500 words see website for details.
BAME short story – up to 5,000 words (BAME entrants only) see website for details.

Hastings Writers’ Room. Theme Misrepresentation (1,500 words) deadline 30 April 2020. Fee £6. First prize Gold membership of Retreat West (worth £100). Please check rules and conditions at Hastings Writers’ Room

Early Works Press. Short Story competition. Entry fee £5 per story up to 4000 words. £10 for over 4000. Maximum 8000 words. £200 first prize. Deadline 31 October 2020. Please check rules and conditions at Earlyworks Press.

Flash Fiction

Hastings Literary Festival 2020
Flash fiction up to 500 words see website for details.

Hastings Writers’ Room. Flash fiction five/ twenty-nine – submit FIVE stories, each with max 29 words, deadline 31 May 2020. Fee £7 for five stories. First prize Gold membership of Retreat West or cash alternative £100. Please check rules and conditions at Hastings Writers’ Room

Early Works Press. Flash Fiction competition 2020. Max 100 words. Deadline 30 August 2020. First prize £100. Please check rules and conditions at Earlyworks Press.


Hastings Literary Festival 2020
Poetry – up to 40 lines see website for details.


Writers’ Groups

Hastings Writers’ Group meet fortnightly on Mondays 7.30 – 9.30 pm at the White Rock Hotel. Membership is subject to vacancies and costs £80 per yr (or £40 per half year). For more details please see the website.

St Leonard’s Writers  meet on Wednesdays 1 – 3 pm at St Ethelburga Church in St Saviours Rd. There is a small joining fee and weekly contribution (see website for details). Contact person: David Edwards For more details please see the website

Shorelink Writers meet most Monday evenings between September and July  in the Tesco Community Room, Tesco Extra, Churchwood Drive, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9RB. Small donation for each meeting. Membership is subject to vacancy so please get in touch first. Contact /
For more details, please see the website.

The Literary Shed Writing Circle
For writers working on their own material to meet/write in interesting venues.
Weekly. Thursday, from 10am. Café sessions free. Monthly workshop: £8
Details: 12 March, The Piper, 1 Norman Road, St Leonards, 10–12; 19 March, Sea Kale, 29 London Road, St Leonards, 10–11.45; 26 March, Sugarpie Honeybuns, 235 London Road, St Leonards, 10–12. Next workshop, 2 April, 10–12; please contact Aruna for details. e:

Old Town Writing Group meet Wednesdays 4 – 6 pm in The Stag Inn, All Saints St, Hastings Old Town. Free. For more details, please see the website.

CALL FOR WRITING GROUPS & BOOKGROUPS TO GET IN TOUCH – Do get in touch if you would like your group to be listed each week in this Bookchat column. Please write to Angie


Bookbuster 39 Queens Rd, Hastings
Go to Bookbuster’s Facebook page to see more.

Printed Matter Bookshop 185 Queens Rd, Hastings TN34 1RG
Please see Facebook page for more details of these and other events.

The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards
Come and look at the Bookkeeper Bookshop Facebook page to see more.

The Hare & Hawthorn Bookshop 
51 George St, Hastings Old Town
For more information see the Hare & Hawthorn Facebook page

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Hi there – I’m still proof-reading. I said to someone that I was sure it would finish eventually and he replied, “No, it never does.”

This week I’ve been thinking about:
– punctuation – see my post Comma Crisis
– blurbs
– the pros and cons of getting your own ISBNs and becoming a publisher

I’ll include thoughts on these in my next Newsletter. Please sign up for it at  – the  signup form is on the right-hand side as you scroll down.

Comments and suggestions on anything and everything are always welcome.

Thanks so much for reading and sending me your thoughts.


Angela J. Phillip




Posted 09:00 Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 In: Hastings Bookchat

Also in: Hastings Bookchat

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