2023 Triumphs

In this episode I talk about some of the publishing successes StoryADay Superstars have achieved this year, and invite you to share your own. Also, a special invitation for you, if you’re ready…

in this week’s episode I’m celebrating the successes of writers from the StoryADay Community, and our Superstars Group. Some of those successes are publication-related and others are more about the progress of the writers’ practice. Join us. I also extend an invitation to join our Superstar group in the coming year.


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Never Give Up (Brenda’s Post)

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Superstars Triumphs


The Mothership, The Rumpus, Maery Rose

Elixir – Laura Porter

Bikes In Space AnthologyMonique Cuillerier

Sad Goose Collective Issue 2 –  Astrid Eggar

Blink-Ink Issue 51 – Astrid Eggar

A Boat, a Bike, and a Balloon (Or What It Takes to Return a Stolen Sun), Bikes In Space Anthology – Marta Pelrine-Bacon

Bones In The Road, Pilgrimage Magazine – Peyton Ellas

Naming The Dead, Heartwood Literary Press – Walter Lawn

The Unguarded Moment , Active Muse – Astrid Eggar

Death Chips & Love Fries – Short Stories for City Lovers – Neha Mediratta

Make A Wish, Fiddlehead Folio – Robin Stein

From Nothing, Rise – Monique Cuillerier

Fixing The Books, a novel –  Fallon Brown

The Garage Fridge Situation, a novel  – Fallon Brown

The Warrior Defying Time And Space, Short Fiction Break Reader’s Choice Award – Neha Mediratta

The Painter Must Be Going Nowhere, Wingword Poetry Prize, longlisted – Neha Mediratta

Honorable Mention in NYC Midnight Short Story Contest – Kim Younkin

300 Episodes Later…

In which I share what’s been going on and what’s coming up at StoryADay AND talk about AI and you.

In this episode I explain where the podcast has been for the past few week, talk about the workshops I’ve been running and talk about what’s coming next for StoryADay, AND encourage you to understand the value of the work you’re doing.

00:00 Introduction and Podcast Updates
00:10 Creating Content and Workshops
02:08 Exploring the Use of AI in Writing
04:56 AI for Organizational Structures and Marketing
11:21 Reflections on Recent Events and Future Plans
11:40 StoryADay Superstars Group and Annual Planning Bundle
15:48 The Pressure of Milestones and Overcoming Blocks
20:19 The Importance of Writing and Encouragement
24:15 Conclusion and Future Podcast Plans


Holiday Stories Workshop 50% discount

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StoryADay Superstars waitlist

Your stories from 15 years of StoryADay

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Why You Should Include Holidays In Your Stories


That was when I saw the first ‘holiday’ themed products in my supermarket (and yes, I mean the twinkling-lights, snow-covered, jolly fat-man type holiday),

And I know I’ll start seeing Valentine’s displays soon.

As a consumer it drives me a little crazy.

As a writer, it’s a great reminder.

  • Holidays are part of the fabric of our lives
  • It pays to plan ahead if you’re creating something with a date-related theme!

Why Include Holidays?

When it comes to end-of-year holidays my personal bias is towards Christmas & New Year, but there are so many other holidays to celebrate. Which will you choose?

The great things about including a holiday in a story are:

  • They are evergreen: you can recycle them every year! (Think about how rich Maria Carey has become from that one song…)
  • They are universal: no matter what culture we come from we all have those days where people come together, eat too much, face family members and friends they don’t really want to see, see people they haven’t seen for years, have fights, make up, fall in love, and get nostalgic.
  • It’s an instant character-motivation-creator: around a holiday you always have some people who are sad, some people are excited, and some people who are a little too into it…
  • If you are writing in a secondary or fantasy world, including this universal human experience in your story enriches the culture you’re creating. It feels real when your characters’ lives are complicated by ritual events they may have strong feelings about (even if it’s just to be frustrated at the interruption to their quest!)

Instant Drama

One of the best ways to get to know people is to see how they act under stress.

One of the best ways to stress your characters and find out who they are, is to throw them into the mix with people they wouldn’t necessarily choose to be with.

Can you think of a better way to do that, than to send them a holiday party? 😉

What holiday will you include in your next story? Is it real or fictional? What is your favorite holiday? Leave a comment!

It’s Time To Tell Holiday Tales

Have you thought about writing a holiday story?

In my world October 31 ushers in what feels like one big long holiday season: from Halloween, to Guy Fawkes in the UK, to Thanksgiving in the US, and then the headlong rush through Hannukah, Christmas, Diwali, Kwanzaa, New Year and Lunar New year…and blink! We’re almost at Valentine’s Day!

There’s no doubt these next few months are busy and freighted with expectations (have you thought about your end of year review? Your New Year’s Resolutions? If you’ll send holidays cards? Whose house you’ll go to for which family gathering? What topics are safe to talk about?!)

In simpler times*people used to gather round and tell stories at holiday gatherings.

(*times were never simpler. They were always full of complicated humans with complicated needs)

Holiday Story Traditions

In Dickens’ time ghost stories were in fashion.

Hans Christian Anderson went in for tragic tales of noble poverty.

Nowadays we have the Hallmark Christmas Movie and the Holiday Disaster Film as our new ‘fireside’ traditions.

But have you given any thought to writing a holiday story of your own?

I started doing this a few years ago, sending each year’s story out to friends as an alternative to the dreaded family newsletter. I only sent them to people who I thought would enjoy them, and only when I had a chance to write something I felt good about.

Writing a holiday-themed story is a great way to

  • Get in the mood ahead of time (it’s a good idea to start early)
  • Have something to talk about that’s not politics, religion, or money, when you get to the family gathering
  • Slowly build a collection of stories with a similar theme you could put together in an anthology
  • Have an excuse to get some writing time before the holiday rush starts (or during it).
  • Exorcise the demons of all that socialising, especially if you start writing next year’s story when you get home from a particularly ‘colorful’ event, this year.
  • Always have something on hand for the holiday-themed hungry calls for submission that will start appearing next July.

There are so many tropes and traditions to play with when it comes to Holiday stories, and I’ll be back soon with some ways for you to think about them.

But for now, I must dash and grab some brandy. I’m already late to soak the dried fruit for this year’s Christmas cake…

Have you written holiday stories? What holiday would you choose if you did? What would be your ‘must-have’ ingredients to make truly a holiday story? Leave a comment!