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Five Ways to Earn Cash through Kinfolks
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Let's face it. Most of us have family dynamics that could be featured in made-for-TV movies. Whether your family closely resembles the Ozzie Osbournes or the Osmonds, chances are their antics, idiosyncrasies, and colorful behavior can earn you green!

Over the years, our family dynamics have certainly been the fodder for creative materials for me—for everything from poetry, to personal essays, to commentary. For example, several of my humorous pieces have appeared in popular anthologies like Simon and Schuster's Chocolate Series for women, while dozens of “issues” have been addressed in the way of thought-provoking columns.

Your family issues can too. Consider this: The family focus has been a popular theme of entertainment for decades. From fictional stories like Alcott's Little Women, to sitcoms like All in the Family, to historical references like Alex Haley's Roots.

The reason? Family topics are relatable and relevant. No matter what color, creed, or country of origin, people can identify through laughter and tears.

If you're ready to give your family “15 minutes of fame,” make extra cash, and possibly bring closure to lingering dramas, here's how to make it happen.

  1. Find the human connection—What is a common characteristic or family event that makes for good story-telling? For instance, most families have sibling rivalry, mismatched couples, money disputes, favoritism, interesting careers, victory over obstacles, and family reunion mishaps in their dynamics. Capitalize on yours.

  2. Treat “Cousin Jethro” with care—Remember to never put potential profit over family privacy and respect. Use aliases. Respect boundaries. And always use proper discernment.

  3. Choose the right genre for optimal impact—Heartfelt emotions typically work well for poetry and greeting cards, while “aha” moments are effective as personal essays and feature articles.

  4. Add to the appeal factor and to your publishing odds by providing photos and graphics—Many times simple pictures that can be taken with disposable cameras will be more than adequate and provide visual variety. “Kodak moments” worth sharing would be wedding snapshots, family reunion photos, vacation pictures, family businesses, and births.

  5. Give take-away value to your readers—Wow your audience with your words. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them realize that through all the trials and tribulations, families are a treasure to have!

Follow these five tips to immortalize your family and add another dimension to your writing career.

Here are a few writing markets that have a family focus for articles and family-related activities for your submissions. Also note that many general lifestyle magazines have a parenting section for your work as well.

© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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