Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Writing For Holidays

Lots of magazines and ezines look for holiday material. We mark holidays on the calendar and look forward to the decorations, foods and reading material meant for each one. My favorite holiday is Christmas with Valentine's Day a close second. I'd skip Halloween altogether, if possible, and sail right on to Thanksgiving. But that's me!

Writers can take advantage of the market for holiday material in children's magazines as well as those meant for adults. But it takes planning ahead. It's often at the time of the holiday that a great idea for a story pops up. Even if it's December the 5th, it's too late to market the story for Christmas only 20 days away. You can't write a wonderful patriotic piece for the Fourth of July on June 12th and exepct to see it published that same year.

It takes planning ahead, and there are two ways to do that. One is to write the holiday story when inspiration strikes and save it until the following year. Send out Christmas stories in June or July, Easter stories in early fall.

The other way is to write the holiday story in the off-season and send it  as soon as you have it in revised and polished shape. Both methods require planning ahead. If you write the story at the time of a holiday and file it for later submission, you run the risk of forgetting you ever wrote it!

In your 'Plan Ahead' mode, you should scan through your saved story files every now and then. Never hurts to refresh your mind as to what gem is sitting in the files.

One more thought regarding holiday stories. Editors receive myriad Christmas and Halloween stories, so your chances of acceptance will be better if you send a Thanksgiving story, or one on Memorial Day. Maybe something on Columbus Day to a kids' magazine. Even Valentine's Day stories are not found in as great a number as Christmas and Halloween. November brings Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Stories for either one would be worth writing. Mabye not to submt this year, unless you know a publication that does a quick turnaround, but write it now and save it for next year.

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