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We hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

And if you grabbed a book to read to a child, we’re sure you had no trouble finding a Thanksgiving-themed story.

Although there are lots of stories about Thanksgiving and Christmas, that’s not true about all yearly celebrations. Editors want stories and articles that tie into reoccurring events that schools and towns celebrate, and that’s when calendars are a valuable tool.

Many stories and nonfiction topics can be tied to a particular date, such as the 4th of July, and you should mention these marketing tie-ins in your query letters to editors. Women’s History Month is in March, an opportune time for Shirley Raye to schedule speaking engagements and book signings for Patriots in Petticoats: Heroines of the American Revolution (Random House, 2004).

Shirley Raye’s Lewis and Clark reader was released specifically to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery’s historic expedition. The release date for Blind Tom, The Horse that Helped Build the Great Railroad coincided with President Lincoln’s bicentennial and the 140th anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony in Promontory Point, Utah.

Teachers and librarians are always looking for books with holiday themes, even for April Fool’s Day, Earth Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween. Fiction writers can benefit from calendars too. Jennifer’s There Goes Turtle’s Hat takes place in a zoo. Chase’s Calendar of Events, found in most libraries, provides lists of observances such as National Zoo Month. So, explore calendars for story ideas and for marketing opportunities.

Want to write for kids? Whether you want to write fiction or nonfiction, check out my workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book, Not Your Typical How-to Write Guide. 

Co-written with Shirley Raye Redmond, it reveals the step-by-step approach that Shirley Raye and I used to break into children’s publishing and to keep selling. 

You must write a marketable book in order to sell it, and this workbook teaches:

how to establish editor contacts.