Fiction Ed’s Blog: Christmas Stories In July

Shutterstock © Christmas stories

Schools all across the UK have broken up — the summer holidays are here, and it’s warm and sunny outside. It must be time to start thinking about Christmas stories!

Christmas in July

The year has a rhythm on the “Friend” Fiction desk. Generally speaking, we try to have the first batch of stories for each year’s “Friend” annual ready for our Production team by the end of June.

After that, our thoughts turn to the Christmas Special — stories for that need to be approved, bought, illustrated and ready for Production by around the start of August. So they’re already underway.

Stories for our Christmas weekly issues are welcome now.

Our Christmas Bumper Issues

In December, we generally have two Christmas Bumper Issues, We don’t call them Double Issues because they don’t, strictly speaking, contain exactly twice the size and content of the usual weekly issue.

This year, we’ll have two December Bumper Issues, and these will be dated December 4 and 11; and December 18 and 25. So our second Bumper Issue will be Christmassy to the max!

It also means that this year, our New Year issue will be dated January 1, 2022.

When to send Christmas stories

Stories for inclusion in our bumper issues need to be read and approved, illustrated, and ready for Production by the beginning of October. So they’re welcome now.

Please make sure it’s clear that it’s a Christmas story by including it in the file name — we wouldn’t want to miss it!

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for a mix of traditional and modern Christmas stories; most will be contemporary, with some historical. Feel-good themes — family, friendship and romance – are welcome.

Each bumper issues has 17 stories with a mix of the following lengths: 1100, 1700, 2000, 2200. 3000, and 3700 (just one of the latter, per bumper issue).

We also feature Christmas fiction in our Annual, and these stories tend to be our most heart-warming and traditional.

Christmas poetry

We’re also looking for poetry of between 12 and 16 lines for our Christmas issues. Published “Friend” poets are welcome to submit to Poetry Ed Abbie.

Unpublished “Friend” poets, please keep an eye on the website. There’ll be an update on how to submit soon.

Best of luck!

For more from Lucy, click here to read her Fiction Ed’s blog.

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Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 150 years of 'Friend' fiction!