Monday, November 26, 2007

A Shout Out for Christmas (Stories)

I've just finished writing a jolly old story about a Christmas tradition celebrated here at the Hall house. I've had the idea for awhile, but I just couldn't quite get in the mood before Thanksgiving.

Not that I'm one of those writers who waits for the muse to strike. I'm way too impatient to wait for some brilliant idea to come to me. But if I start writing, and the juices start flowing, the brilliance usually shows up eventually. Occasionally, the brilliance runs and hides like some girly-girl.

Most of the time, though, I stick to a fairly regular writing routine. Drink a cup of tea, read the paper, then toddle off to the computer with another cup of tea. Then off for a potty break about three times before I settle in for some really serious typing and/or thinking.

(Unless I'm in the shower. There's something about showers (or soaking in a hot bath) that gets my thought waves percolating. Then I dash out and drip all over the important idea I'm trying to write down before I lose it. If I'm lucky, the beneficent Mr. Hall will be within shouting distance. I yell; he writes. But somehow, he hasn't been in shouting distance in a very long time. Or maybe he's just hiding like some girly-girl, too.)

Anyway, here's the call out for the Christmas story. Maybe your muse will come running now that the holiday season is upon us. Perhaps, Santa will bring us all a little Fame and Fortune for Christmas.

Christmas Traditions: True stories of holiday celebration
Send submissions to: Helen Kay Polaski (Szymanski) at
Christmas Traditions: True Stories of Holiday Celebration will be filled with stories that touch the mind as well as the soul as they take the reader on a magical journey through Christmas—past and present—while giving readers ideas for traditions they might be interested in adapting in the future. Each story will include a well-known holiday tradition or a unique tradition known only to a particular family or community, as well as a touching story that circulates around each individual tradition. (I love traditions and can’t wait to see how your family celebrates Christmas!)

Stories must be first person, true accountings of either shared or unique traditions celebrated by families, communities, and/or groups during the Christmas holiday season, and all must be based on strong individual family/community dynamics, specific geographical location, and/or different cultures and religion. Approximately 70-80 stories (700-1,200 words) will be gathered. (When writing your story please keep in mind that Christmas is the most magical time of the year. I want to see the magic unfolding on the page before me as I read, and so do my readers.)

Only stories that have a beginning, middle, and an end will be considered. I’m looking for great inspirational stories that “include” a holiday tradition. Please do not send an essay that lists all of the things your family enjoys during the holidays. Instead, choose one tradition your family follows and write a story about it that is as moving as it is real.Only true stories that have not been previously published will be accepted.

Payment: upon publication, $75 and a copy of the book (for each accepted story)Deadline extended: December 20, 2007
Please include your full name, current address, email address, phone number, and a 50-word bio.
Editor – Helen Kay Polaski (Szymanski)