When Should You Send Holiday-Themed Queries?

magazine-queryQ: I’d like to publish some holiday stories in magazines. I know magazines typically work on issues months in advance, so if I wanted to submit a proposal for a Christmas-themed story, when should I send it?—Cheryl Heil

A: All magazines work on different timetables—some work three months in advance, while others map out an entire year’s worth of articles in January. Market books and online resources, like Writer’s Market, have listings for most magazines that include the average length of time between manuscript acceptance and when it actually gets printed.

No matter what timeframe a magazine’s guidelines give you, always query a month or two before the suggested date to give the editors time to consider, fine-tune and accept your idea. For example, Sports Illustrated for Kids states that it publishes manuscripts an average of three months after acceptance. If you’re looking to write “Elves in the Outfield,” it’s best to query in July for the December issue. Some magazines actually request that you send seasonal material one year in advance, so you really have to plan ahead.

And when in complete doubt, just submit your idea when your query letter has been perfected. It’s better to be too early than too late.

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Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

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2 thoughts on “When Should You Send Holiday-Themed Queries?

  1. MSp

    hello Brain, it’s good to know that you were sharing your experience with other. I have a question that earlier In the 1970s, you were one of the pioneers who concentrated how kids figured out how to compose. You urged understudies to pick their own particular written work subjects, compose verging on consistently, utilize amendment as a characteristic device of composing, and take in the mechanics of writing in the connection of perusing and composing. A quarter century, how would you think this methodology is faring in schools?

  2. Scott B.

    Okay Brian, I’ve actually got a question (aside from 3 million others.)

    I was writing a story, and when the moment came to address the race of a boy, I was utterly stumped, and I still am. He is black, but what is the terminology here? Black boy, African American boy, African boy, etc.? I’m lost on this one, and the same could go for any race.



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