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.
Seventy-five years ago next year, on 7 April 1947, Henry Ford died.
There are so many topics you can write about around this anniversary.
What was Henry Ford known for? Where was he born? Where did he die? What can you tack onto this anniversary about Michigan? What can you tack onto this anniversary about Detroit? What was his most famous product? What did Ford do for workers? What did he do about trade unions? What did Ford have to do with antisemitism? What do we know about his mental health?
How about something on the Ford motor company today? What was Ford’s legacy? We’re still driving Ford cars. Why is this? What can you write about today’s motor industry? Or how about the history of the motor industry?
Topics for articles are numerous, but how about setting a short story against something that you discover during your research instead?
National No Housework Day
This evergreen comes around every year on the same date. What’s National No Housework day all about? Who celebrates this rather unusual national day?
Write a story or an article about National No Housework Day or about housework in general. Time management pieces always include something on housework or, rather, how to get out of doing the housework when there are so many other much more interesting things to do to spend your time.
Another evergreen that comes around every year, but the date fluctuates depending on when Easter falls, so do your
What can you find out about this festival? When does it fall? Is it still celebrated anywhere today?
Now that I’ve caught up on my date work, I’m back to thinking 6 months ahead. In April, I would normally be thinking October. As it’s now, April here are 20 throwaways you might have time to make use of.
Don’t forget to double-check these dates and facts. And remember, these are for this year.
- October every year is Black History Month.
- 1 October every year is World Smile Day.
- Fifty years ago this year, on 1 October 1971, Disney World opened in Florida.
- One hundred and fifty years ago this year, on 8 October 1871, the Great Fire of Chicago broke out.
- 10 October every year is National Handbag Day.
- 10 October every year is Clergy Appreciation Day.
- Two hundred years ago this year, on 11 October 1821, George Williams, founder of the YMCA movement, was born in Dulverton in Somerset.
- Sixty years ago this year, Chico Marx died.
- 13 October every year is National Yorkshire Pudding Day.
- 13 October every year is National Stop Bullying Day.
- One hundred and twenty-five years ago this year, on 14 October 1896. silent screen star Lilian Gish was born in Springfield, Ohio.
- Seventy-five years ago this year, on 15 October 1946, Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering poisoned himself at Nuremberg Prison, hours before he was due to be hanged.
- One hundred and seventy-five years ago this year, on 16 October 1846, the first major surgical operation using ether was carried out by Dr Warren at Massachusetts General Hospital.
- On 19 October this year, Muslims will celebrate the Prophet Muhammed’s birthday. This is an evergreen, as it happens every year, but the date does fluctuate.
- 21 October every year is Trafalgar Day.
- 23 October every year is National Mole Day … Yes, it is one kind of mole, but it’s up to you to find out which kind, and then which one to use as your slant.
- One hundred and fifty years ago this year, on 27 October 1871, journalist Henry Morton Stanley uttered those famous words “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” when he met the doctor for the first time. (In previous years, I’ve sold an article on this topic to two different markets.)
- 29 October every year is World Stroke Day. Again, it’s up to you to find out which kind of stroke, and then choose which one to use as your slant.
- In the United States, Mischief Night is on 30 October, the eve before Halloween. In the United Kingdom, Mischief Night in on 4 November, the eve before Bonfire Night. The UK seems to be moving towards 30 October, but in the north of the country, or at least in my part, it’s still 4 November. There is also a film called Mischief Night, and, of course, you could change it to Mischief Knight.
- 31 October every year is National Knock-Knock Jokes 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.