Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy holidays!

It's the dead of summer and time to contemplate the upcoming holiday season. Periodicals work many months in advance, so the deadlines for November and December issues are rapidly approaching. If I hope to place any holiday-themed short stories this year, I need to get to work.

Earlier this week I wrote the opening lines or opening scenes for seven Thanksgiving stories and seven Christmas stories. (Why seven each? Coincidence.) I have a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity for submitting any Thanksgiving stories I write, a window only open until early to mid August, and a slightly larger window for submitting Christmas stories.

I placed four Christmas stories last year, but no Thanksgiving stories. Perhaps I'll do better this year now that I have a stockpile of ideas. So, to get myself in the mood, perhaps I should prepare a Turkey, don my foam antlers, and put on some Christmas music...


Kevin R. Tipple said...

I was invited to submit for a Christmas anthology and did so about a month ago. Just got word it failed.

Any specific markets you would recommend for a suspense Christams story?


Michael Bracken said...

Not specifically, but I would note that the window for submitting Christmas stories in hopes of seeing them published this year is rapidly closing. For example, I have a story scheduled for the December issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, so they're probably already looking for material appropriate for early next year. On the other hand, the confession magazines are wrapping up their October issues right now, so they should still be looking for Thanksgiving and Christmas stories.

One tip: If you are submitting a story appropriate for a particular issue, such as a Halloween story for October, make a note of that on the outside of your envelope. It might move your submission from the bottom of the slush pile to the top when the editors start reading for a particular issue. (Of course, that same tactic might move your submission to the bottom of the pile if you've missed the deadline for that particular issue...)