Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Writing seasonal stories? Deadlines make this whatever season you need it to be


When I look out the windows on a snowy street scene in mid- to late-December, I find it easy to think and write about Christmas. I’m sure you do, too.

But what about trying to come up with copy for Halloween invitations or New Year’s Eve stories in mid-July? Does that pose more of a challenge for you to get in the mood?

I make these comments especially for the new writers out there: Seasonal deadlines usually demand that you ignore the calendar, the seasons outside your window, and focus on a time, a place, and a “mood” months to years removed.

This is generally true for freelancers, too. If you want to write and submit a family Christmas story to most publishers, you’ll probably need to get it to them six months or more in advance of their Christmas publication needs. Of course, go by the writing guidelines for the particular editor or publication you’re shooting at. If you’re writing something on salary or assignment, you’ll be told that information as part of the job. Otherwise, go to a website, email an editor, or write to the publications you wish to target to get such information.

But file this tip away and remember it for later: Forget the seasons you see out the window and journey to that time and place in your head where it’s always Christmas — or Memorial Day, or Valentine’s Day, or Halloween, or … whatever.

And have a happy holiday. Whatever holiday that may be.
[tags]seasonal writing, advanced deadlines, advice for new writers, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]