Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lots To Write On Patriotic Holidays

If you love your country, give some thought to writing about our patriotic holidays. This  includes the one we celebrate this week, our Independence Day--or 4th of July as it is more commonly known. But there are others through the year, even though not all are actual holidays recognized by our federal government. Even so, they all commemorate important times, events or people in our history.

Memorial Day
Independence Day (4th of July)
Labor Day
Veteran's Day
Armistice Day (now Veteran's Day)
Lincoln's Birthday
Washington's Birthday
Pearl Harbor Day

These holidays are more than a day off for federal postal workers. They each commemorate something important in our country and they are days to be marked with more than a picnic or some other social celebration. Look at the list. Do you know why we celebrate each one?

We should fly our American Flag, attend parades in our communities, and give thought to why we mark the day. Most of the days in the list above have to do with Freedom which is no small thing. Two of them honor president's who served during special periods in our history. All of them should bring out some patriotism in us.

We who write can also write stories, articles, poems and essays. Newspapers and magazines, ezines and radio broadcasts mark these days in some way. I read frequently that editors need holiday stories and patriotic holidays might be far down on the list that writers would select as a project. They're more likely to tackle a fun holiday like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Valentine's Day.

Think about the pluses in writing about a patriotic holiday. You can pass on a bit of history. You can write with emotion and touch the hearts of readers. You have less competition so a better chance of being published. You can add to your Family Stories book. You can approach the project from several angles. You can even write fiction with a patriotic holiday as the setting.

The main thing to remember is to write far enough ahead and submit early enough that you have a chance of being published. Sometimes, we write best in the heat of the moment, maybe the personal essay you're inspired to write this 4th of July is best saved to submit in 2015. If you want to write an Independence Day story next March, you may not be as fired up over it as you could be tomorrow when firecrackers are flying.

Children's magazines especially like holiday stories and I'm guessing they get a very few patriotic holiday stories. Instead, they're usually swamped with Halloween stories.

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