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Monday, March 28, 2016

Write December Holiday Stories Now!

No, I haven't lost it. I know that it is the day after Easter, not Christmas. I also am aware I have written other posts with this same suggestion but now is the time to write Christmas stories. Consider me your adopted muse reminding you that time is moving along and you need to get started writing December stories.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories for a book titled The Joy of Christmas. Title is a bit misleading as they want stories for other December holidays, as well. That includes Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day and New Year's. The book will be published in time for the 2016 December holidays season.

Deadline for stories for this anthology is April 30th. That gives you slightly more than a month to submit. Read a bit more about what the editors are looking for on this page of possible book topics. The Christmas book is quite far down the list so don't give up as you scroll down. (Might check out the other books while there, as well.)

It's not easy to write a holiday story months ahead of the actual celebration. You might need to drum up some inspiration to be able to write for this book. I'm going to give Christmas examples as that is the December holiday with which I am most familiar. Do you keep old Christmas cards? Get them out and go through them one by one. Sure to bring back some memories. Play a Christmas CD. Go through your picture file and check out those family pictures you took last December. Spend some time scanning a Christmas cookbook. An idea for a story is sure to pop up along the way.

Another idea is to go through your files of already written, but never published, stories and see if any will fit the theme. Don't just upload them on the submittable form and feel satisfied that you sent a story. Step back and read your story as objectively as you can. Will it fit the guidelines? Can you find the emotion in the story? Chicken Soup books are big on emotion. Not phony kind, the real thing, so don't just insert a crying jag scene for that reason alone. Revise and edit carefully before sending.

While your friends are tip-toeing through the tulips in April, you should be hammering the keyboard of your laptop writing a Christmas story. Take a break now and then and enjoy the pleasantries of April now and then.

Magazine editors and book publishers are working on holiday books now. Wait until November and it's too late. Plan ahead for all holiday stories.

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