Written by Mary Anne Hahn

For many of us who live inrepparttar Northern hemisphere,repparttar 129500 month of July means vacation, swimming, boating, picnics and camping. Long hot days entice us to slow down, turn off computers and televisions, and grab a spot inrepparttar 129501 shade of a leafy tree with a good book and a glass of cold lemonade. The very last thing most of us are thinking about is Christmas.

But writers should be. Thinking about Christmas, that is. Sure, it's still nearly six months away, but if you plan for it now, you'll be ready whenrepparttar 129502 holiday season arrives.

And I'm not talking about doing your holiday shopping. July isrepparttar 129503 month to begin your holiday *writing*. Because those very same people who are frolicking outside today will start heading back indoors come September or October. They'll start making their own holiday plans. And, if you start now, you'll be ready for them.

You probably already know that you need to submit seasonal short stories, essays and article queries to print periodicals months in advance. But here are some other ideas you can begin to work on in July that can earn you some excellent income in December:

1. Offer a family holiday newsletter service. Holiday newsletters have become a popular way for people to catch each other up on family news that happened duringrepparttar 129504 past year. Sometimes they are merely letters; others are more elaborate, with photos to accompanyrepparttar 129505 news. You can set up a few templates, plan your advertising blitz now, and be ready to go before autumn nipsrepparttar 129506 air. A little preplanning can bring you a lot of business.

2. Write a Christmas memories book about your hometown. This could make a great stocking stuffer or a gift for those who love reading about history and holiday traditions. Have a press release ready for your local newspaper to promote your book, and start getting to know your local book dealers. An excellent guide for creating and selling your own Christmas memories book can be found here: http:/ .

12 Point Checklist for Writing Feature Articles

Written by Jill Black

1. Have you selected your intended subject topic and carefully planned out your idea?

2. Have you sent your idea query pitch to magazines or newspapers who may be interested? or will you write "on spec"?

With many magazines and newspapers now accepting material online it is now possible in many instances to email your queries directly torepparttar publication. Have you readrepparttar 129498 publishers guidelines carefully to make sure if this method is acceptable?

Before sending your query pitch: - Is it likely to be whatrepparttar 129499 publisher needs: have you studiedrepparttar 129500 publication?

- Isrepparttar 129501 timing right. Have you checkedrepparttar 129502 magazines editorial calendar? If it is a seasonal article is now repparttar 129503 best time to send your query?

If you have answered yes to these questions then package your idea into an attractive proposal and send it off to repparttar 129504 editor of your chosen publication.

3. Have you adequately researched your topic?

Read everything you can onrepparttar 129505 topic from all available sources - bookstores, newspapers, libraries, periodical indexes and internet sources. Never discard anything about your subject topic since you don't know until you write it up what you may actually want to use. Tip: Saving magazines, newspapers and clippings forrepparttar 129506 subject matter can save time when researching future writing assignments onrepparttar 129507 same topic or when working to deadlines. Catalogue all your collected material for easy reference. 4. Have you interviewedrepparttar 129508 key person/people you need for your proposed feature?

Now it is time to organize your material into a feature article.

5. Have you discarded everything in your research except for factual information?

Proper research and liberal use of factual material gives an original perspective to your feature article and also avoidsrepparttar 129509 possibility of plagiarism.

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