The Surprising Writing and Earth Day Connection

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
So I was checking out my calendar, thinking about Earth Day, when I started tossing ideas around for this post. And I know what you’re thinking: she’s going to talk about recycling.

Nope! (Though recycling is super important and I sure hope that you do your best to recycle!) I went with the calendar.

The calendar, you ask? What’s the calendar got to do with writing? So glad you asked!

When it comes to writing, whether it’s articles or books, there are certain dates on the calendar when editors and/or publishers are looking for very specific topics. Nearly every month has its special holiday and if you are the creative writer who can put a unique spin on those tired topics around Christmas, Halloween, or 4th of July, you will make a sale, I guarantee it. But you have to be on top of the editorial calendar or you’ll miss your window of opportunity.

The editorial calendar is the golden ticket for the freelancer; with it, you have all the information and dates you need to submit. Sometimes, it’s easy to find the submission guidelines and calendar. Here at WOW, for example, you can find all kinds of info on the Contact Us page. Make every effort to find the submission information and/or calendar before you submit because the freelancer who sends out stuff willy-nilly is the freelancer who doesn’t get the job.

An editorial calendar may require a seasonal submission months (and months) ahead of publication. So what’s the writer to do when that great Labor Day query isn’t accepted and Labor Day is right around the corner?

You have two choices when your seasonal queries go bust: you can wait a whole year or you can revise the article into an evergreen piece. (An evergreen topic is one that will fit either year-round or year after year.)

Granted, not every topic can be converted into something broader and evergreen. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer might work in an article about reindeer but you’ll still probably be limited to a winter theme. However, if you’ve come up with a few ideas for a craft article on how to recycle odds and ends into Christmas ornaments, then maybe that article becomes ornaments for a tree in your yard when you celebrate Earth Day. Wheee!

And one more thing about the calendar and writing: don’t overlook the lesser known celebrations when you’re looking for topics. Editors get swamped with queries about Earth Day on April 22nd, but did you know that April 6th was National Tartan Day? (Which makes me wonder if there’s a National Plaid Day…) Or that tomorrow is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day? Here’s a great site to give you all kinds of holidays and observances in the United States which will also give you information to get started on your research. And P.S. Here’s a fun site with world-wide calendars.

So I think I’ve made my Earth Day point about the simple yet amazing calendar. (But it’d also be swell if you recycle!)

~Cathy C. Hall (Writer and Recycler)

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

There's a "day" for pretty much everything, which leads me to wonder if there is a "calendar day". Now I'll have to go Google. Thanks for the fun links!

Margo Dill said...

This post is full of great ideas for freelancers. I bet if you are a humor writer--like yourself--that you could really have fun with some of those national days. :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--I think Margo's right. You could take your own advice and write a funny piece about some of those crazy holidays. You know, like National Ladies Mustache Day--that's a fun holiday.

Seriously, thanks for the reminder that working smarter as a writer means making the most out of our pieces (stretching them). There are a couple of themes and stories that I've reworked and rewritten for different anthologies... It's a joy to revisit some moments.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I appreciate your vote of confidence, y'all! Now if you could just find me a wee bit of time on my calendar to WRITE! :-)

Linda O'Connell said...

I try to write stories ahead of time that will fit the submissions calendars months down the road. That Earth Day ornament is a great idea. You are always on top of your game.

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