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Bob Nailor

August! The Christmas Rush Is Over

So hard to believe, isn't it? Already in August and the Christmas rush is over. How? If you haven't sent your holiday-themed story to a magazine by the end of June, mid-July at latest, then you've missed the opportunity to get it published in the December issue.

Well, not totally, but perhaps.

Several electronic magazines can usually hold off until November, at the extreme latest, for a holiday-themed story. Surprisingly, many of them are now opting for a longer lead-in time period and you may find yourself out-in-the-cold when trying to hustle that last minute holiday story on December 3rd.

Yes, it is August and you might be surprised to discover that any Valentine-themed story might be pushing the deadlines of the paper industry magazines.

A writer doesn't want to rely strictly on the electronic world to save him or her. Remember, many of the paper magazines now do electronic publishing and therefore need to match their paper counterparts. Any large magazine that has an electronic version, must deal with the paper version and have the electronic edition match as closely as possible. Hence, it must also deal with deadlines and due dates.

This is why some of the magazines offer the electronic version with 'specials' for their customers. These 'specials' are those last minute items the editor feels needs to be in but can no longer put it into the print edition. Hence, if you're lucky enough to gain access to such a coveted spot, more power to you.

So exactly how does a paper magazine establish due dates? Look at it this way:

Due Date | Magazine Issue
June 30 | December (Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa)
July 31 | January (New Years/Martin Luther King Day)
August 31 | February (Valentines/Presidents' Day)
September 30 | March (St. Patrick's Day)
October 31 | April (Tax Day/April Fools Day)
November 30 | May (Memorial Day)
December 31 | June (Summer/Vacation)
January 31 | July (4th of July/Vacation)
February 28/29 | August (End of Summer/School Return)
March 31 | September (Labor Day/School)
April 30 | October (Halloween/Fall)
May 31 | November (Thanksgiving/pre-Holiday)

The above is only a suggestion. To verify actual due dates, as always, the writer must seek out the guidelines of the magazine. Some magazines will desire only a 30-90 day lead while others may want a 9 month lead. Always, ALWAYS check guidelines.

Another aspect to consider is if the magazine (both online and/or paper) has a theme for the issue. A definite No-No is submitting a story about the basics of Kwanzaa when the issue will be themed about "Tieing Up Chanukah" and the proper tie to give.

So, do you remember that cute little story you wrote right after the holidays? Now is the time to get it cleaned up and maybe, just maybe, a little holiday magic will allow you to find a place to submit and get accepted. Time is running out, but you can still try.

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