Using The Calendar to Sell Seasonal Magazine Articles

Right now, in the middle of winter, it’s a good time to submit seasonal articles to many magazines. The reason: most magazines have a long lead time, anywhere from several months to a full year. Many of them begin planning their going-back-to-school issues and even Thanksgiving and Christmas issues in February.

Savvy freelancers keep an eye on the calendar when sending queries and seasonal articles to magazines. They understand the need to consider the amount of time editors require to edit, print and distribute their publications.

You may not be in the mood right now to write Christmas or Hanukkah articles but if you recognize the fact that seasonal magazine articles are always in demand, that might prod you into listening to holiday music while you write. Go online to seek out fall and winter issues of your target publications. Just reading those back issues can help get you in the mood to write seasonal articles.

There’s a plus. After an editor accepts an article, you can always submit variations of the article later on to internet sites. Write those articles now and you’ll have an inventory of seasonal articles ready to submit to online markets when the actual holiday season rolls around.

Here are six subjects to get you started thinking about ideas for fall or winter magazine issues:

1. How parents can help a child overcome those first-day-of-school fears.

2. Trick or treat? Is your child really safe. Alternative ways for them to celebrate the holiday.

3. Autumn get-away vacations.

4. Time-saving meal preparation for the holidays.

5. Preparing your house and your car for winter.

6. Making New Year’s resolutions and developing the will power to keep them in 2010.

How many more seasonal ideas can you come up with?

© 2009 Laverne Daley

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4 Comments on “Using The Calendar to Sell Seasonal Magazine Articles”

  1. Tony Redston says:

    V.informative thoughts on working way-ahead, thanks for that.
    I’m a U.K ex-pat, with a background in TV drama, now living in southern Spain. I’ve been contributing to U.K. mags to scrape a living while I write ‘the definitive English novel’ (oh yeah …?) & would love to get some articles into U.S./Canadian paying publications. I write mostly short stories but have also offered articles. Unfortunately, despite compliments on writing skills, responses so far have been “If it ain’t about life in North America we can’t use it.” Any thoughts on some more broadminded spots?

  2. What kind of articles do you write? It’s been years since I’ve written and sold short stories so I can’t offer any help there, but I do have 30 years experience writing and selling articles.

    I’ve also read quite a few articles in which writers tell how they sell their work in far off places–I’ll try to find links to some of them. Meanwhile, you might want to read Isabel Viana’s piece “Wanted:Outsiders” that appeared on the Absolute Write site ( It doesn’t exactly cover your situation but it might offer some help.

    Thanks for your comment. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about what you write.

  3. Laverne,

    Very helpful post! We don’t generally think that far ahead when we write, do we? That’s where your calendar idea really comes in handy–sort of like a magazine’s editorial calendar, which makes everything so much easier to keep track of. That way, seasonal topics don’t sneak up on us as they otherwise tend to do.


  4. ldaley says:

    You are so right, Jeanne! I know I’ve missed out on selling several articles by waiting too long to pitch an idea. I learned soon enough that it’s never too early to query editors about time-sensitive articles. Glad you stopped by….please come again.


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