Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Brings Thoughts Of Other Holidays For Writers

Today is one of my least favorite days of the year. I know--I'm among the minority as most people love Halloween. I never did like it, even as a kid. I've written my Halloween confession and shared it here before so won't repeat. For anyone who would like to read it, you can do so here. It was written several years ago so those two grandchildren pictured are a lot older now.

One of the things I learned when I first started trying to market stories for kids was that editors love holiday-themed stories.But--and it's a big 'but'--they are overrun with Halloween and Christmas stories. I imagine the magazines/ezines looking for adult holiday stories find the same. You can still write and submit them, but they will need to be quite unique, not the same-old, same-old.

If you're willing to write a holiday story about a lesser holiday, you're far more likely to have it accepted. The problem is that we seem to have had many more experiences with Halloween and Christmas so it's far easier to pluck a memory and turn it into a holiday story than it would be for those more minor holidays. 

If you're willing to challenge your memory and your imagination, you can come up with a story for Thanksgiving. Might be something heartwarming or filled with caustic humor or that 'awful family get-together every November.' Valentine's Day is one most of us could manage to write about if we gave it some thought. 

Moving on to even less popular holidays--how about writing a story based on a Veteran's Day Parade? Or a Fourth of July pageant? What about Easter? You can gear those stories to either the religious side or the bunny and chick side of the holiday. Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are both holidays that fewer people celebrate but have importance in the life of those who do recognize them. Wouldn't it be a good way to inform others about those holidays if you wrote a nonfiction article or even a fiction story based on the holiday experience? 

Mother's Day and Father's Day should inspire some stories. I've written a few of them that involve this special day of the year and they've been accepted. 

Here are a few more ideas not already mentioned for other holidays and days of recognition:

Flag Day
Arbor Day
Labor Day
Memorial Day
St. Patrick's Day
Columbus Day
Martin Luther King Day
Black History Month (February)
April Fool's Day

Write and submit these stories far ahead of the actual holiday you are featuring so editors have time to include them in their schedule. Sometimes you get paid on acceptance while other times it is after publication, so it might be a long wait to see those dollars.


  1. Hadn't thought about publications receiving too many stories for Christmas and Halloween. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Yes, those two holidays seem to be the most popular.

  2. I'm not crazy about Halloween myself, so I understand where you're coming from.

    1. Yes, there are a few of us. Trouble is, that those who love Halloween just don't understand our viewpoint! :)