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Take a Break's fiction feast is a great option for a bit of light reading, if you don't fancy starting a book, or are just short on time. I find it's especially good for taking to work and provides great entertainment for a lunchtime read.
The Cost ------------ It costs £1.70 per issue and is released once a month, however, the subscription offer (12 copies) will cost you £15.40 which adds up to a total saving of £5 (www.subscribe2fictionfeast.co.uk). Benefits included with this subscription are; free home delivery, a guarantee that you will receive your issue before it hits the shops and includes an offer of receiving a free gift card with all gift subscriptions. Having read the smaller print however, it may take six weeks for delivery of your first issue.
Design and Advertising ----------------------------- The front cover very much follows the same format as the normal take a break magazine (same logo, pretty girl on the front, etc), and displays a few headlines of the stories you can expect to find inside, along with pictures. The pages inside however are not glossy, but rather on paper and are in black and white with one custom colour thrown in.
The only advertising you will find in this magazine is on the inside front cover, and the back page. The index page (as well as including the contents), however, displays around 3 or 4 short book reviews - This is where everyone can get involved as it offers the chance for readers to send in their own reviews of your favourite book (in less than 70 words) which they will pay £20 for each one that is used!! (I'll put the details at the bottom for anyone who wants to give it a go). One page for details of the subscription offer and then its fiction all the way from there.
The Stories --------------- There are around 15-20 short stories included, spanning anywhere from 1 to 6 pages in length (written in tabloid format) and are divided up into 5 categories:
Tale with a twist - in the issue I am using for this review (Aug 09), this seems to be the most popular, with 8 stories covered in this category. Having read all of them and with the exception of 1 or 2 the twists are really unexpected, and those that are a little more predictable are still enjoyable to read as the quality of the writing is good.
One from the heart - these stories mainly cover hard hitting life issues, or those of a fairly sensitive nature (in this case; adoption) but are written in such a way that is not overbearing for the reader.
Love Story - good old romance stories - believable characters and realistic storylines.
Put your feet up - usually the longest in length, and seem to be more in depth than the others - and as is states one for 'putting your feet up' - best saved for when you have a little more time, where the main themes seem to be family and friendship.
Spine Chiller - Usually the shortest of stories - won't leave you shaking with fear or cause horrible nightmares, but creates just about the right amount of tension to make your hair, if only very briefly, stand on end.
The Puzzles --------------- Just as in the normal take a break edition, there are a few puzzles thrown into the mix. How, it differs is that there is only one puzzle offering the chance of a cash prize. For all others the solutions can be found in the same issue (this particular issue includes an arrowword, crossword, wordsearch and codebreaker).
Horoscopes (1 full page) -------------------------------- Not really much to say about this except that I'm hoping mine proves to be true (and for all sagittarians out there) as we should be looking forward to coming into some cash and a satisfying love life this month!!
If you want to have a go at writing your own story for fiction feast, I have found a good site, which provides you with basic guidelines, details of payment and where to send them. http://womagwriter.blogspot.com/2007/08/take-brea k-guidelines.html
For Book Reviews, send them to: My Favourite Book Freepost RSBB-CLCU-SJXC H Bauer Publishing Academic House 24-28 Oval Road London NW1 7DT
I think that's pretty much it. In my opinion, it's good value for money for really high standard stories.