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Writing for Holiday Markets

It's all about planning way ahead

You look at your calendar and realize it's almost Memorial Day or Cinco de Mayo or that Halloween has already passed and the year-end holidays are right around the corner. That recognition gets your creative juices going. "I could," you think, opening a Word file, "I could write an article for Woman's Day or Family Circle about that neat costume I'm making for my daughter." Or, "you know, our holiday traditions are hilarious... I'll bet I could write and sell an article or two about them."

Great, break out your calendar and capture that idea for at least three months, and, for bigger magazines a full six months in advance of next year's celebration. Or write the piece for your local newspaper, and plan on marketing the same idea to magazines next year. You could even write the article now and save it for the future.

Magazines work three to six months in advance... check their guidelines. Even holiday features for major newspapers get assigned at least a month before they're due, and sometimes longer. Note, features are different than calendar items or the actual reporting on holiday events after the fact. I'm talking about articles like Halloween Costumes for Your Toddler or Helping Your Teenager Make Christmas Candles, Recipes for Hanukkah, Fasting for Ramadan or How to Display Your Flag on the Fourth.

All of which means you must plan ahead if you want to crack the holiday feature market. So use those creative juices to write, or at least draft, next year's holiday articles now. Make a note on your calendar to review them next June and start submitting in July.

Of course, there are all kinds of holidays you can write about. Canada has holidays we don't as does every other country in the world. Locating dates is not always easy. Here are some sources on the web:

When you're considering writing 'round the calendar, don't overlook minor celebrations and special days. Secretary's Day, for example, might trigger an article that you can sell. So could an article about a holiday that is celebrated by others... like 12th night in Mexico and elsewhere can be a good topic for many American markets. You might even try a feature on birthdays... which could be written any time.

It's all a matter of thinking, and planning ahead.

 

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