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By Paul and Felicity Scoones

Welcome to the 30th anniversary issue. It was a struggle, but we've managed to get it out before November 23rd - just. We'll almost certainly be posting it on the 22nd.

One advantage associated with our slightly later than expected publication date is that as Jon Preddle arrived home from his three-month holiday in Britain just two days ago, we were able to get all the very latest news and rumours from him to fill out our 'Update' and 'In Print' sections. Jon and fellow staff writer Graham Howard have written about their experiences of two very different Doctor Who conventions in Britain this issue.

On the subject of being up-to-date, we're also very pleased to feature reviews of every new Doctor Who book published in Britain right up to the end of 1993. Virgin Publishing's Graham Eames has sent us all the latest titles, so you'll find in these pages coverage of every upcoming release up to and including The Left-Handed Hummingbird.

We've attempted to give the issue as much of an anniversary flavour as was possible with the material and resources at our disposal; and without copying what other publications have done. Thank you to those who sent in their ideas, artwork and writings. In the three years we've been producing TSV, we've received a number of letters requesting a Doctor Who episode guide, and this issue finally sees those requests answered, with our special anniversary Doctor Who Story Guide, which forms a four-page pull-out section. We're also very fortunate to be able to follow last issue's highly acclaimed article on the writing of a New Adventures novel by Kate Orman, with an article on the making of a reference book by another of our 'celebrity subscribers', David Howe.

Next issue, we'll be publishing an interview with a director of three Tom Baker stories and another with an upcoming New Adventures writer and magazine editor. We'll also have a first-hand account of a day's recording on the 30th anniversary BBC documentary with photographic coverage. In upcoming TSV issues we'll have many more articles on sequences cut from stories such as Ghost Light, Remembrance of the Daleks, Vengeance on Varos, The Curse of Fenric and more - plus of course, the best of what you lot send in!


For the last few months I have been selecting and editing all the fiction we print. The most difficult part of this comes when I read a story which has obviously had a lot of effort put into it but does not meet my standards for printing. For those of you who write Doctor Who fiction this is what I am looking for: 1) preferably the story will feature an existing Doctor and/or companions rather than original creations. This is because readers are far more likely to be interested in a story about characters they know. If you look at the fiction printed in this issue though, you will see that half of it does not fit this description. Some of the best stem from an idea in Doctor Who but expand beyond it. However take care. A story which steps outside the series framework needs to be very strong for us to print it. 2) A short story, from half a page to six when printed, is best. Much longer than that and we would consider printing the story in two parts, but as many stories lose their impact this way I am reluctant to do that and am more likely not to use the story at all. 3) Action. A story in which plenty happens holds attention far better than something introspective. 4) Good writing style. This speaks for itself. With the exception of point four all of these guidelines are flexible. However if we have not printed your work before, I would advise you to keep to them initially. I hope the above is encouraging to new writers. Of course one of the best approaches to writing fan fiction it to read other examples of it. So read on!


This item appeared in TSV 36 (November 1993).