With the new regime, I don’t have a lot of time to go into detail, but I think you have the gist of things by now. Simply choose one of the topics, and then brainstorm. Fiction and non-fiction; topical and evergreen.
Here’s an evergreen, although the date does fluctuate from year to year, so do your research for next year.
This Friday, 2 April, is Good Friday. Sunday is Easter Day. And Friday and Monday are the bank holidays in the UK this year. Some places will also have Tuesday as a concessionary day. What’s a concessionary day? What’s the history of this and the other bank holidays?
There is so much to be written using Easter as a theme: Easter bonnets; Easter parade; Easter egg hunts; the Easter bunny; the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; hot cross buns; the end of Lent. Have a brainstorming session and see what else you can come up with.
All Fool’s Day
This evergreen comes around every year on the same date. What is the history of April Fools? Can you write a short story using this as your theme? Or how about Ten of the Best April Fool’s Pranks?
The Falklands War
Forty years ago next year, on 2 April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falklands. I have memories of that day. I remember wondering what Argentina were doing all the way over here in Scotland! Of course, I soon knew better, and I even edited a book on the subject.
What can you write about the Falklands War? It’s still very much in living memory. Do you know anyone who fought over there or who was directly affected ?
Can you set a story on the Falklands islands?
Now that I’ve caught up on my date work, I’m back to thinking 6 months ahead. In March, I would normally be thinking September. And as it’s still March, I think I can just about squeeze this one in.
I won’t have time to do the think/query/write/submit for September in March now, so here are 20 throwaways that you might still have time to make use of.
Don’t forget to double-check these dates and facts. And remember, these are for this year.
- On 1 September 1971, 50 years ago this year, the British old penny and threepenny bit ceased to be legal tender.
- On 4 September 2006, 15 years ago this year, crocodile hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray.
- On 9 September, every year, it’s National Teddy Bear Day.
- On 9 September 1971, 50 years ago this year, the Watergate team broke into Daniel Ellsberg’s doctor’s officer. (Or was it 3 September? I have found fluctuating dates.)
- On 10 September 1961, 60 years ago this year, F1 driver von Trips died after crashing his car at the Italian Grand Prix, hitting 13 spectators with his Ferrari.
- On 11 September 1946, 75 years ago this year, the first ever mobile long-distance car-to-car telephone conversation took place.
- On 11 September 1961, 60 years ago this year, the World Wildlife Fund was founded.
- On 13 September, every year, it’s Roald Dahl Day.
- On 15 September, every year, it’s Greenpeace Day.
- On 15 September, every year, it’s Battle of Britain Day.
- On 16 September, every year, it’s Mayflower Day.
- On 18 September 1981, 40 years ago this year, France abolished capital punishment.
- On 19 September, every year, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
- On 21 September, every year, it’s Devil’s Nutting Day.
- On 22 September, every year, it’s Car-Free Day.
- On 22 September, every year, it’s Elephant Appreciation Day.
- On 22 September, every year, it’s Hobbit Day.
- On 23 September 1846, 175 years ago this year, the planet Neptune was discovered.
- On 25 September this year, it’s National Ghosthunting Day.
- On 28 September, every year, it’s Nutcrack Day.
Research them, ask your favourite search engine what they are, brainstorm the slants and angles, then see if you can peg your choice on something short: an article, a poem, a short story, a reader’s letter. If an article, remember to query the market first.
Over to you …
… and don’t forget to come back and let me know if and what you did, and how it fared.