Christmas seems long past now. In some respects my Christmas was a frugal affair. I couldn’t even afford a tree and had a budget of £50 for gifts. However, waking up with 4 of my 6 strong brood on Christmas day was priceless.
I decided that, like many people, I would begin to squirrel away gifts throughout the year ready for the 2011 festivities. So when I spied on a magazine cover ‘Free Elizabeth Arden fragrance worth £12’ I did my sums. Given the price of the magazine plus postage and packing I felt that £4.35 is a reasonable price for a potential gift.
I have never bought Yours Magazine before and was a little embarrassed to discover that it is aimed at women of a (ahem) certain age. Granted, at 42 I’m past the stage where I care about which celebrity has had botox or that the latest fashion trend is orange striped denim (modelled by a 15-year-old anorexic). However as I flicked past the ads for stairlifts and continental wigs I was pleasantly surprised to find some real gems.
There’s something quite reassuring when you see familiar celeb faces. I have always been a fan of Dawn French, Pauline Quirke and Lynda Bellingham and it’s like greeting old friends. But what really made me sit up and take notice were the writing opportunities.
Their letters page is called Meeting Place where you can share funny stories, let off steam. pass on tips or even share a picture you’re proud of and you could bag yourself a £10 High St voucher or £25 for a Star letter. Plus they are looking for Seasonal Poems for their annual compendium. Useful if you have a little poem that needs a home.
They also publish a short story in every issue. I’m not sure if they are taking submissions for these as of yet but it may well be worth making enquiries. The financial rewards may be small but the opportunity to flex those writing muscles and possibly be published in a fortnightly magazine is a very attractive proposition.
For all you compers out there are no less than seven competitions including a late winter break and an overnight stay at a spa (ooh, yes please). Plus a potential £100 prize if you find Sammy The Squirrel (I’m still looking).
Opportunities are everywhere, even in places you wouldn’t normally expect. My initial ‘Uh, oh’ when I started to read Yours quickly turned into an ‘AHA’. It just goes to prove that you should never be afraid to try something different even if it’s as simple as picking up a new magazine.
You can follow Yours magazine on Twitter @yoursmagazine or visit www.yours.co.uk