December Open Call: Holidays & Seasonal Celebrations

Our next open call for short fiction runs from December 4-10. We welcome fantastical and speculative stories of all sorts, and also would love to see fantastical works themed around holidays and seasonal celebrations.

What do we mean by that?

Back in the ’90s, as a DJ and producer on a now-extinct community radio station in San Francisco, I used to make a point of playing thematic music keyed to the current holiday or notable “this day in history” milestones.

This wasn’t just playing a punk-rock “White Noise Christmas” on Dec. 25, or even the great Tino’s Breaks “Halloween Dub” on October 31. The point was to dig deep.

My favorite was Labor Day. In a nod to May Day, which Labor Day attempts to supplant, I would always bust out my trusty copy of the Harlan Ellison Record Collection’s audio version of “‘Repent Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” read by the great author himself.

This same ethos translates over to The Fabulist. We do like to post stories relevant to the holiday or historical moment. We’ve run Christmas stories, and look forward to publishing more. And we delight in dropping spooky stories in October.

But when we say we’d like to see submissions of fiction that riffs on holidays and seasonal celebrations, we don’t just mean the easy ones. Yeah, we’d like more good stories that we can drop on Christmas or Halloween.

And yet … what ABOUT Labor Day? Or May Day? A real twofer, there, representing both radical labor history as well as rich pagan and folkoric traditions. There’s also Black History Month. Thanksgiving — that was the prompt behind last month’s “postcolonialism” submissions theme. The Winter and Summer Solstices. Veteran’s Day, but also Armistice Day.

Like I said — dig deep. We welcome work that explores the historical and cultural markers in our shared calendar that give significance to human experience time and time again.

Thanks for considering. While we welcome submissions that explore these themes in a fantastical vein, we also welcome fantastical and speculative fiction of all sorts. Check out our submissions guidelines, and thanks for your interest in The Fabulist.

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