Do you enjoy reading or writing historical short stories?
If so, it might be worth having a look at Snapshots of History. It’s a small magazine that appears twice a year and each issue offers the chance to win £25 (first prize) or £15 (second prize). I won second prize in the latest edition and have been asking the editor, Sally Bland, all about the magazine.
Here’s what she had to say in answer to my questions:
What made you start the magazine?
I have always enjoyed history and also creative writing. I particularly like the idea of capturing a moment or event from a previous period and bringing it back to life. There are quite a few short story publications around, but hardly any which are dedicated to historical writing. Those that are, are often either military history or specifically historical romance. My aim has always been to take a wider range of stories with different themes.
How did you build a following?
I put some adverts in writing magazines, offering free copies of the introductory issue. We got a good response, better than expected, and ran out quite quickly!
Are you a writer?
I wrote the serial in Snapshots (Secrets & Scandals: The Life and Times of Annabella Beaumont) which concluded in the summer issue. I am an aspiring writer so understand the difficulties which other writers face in such a tough industry. I recently finished a part-time undergraduate degree in English and American Literature with the University of Kent, which has been quite a time commitment over six years. I hope now to have more time to dedicate to creative writing.
Is there one particular period in history that receives most submissions?
WWII – I think because it’s such a huge subject and also because it is in living memory (either directly or through stories passed down from parents and grandparents).
Is there a period that isn’t covered that you’d like to receive stories for?
Generally we get quite a good range of stories, though we only occasionally get anything Medieval or from the English Civil War. I don’t know why that is, they are just not popular periods.
So if you fancy dabbling in the past and creating a fictional view of a particular character, event or time period (my story was based around the marriage of Wallis Simpson to Edward VIII) – here is your chance.
Details of how to get hold of the magazine and/or enter the twice yearly competitions are available on the Snapshots of History website.
#1 by Tracy Fells on September 30, 2012 - 9:51 am
Thanks for this Sally – not heard of this magazine and looks interesting. I have a medieval story which is hard to place elsewhere so will try having a go.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on September 30, 2012 - 3:51 pm
Good Luck, Tracy!
#3 by Linda on September 30, 2012 - 4:35 pm
Thanks Sally, this is a new one for me, too. I enjoy reading historical novels but I’ve never attempted to write one. I’d be worried about getting the facts wrong and annoying more knowledgeable readers – I’d have to do an awful lot of research first. But a short story would be more manageable.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on September 30, 2012 - 6:33 pm
I agree, Linda, the research required for a historical novel must be enormous but with a short story you could target what you need to know much more easily.
#5 by susanjanejones on September 30, 2012 - 7:32 pm
That looks really interesting Sally, and congratulations on your prize.
#6 by Sally Jenkins on October 1, 2012 - 12:10 pm