Friday, February 12, 2016

Blog Tips on Holiday Writing by Jacqueline Seewald

Today is Lincoln’s birthday. The four-day weekend brings us Valentine’s Day as well as President’s Day. Holidays represent a great opportunity for writing a nonfiction piece, or providing setting for a short story or even a novel.

Most nonfiction publications favor holiday submissions, Christmas being the most popular. However, tip number one, make certain to follow the guidelines. Usually magazines and anthologies will give you submission deadlines. Don’t submit either before or after them. It’s an automatic rejection.

Second, if there are no guidelines provided, plan to submit at least six months in advance of the particular holiday--with some publications, even earlier. Novels are different, of course. Even if you’re self-publishing, you need to figure out how much time is required. You don’t want your Christmas story published on July 4th.

Third, make certain that the reference to the holiday appears both in the submission/query letter as well as the subject line if you’re e-mailing. Editors need that info upfront.

Here are two current markets that specifically want holiday writing:

For short story submissions, check out King’s River Life which, although not a paying market, publishes numerous holiday mystery stories and gives exposure in the form of publicity:

My Valentine’s Day story which is a reprint is provided for free there today. It will give you an idea of what they like to publish:

For a lucrative nonfiction paying market, check out Chicken Soup which right now is again looking for holiday stories:

We are now collecting stories for our next
Holiday book that will be published in 2016. We are looking for stories about the entire December holiday season, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and even New Year’s festivities too.”
Their deadline date for story and poems submissions is April 30, 2016.

If you’re of a mind to read some romantic short stories to celebrate Valentine’s Day consider my collection BEYOND THE BO TREE, a fun book that combines romance, mystery, fantasy and the paranormal:

For teenage girls and their mothers to share, THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER is a clean read romance available in all e-book formats plus print:

STACY’S SONG, another YA romance/coming-of-age novel, is also available from Clean Reads Press: 

For readers who enjoy adult romance and paranormal thrillers, check out my recent novel DARK MOON RISING available in print and all ebook formats:

Also available through the publisher Luminosity:

My most recent published novel is a romantic Western thriller
THE KILLING LAND published by Five Star/Cengage, available in both hardcover and ebook:


Are there any holidays you particularly like to read or write about?


Loretta said...

Thanks for all this timely information, Jackie :) I'm warehousing it! :) And, as far as a favorite holiday to write for, I don't really have usually depends on where I'm at in my WIP and if I can breakaway :) I "am" thinking of writing a short for Halloween and having it be a bridge in my Southern Breezes series. This was a lovely read for a morning wakeup :)Lo

Susan said...

Great advice as always! Thank you for the Chicken Soup lead. Janis, aka Susan

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Lo,

I usually have a short story out there for Halloween. I find the speculative markets like Halloween connected stories.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Susan,

Chicken Soup nonfiction stories are a great market for writers. It pays to check their guidelines regularly to see if you can write something for them. I've had six stories with them and they are very professional.

Nancy Means Wright said...

Great tips as always, Jacquie. If a book launch can be called a holiday, I'm getting ready now for a launch in the month of April for a poetry collection. But it may backfire, since a hundred other readings are happening in April in my Vermont neighborhood. So the right time and venue are all important for a launch! And since I'm doing it with another poet-author whose book is from my same publisher, we should bring in a larger audience. Valentine's Day is another fine day for a launch or event, along with homemade pink cookies. I guess we'll have a sort of wine punch. Congrats on that new book!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thanks for commenting, Nancy. I think April is a good time for a book launch. April is spring and represents new beginnings. You should do well!

Linda Andrews said...

Wow, I can't believe April but I guess it makes sense.

Betty Gordon said...

Great advice, Jacquie. I always enjoy your blogs.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thanks, Betty!

Kathy McIntosh said...

Good advice and a fun story on Kings River Life! I so enjoy your posts.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you, Kathy. I'm glad you enjoyed the short story and the post.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Great post ... interesting and informative.
I've shared and pinned to my Writing Process board on Pinterest!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you, Pam!

Susan Coryell said...

Thanks for the helpful tips! They will surely come in handy for us writers.

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you for the great tips. I enjoyed your Valentine's Day story!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you, Kara!

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Thanks for dropping by. I do hope these tips prove helpful.

Bonnie Tharp said...

Great info, Jacqui, thank you for sharing. I love writing about holidays, but I seldom think about focusing on them, they are just part of the family lives I like to write about. This gives me a whole new idea about how to capitalize on it. Awesome. As always you are a great resource for author information.