If you’re writing for publication, it’s important to be aware of lead-times, (i.e. the time between when an editor says ‘yes’ to your story and the date the publication goes live). They can be long, so if you’re writing a seasonal story, you need to be submitting months in advance. That’s why today’s prompt is for October’s National Adopt A Shelter Dog month. Write your doggie story today and start pitching it now!
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.
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 https://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
Come and write with us! #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
See my story – and write your own, today: seasonal stories! #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
Don’t miss my seasonal story #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-seasonal
Did you know that May 7 is “Military Spouses’ Day”? Well it is, and we’re all to stop and appreciate what it takes to be a military spouse.
Hey, I know. While you’re thinking about it…why not write a story featuring, if not a military couple, certainly two people who face challenges including but not limited to: separation, relocation, trauma. Or write something with a tangential connection to something military.
It’s Cinquo De Mayo and everyone loves a party! Except when they don’t.
Parties are a great setting for stories because they bring together people who have no business being in the same room; they put stress on relationships; they often involve booze and a consequent loosening of inhibitions…in other words, all the elements you need for a climactic moment in someone’s life.
Write A Story Set At A Party, Shindig, Fiesta or Gathering
Write a story based on an incident at a cultural festival.
It’s Cinco de Mayo, which people in the Americas know as an excuse for a party, thanks to immigrants from the Mexican state Puebla (according to Wikipedia it “commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862,”
Mostly now it’s an excuse to don over-sized sombreros and drink Corona. But it brings us to today’s prompt:
It’s hard to grow up anywhere without attending some kind of cultural festival, whether it’s the English village fete, a religious festival (St Anthony’s Feast in the North End of Boston, for example) , or a nationality-based one (a Burns’ Supper in Scotland, St Patrick’s Day in the US).
Write a story based on an incident at a cultural festival. Add details from the activities, colours and smells of the festival to make your story real.