by Suzie Eller
Do you feel the snow in the air? Have you hung your stockings with care? Though you may be sitting under an air conditioner, many editors are knee deep in Christmas. They may even be putting together a magazine that will release a year from Christmas!
In today’s Tuesday Tip we explore seasons that offer writers opportunities.
Christmas and Easter
Magazines and take-home paper markets are always interested in Christmas and Easter article. It might be a personal essay over your favorite Christmas memory or a how-to article on making a wreath. It could be a feature or profile piece about a secret Santa who gives to needy children.
TIP: Most editors work from 6-18 months in advance on seasonal articles. Check the Christian Writers Market Guide for more details on a specific magazine market.
Fall, summer, spring and winter offer opportunities for numerous articles.
Are you into gardening? Write a how-to article on how to plant fall bulbs or how to prepare your trees for winter.
Are you skilled in something? Write about the most efficient way to spring clean, how to prepare your new kindergartner for the start of school, how to winterize your home, prepare your heart for an empty nest, how to save on taxes, where to go on a summer mission trip, or a host of other activities that take place during specific seasons.
TIP: Don’t sell yourself short. What is one thing that others look to you for advice? You are an expert at something.
Local, Regional and National Anniversaries and Events
When I lived in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, residents celebrated “Where the Red Ferns Grow” each year with a Red Fern Festival. It was a perfect opportunity to write for a local or regional magazine about the nostalgic movie and time period, but also the festival itself. There were colorful profile pieces that also could be written.
In addition to local events or anniversaries, consider regional holidays. In one area of the country, Native Americans celebrate specific holidays and traditions. In others, there are Amish traditions and celebrations. What is an anniversary or regional event or celebration particular to your region?
TIP: Do a social media search for regional events.
Don’t forget national anniversaries such as President’s Day, Independence Day, and Veteran’s Day. These all provide perfect writing opportunities.
TIP: There’s nothing more frustrating to be triggered by a great idea on Independence Day, only to realize it’s too late to submit it for this calendar year. Note your idea on your editorial calendar. Check the writer’s guidelines to see when a magazine will want this particular seasonal query. Set a reminder to submit your query to your desired publication at that time.
Some articles are topical, but also seasonal because they strike a chord in some seasons more than others. Love is a big hit in February. So is loneliness, or strengthening a marriage, or finding hope in God’s love.
New beginnings are always a hit in January. That may include physical fitness, leadership goals, dreams or calling, starting fresh, etc.
TIP: Keep an idea file. When an idea hits, write it down immediately. You will have a surplus of ideas from which to choose.
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Just a memory trigger: My best friend’s cousin’s dogs were the star hounds in Where the Red Fern Grows movie. The filming of the movie was a big deal when we were in eighth grade. So what’s that for you – Four degrees of separation – if you count the dogs. 🙂