Event report

Conference 2012 - My Weekly Pocket Novels

Report published 21 August 2012

Maggie Seed gave a funny and informative insight into My Weekly Pocket Novels. The handbag size novels are around 50,000 words, manuscripts between 48-52,000 words are acceptable. Maggie stressed the most important aspect of a MWPN should be that it gives an experience of emotion to the reader. It can be thrilling, adventurous and exciting.

Maggie showed us her five easy step plan for writing a MWPN

Step One - The characters

- They should be larger than life so that readers remember them long after finishing the novel.
- The heroine doesn't have to be 'nice', not a virgin, her character can be difficult.

Step Two - The Plot

- Get the characters together and build a relationship between them.
- Have something that they care about to agonise/talk about together, even if they don't like each other at this point.
- The Earth shattering secret -this can be something precious that is revealed which either the heroine or hero has lost/found/can't live without/ e.g. child, a thing e.g. animal/inheritance, something else like pride/independence.

Step Three - The OMG moments

- Keep the readers interest by having something stunning/surprising happen at regular intervals or at the end of every chapter. Make it page turning, so the reader keeps on going to find out what will happen next.
- How to do this - a plot twist or development. Or make an entrance. Just when the reader thinks they can relax someone else or something else e.g. storm/illness comes along to complicate things.

Step Four - All is lost

- The heroine thinks she will have to live her life without hero who she now loves.
- A low point so we can enjoy the high that's just around the corner.

Step Five - All ends well.

- The denouement - including the kiss.
- Baddies are punished and get their comeuppance.
- Goodies rewarded.
- Reader thinks all is well with the world - happy/satisfying end to the novel.

Maggie's looking for new genres. She wants to publish Traditional, modern, historical (before WWII), murder, medical and thriller.

- There are usually around 15 chapters in a MWPN.
- Payment is £300. The novel can go on to be sold as a Large Print book.
- Send first 3 chapters and 1 page synopsis by email to Maggie at the email address below.

Contact My Weekly for detailed guidelines at myweekly@dcthomson.co.uk

Currently MWPN are published fortnightly but there are plans to go weekly.
Maggie's looking forward to hearing from lots of new writers.

Written by Kate Jackson

It's a fact

In 2012, sales of romantic fiction in the UK reached £112m. In 2013, this rose to £120m