"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Five Ways to Seize the Summer and Earn Hot Cash!

Summer season is upon us.
Not only does it usher in hot weather, but it also offers endless opportunities for writers to earn extra dough through events of the season.
All that’s required is a little creativity and some cool lemonade.
And the great thing is that these ideas work regardless as to where you live, or what genre you write.

Here’s how to explore various topics to potentially pen poems, essays, how-tos, features or fictional pieces and to earn hot cash in the process.

Make a list and check it twice.

Here’s what it might look like:


Graduations and Proms---A look at college career choices, a nostalgic look at your first love, or an essay on defining success for today’s graduate.

Summer reunions---this could include genealogy references, family recipes, or colorful characters.

Summer vacations---Great for travel writing pieces, rating of hotels and restaurants.

Summer gardening---Tips on successful planting, pictures of your back yard and stories of trial and error, or how to cultivate a green thumb.

Summer barbeques and recipes---How to use beer for tender barbeque, or the art of romantic picnics, or how to make the best baked beans.

Summer weddings---Wedding traditions and how not to become a “bride-zilla.” Unusual stories on how couples met.

At-home activities for kids—Arts and craft activities, how to host a book club for teens, summer safety tips. Time management for busy moms.

Summer fashions---Popular trends, hot sales, styles that flatter different figures, foot care for sandal wear.

Fourth of July
Labor Day

National “Awareness” Days
National Safety Month—June—Why and how it came into existence.
Parents’ Day---July---Gift-giving tips
Friendship Day---August
Grandparents’ Day---September
Special Olympics

Choose the most interesting and relevant topics based upon your interests and experiences, and narrow the list down. For example, for me, since I’m an incurable romantic, summer weddings would definitely be at the top of my list. Summer barbeques would also be a definite possibility since I enjoy food and backyard barbeques. The weddings might inspire my romantic poetry or a personal essay, or even a how-to on planning an economical but beautiful wedding for penny-pinchers!

Address the 5 Ws of journalism: who, what, when, where, why. Don’t forget to provide colorful anecdotes and quotes to provide richness.

Start sketching and fleshing out viable ideas. Ideally the more passionate you are about the subject, the easier and more enjoyable it is to write, and the less research required.

Identify potential markets. This is almost a no-brainer. Wedding pieces would go to places like Today’s Bride or Bride’s Noir. Recipes would find a home at Taste of Home or Woman’s Day. You’ll also find a great database of magazine guidelines at Writing for Dollars. Once this is done, check the publication’s archives and their editorial calendars to identify the best time to approach the publication with a query or completed piece.

Follow these five tips and you’ll find creative projects and pay to last the whole year!

Image Salvatore Vuono


  1. Wonderful ideas! Was just pondering some 4th of July ideas, actually. Thanks for spurring me on.

    Have a lovely weekend! :)

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Glad to be of service. :-) You too!

  3. I have never really thought about themed topics but this has ignited my creative juices. Way cool! I'll start preparing for winter topics now.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 17, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    Way 2 go, Marcie! Keep us posted. :-)

  5. Great ideas! I know publications like Chicago Parent are always looking for good work. Not sure if they pay but it is worth a peek.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 17, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Thanks, Rebecca. And yes they do pay, depending upon what section you should submit work. Good luck. :-)

  7. This is one of the many reasons I read your blog--your tips are practical and straight-forward. Thank you for Just. Breaking. It. Down. And all with a touch of pizzazz to keep me smiling as I read.

    Much appreciated. Have a lovely Sunday!

  8. Janette,

    How sweet. This is why I love to hear from you. :-) Thanks for your input.

  9. This is a great place to start. Thanks for your hard work, Jennifer.

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Hi Chrisd!

    Thanks a lot. Glad to see you here today. :-)