Lazette Gifford
Publisher & Editor

Avoid the Last Minute Rush When Submitting Seasonal Manuscripts 

By Suzan Wiener
Copyright 2007 by Suzan Wiener, All Rights Reserved

Are you a writer who waits too late to send out seasonal submissions such as material for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, etc.? If you follow the tips listed below, you won't be upset because you missed a deadline, and you will have a better chance of getting your work accepted by sending it out in a timely manner. When I first started out as a writer, I had the misfortune of missing out on acceptances because I didn't get my work in on time -- but not anymore. Instead of waiting for the last-minute rush to write submissions for seasonal material, why not write it year-round in your spare time? This way, when it comes to sending material out, you will be a jump ahead of the competition because you will have it ready to be mailed. You can even address the envelopes beforehand to help speed the process along.

1. File each piece in a separate folder marked in large, red letters with the month it should be sent, the holiday, and the target publication. Check the folders on a weekly basis, so you don't miss important deadlines.

2. Check Writer's Market to see how far in advance each magazine needs seasonal material. Some need it as far as six months to a year ahead of time. Write out each market's lead time and keep it by your computer or typewriter.

3. Keep a list of the holidays and writer's guidelines handy to know when each publication's holiday deadline is approaching. It is good if you store them all in one loose-leaf folder, which saves time and effort.

4. Have a calendar handy so you can check the holiday and remember the lead times for each publication. If you show them consistency in giving good seasonal items they can use, the editor could start relying on you for those items.

5. Always look for unusual holidays to write about, such as Kwanzaa. If you don't know about that particular special occasion, then research it. Search engines like Google are a big help in that respect. You will be glad you did when you get that most-welcome check for your submitted work.

6. Make sure not to send a religious poem to a magazine geared toward fashion and vice-versa. You have to know your target audience to make sales. (See my May, '05 article "Target

Your Audience" in The Writer's Ezine for more information about targeting your audience.)

7. Pretend you are working at a particular publication.  In doing so, you will read the publication more thoroughly and know what specific types of seasonal items the editor accepts.

Following the above tips can help you to get more acceptances and that is what every writer craves.