Behind The Scenes: Christmas Stories

Christmas stories

A quick update. I had an email this morning from one of our writers querying a Christmas story that she submitted in October. She hadn’t heard so should she assume it was a no. You’ll have noticed that it’s nearly Christmas and our Christmas issues are in the shops. Spectacularly super bumper issue next week, by the way. So I totally understand her query. Christmas has, in production terms, been and gone and I haven’t been in touch to buy her story.

Now, hold that thought for a minute.

I’m reading October submissions at the moment, and I’ve spotted a number of other Christmas stories among them, so you, too, may well be sitting there wondering, What about mine?

Yes, in production terms, the Christmas 2017 ship has sailed. Booo. But, in production terms, there’ll be another Christmas along shortly! Hurrah!

Come summer 2018, I’ll be looking for the stories to make our next Christmas Special super sparkly and a treat for all. And writers just don’t feel like writing about snow and angels and tinsel and mince pies in July. So the festive stories that are on hand now, some bought and tucked away in my stock drawer, some not even read yet, are what I will be relying on to make my Christmas wish of a super story selection come true.

So, leave them with me, will you, please? I’ll do my best to give you news about them as soon as I can, but that’s the general picture.

It’s such a strange business, publishing, always working so far ahead. Features Ed Alex queried an invoice with me yesterday, dated November 30. He caught me in the middle of doing the story mix for Special 154, on sale March 7. I was blank: Why’s he asking about this now – it was months ago. And then I realised: No, it wasn’t, it was only last week!

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.