Saturday, 28 November 2009

Christmas comes but once a year ........

....... so that's a guaranteed supply of material for articles, features and fillers every year then. At a recent Wrekin Writer workshop the speaker was Nick Fletcher the author and writer who has had a glowing career in writing all of his life. One of the things he said at that workshop that really changed my outlook in regards to article writing was that he recycles all of his articles. He has been selling the same Christmas themed article to the same and other magazines every year! He just gets it out about six months prior to December, rejigs it/updates it and sends it out again. Sometimes all he does, in a 'top 10' list, is move the tip around so that number five becomes number one and number two becomes number six! Ingenious and what a time saver!

Another thing I've learned is to maximise on your publishing opportunities. I know it's too late to submit articles and fillers for this Christmas, but why not spend some time this Christmas by reading the Christmas editions of the publications you fancy writing for next year and looking at the articles in there and be inspired to submit your own for next year. There is no copyright on ideas or titles and you can take a basic premise and make it your own if you put your own twist on it and don't plagiarise!

Attend as many Christmas light switch ons and Christmas fayres as you can over the coming weeks and don't forget to take your camera. You might need to get permission from the event organisers to take photos at public events as you could be unpopular if you just whip your camera out and start snapping away. It will probably be fine if you're just taking photos of your own family at these events, but if you're likely to catch other members of the public, particularly other kids, then it's best to get permission from the organisers and the kids' parents. You don't want any angry parents after you. It's a sad time of the times but you do have to be careful.

Take as many notes and photos as you can at these events and look on their web site if you have one. You can book to speak to the organisers of these events later the following year, well before their next event so you can get your copy in to the mags in plenty of time. That way you'll have plenty of material.

I'm off to the Ludlow Medieval Fayre tomorrow and the following week I'll be in Much Wenlock at their Christmas Fayre - there are plenty of opportunities out there to gather material for Christmas themed articles and fillers, so don't let them pass you by. You'll be so glad you did and might just find the Christmas present of seeing your name and work in print next Christmas - what better present is there than that?!

Don't forget to look for the more unusual and quirky side of Christmas instead of sticking to the more traditional and well trodden path. Magazine editors like to see originality, something different and interesting for their readers. A tall order I know, but the material is out there - you just have to look for it!

Happy seasonal writing! Get your material now and you can work on it in the new year ready to send out in June/July next year.

Julie xx


  1. Useful advice. Thank you :-)

  2. Thanks KatW

    Glad you found it useful


    Oh and merry Christmas!

  3. This is great advice, Julie. Every year/season I mean to gather info for stories to be subbed at the relevant time...but I never remember. Your reminder is very welcome.


  4. Thanks, Suzanne

    There's so much going on in our lives sometimes that it's no wonder we forget to sub our work at the right time. But it's such a satisfying feeling knowing that you have when you do manage it!

    I think next year is going to be very exciting for all of us, Suzanne!

    Julie xx