If you haven’t written a story for the the Nov/Dec holiday-of-your-choice, now’s the time.
Write a Christmas/Other Religiously-Affiliated Seasonal Story, a Thanksgiving Story, or a New Year Story To Include With Your Seasonal Greetings Cards.
- Write a short piece that you could include with your holiday cards instead of the dreaded ‘family update’ letter.
- Think about a few of your friends and what kind of story they’d appreciate (make it your most fun/twisted/dearest friends)
- Keep the story to about 500 words, so it fits on one side of a printed page.
- You don’t have to actually send the story, just imagine delighting these particular people, as you write.
- Feel free to send it to them, with a note saying you were thinking of them.
- You could do a parody of a traditional seasonal story, or a parody of the family update letter.
- You could write a sweet, sentimental seasonal story, or a dark piece especially for the friend who you know hates the holidays (especially useful as cathartic therapy when you’ve been out trying to shop in the holiday crowds!)
- You can post it as your holiday greeting on Facebook or your blog.
- Get creative. Let loose.
P.S. I collected a few of my holiday stories into a little ebook collection. You could try this too!
And yes, I do mean the winter/Christmas/Thanksgiving/Hannukka/Samhain/Diwali/Hogmanay/New Year/Kwanzaa/Chinese New Year/Solstice/Saturnalia/Festivus November/December/January type of holiday.
If you ever think of submitting your stories to literary magazines, contests, anthologies, or other publications, you need to know two things:
- They are often themed and holiday stories are always popular,
- Your story needs to be written, edited, submitted, selected, corrected, and green lit, month in advance of the actual holiday.
Write your December stories now. Time’s running out.
Write A Story Tied To A Holiday That Takes Place In November/December/January/February
- Evoke the sights, smells, sounds and emotions you associate with that holiday.
- Put on some appropriate holiday music to get you in the mood.
- Go beyond the obvious idea for the story associated with your chosen holiday. No saccharine tales of redemption or bitter humbug retellings of A Christmas Carol, for us!
- Make the characters stronger than the trappings of the holiday.
- Write the story for someone who has never participated in your holiday traditions. Show them what it’s like to be you at Christmas/Hanukkah/Hogmanay/Groundhog Day.
Which holiday did you choose? What did you do to get in the mood? Do you think you’ll revise and submit this story to a publication? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation in the Community.
This week sees both Independence Day in the US and Canada Day in the north of the continent.
Write a holiday-themed story
It doesn’t have to be related to this week’s holidays. If fact you might want to start planning ahead for autumnal and winter holidays, especially if you’re interested in releasing those stories this year.
Did you know that magazines, online publications and anthologies are starved for date-appropriate stories?
And think about it, these stories are evergreen: release them yourself and talk them up every year on the same date. Or how about putting together a collection of date themed stories and releasing them as themed anthology of your own writing?
We’ve all lived through holidays – from the ones that give you a day off school, to the ones that come replete with custom and tradition and obligation and anticipation. Use your own experiences to bring the story (and its details) alive for the reader, but don’t forget to include a vivid character with a strong desire for…something.
Every year at this time I stumble on holiday-themed stories wherever I look: Christmas mysteries, Hannukah radio anthologies, contests themed on New Year’s. Collection after collection after anthology on seasonal stories. And why?…
Every year at this time I stumble on holiday-themed stories wherever I look: Christmas mysteries, Hannukah radio anthologies, contests themed on New Year’s. Collection after collection after anthology on seasonal stories. And why? Because they make great perennial gifts that publishers and authors can wheel out every year at the same time.
Of course, with the lead-time involved in publishing, if you want to have a hope of submitting a story to a themed anthology, you need to have it ready 6 months to a year before the occasion. So this is the perfect time to write.
Write a Themed Story For The Season
- Pick Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Year’s or any other seasonal trope (“The First Snowman of Winter”?), whatever means the most to you.
- Write it now and put a reminder in your online calendar telling yourself in June to start revising and submitting the story!
- If you’re a self-publisher, plan to give the story away or release it annually
- If you’re impatient and can’t imagine waiting a year to do something with a seasonal story, start writing your summer beach story or your Halloween spooky story now. (You’re probably cutting it fine for Valentine’s…)
- Use all the stories you’ve accumulated in real life THIS holiday season to fuel your story: the good, the bad and the monumentally irritating!
1. You should use the prompt in your story.
2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!
Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook
Some tweets/updates you might use:
This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is very seasonal #storyaday http://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
Come and write with us! #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
See my story – and write your own, today: seasonal stories! #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
Don’t miss my seasonal story #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal