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Create Your Own Editorial Calendar
by Shaunna Privratsky

Editorial calendars can be a writer's best tool. They are like cheat sheets because they list themes and subjects for the upcoming year. If you follow the calendar and submit timely queries, you're bound to attract the attention of grateful editors.

Let's take it to the next level. How about creating your own editorial calendar? It can keep you on track for submissions, give your creativity a boost in those down times and encourage you to stockpile work if you can't write as much as you'd like at certain times of the year.

A great way to compile a calendar is to research important dates and events approximately six months in advance. Typically, magazine editors like to work at least that far ahead, so articles submitted during this time would be right on track with their needs. Here is a sample calendar to get you started. You can personalize it and add your own ideas as the year progresses.

January
Start thinking the hot days of August, even if you're shivering.

  • Back to school
  • End of summer
  • School supplies
  • Women's Small Business month
  • Away to college
  • National Immunization month
  • New, affordable school clothes
  • Happiness month

February
This is a short month, so get started on these September ideas.

  • Labor Day party
  • Patriot's Day [9-11-07]
  • Cooler weather
  • Gardening tips on winterizing
  • New school
  • First bus ride/separation anxiety
  • Grandparents Day
  • Update your resume month
  • Autumn begins
  • Baby safety month
  • College savings month
  • Library card sign-up month

March
Think fall, pumpkins and colorful leaves for October ideas:

  • Columbus Day
  • Weatherize home
  • Dryer vent safety month
  • Fall decorating
  • National Bosses Day
  • Cooler weather
  • Halloween parties
  • Costumes
  • Right-brainers rule month
  • Raking/celebrating leaves
  • National breast cancer awareness month
  • National domestic violence awareness month
  • Daylight savings time ends [Fall back]

April
Be thankful that spring is here, while you look ahead to November.

  • Election Day
  • Lung cancer awareness month
  • Colder weather
  • Veterans Day
  • Christmas shopping ideas
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • American Diabetes month
  • Holiday tips
  • Busiest shopping day of the year
  • Avoid Christmas debt
  • Winterize your car
  • National Alzheimer's disease month
  • Surviving the holidays
  • Decorations

May
Visualize everything you love about December.

  • Hanukah
  • Winter begins
  • Universal Human rights month
  • Last minute shopping ideas
  • Year-end income tax tips
  • Avoiding weight gain
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
  • Holiday meals
  • Kwanzaa begins
  • Safe toys and gifts month
  • Parties
  • Cold weather/winter fun
  • New Year's Eve
  • National drunk driving prevention month

June
Although your vacation may be in full swing, jot down some January ideas to keep your calendar going.

  • New Year's Day
  • Goals and resolutions
  • Retirement planning
  • Returning gifts
  • Celebration of Life month
  • Lose holiday pounds
  • Start a fitness program
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Pay off Christmas debt
  • Travel in winter conditions
  • Tax tips for the New Year
  • International creativity month

July
Between dips in the pool, here are some February facts to get your writing in gear.

  • Valentine's Day
  • Romantic dates
  • Black History month
  • Get in shape for summer
  • President's Day
  • Decorations/treats
  • Escape cabin fever
  • American heart month
  • Plan your vacation
  • Stick to January's goals

August
The kids will be heading back to school and you'll probably have more time to write about March.

  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Spring begins
  • Poison prevention month
  • Easter celebrations
  • Good Friday, Palm Sunday
  • National Women's History month
  • Spring fever
  • American Red Cross month
  • Gardening plans/preparations
  • Cleaning, organizing
  • Shopping for a new home
  • Lawn care

September
Although September 21st is Stephen King's birthday, try to focus on April ideas.

  • Tackle your clutter month
  • Daylight savings time begins [Spring ahead]
  • Last minute tax tips
  • Spring cleaning
  • Earth Day
  • Bicycling safety
  • Passover
  • Animal cruelty prevention month
  • Avoid animal bites
  • Gardening tips
  • Tax returns due
  • Spending/saving refunds

October
The cooler weather means you'll have more time to write about May ideas.

  • Mother's Day
  • Gifts/celebrate Mom
  • Clean air month
  • Last days of school
  • Armed Forces Day
  • Prom, parties
  • Graduation
  • Memorial Day
  • Plan summer vacation
  • Summer camp signup

November
Forget about the leftover turkey for a moment and concentrate on some June ideas.

  • Flag Day
  • International Men's month
  • Father's Day
  • Gifts/celebrate Dad
  • Summer begins
  • School's out
  • Summer activities
  • National Safety month
  • Weddings
  • Outdoor fun

December
Even though this month is already jam-packed, keep your writing flourishing by considering some of these July ideas.

  • Independence day
  • Parties/decorations
  • Fireworks safety
  • Summer camp
  • Anti-boredom month
  • Insect control/bites
  • National hot dog month
  • Stay cool
  • Water fun and safety
  • Skin protection/health

Although the year is at an end, continue looking ahead and discovering new ideas for your writing. By creating your own editorial calendar, you are mapping out a successful plan to keep your writing career flourishing. Just think, next year is going to be even better!

© Copyright 2007, Shaunna Privratsky

Shaunna Privratsky writes fulltime from North Dakota, in between shoveling snow. Please visit The Writer Within at http://shaunna67.tripod.com. We are looking for new writers and we are a paying market.

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