Thursday, February 11, 2021

Celebrate an Endless List of Newspaper Writing Topics

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

What’s up in your neck of the woods? I hope that you have the pleasure of reading good news stories in your hometown newspaper. But if the bad news or difficult headlines to read far outweigh the “feel-good” stories in your paper, why not consider submitting freelance articles to the editor for possible publication? 

We’ve discussed before in this column about becoming a newspaper stringer (and you can find those articles archived by searching for my name), but let’s talk today about where you might find ideas for stories. 

Besides just the “newsy” stories that take place in your community, seek out some lifestyle pieces that will be interesting to community members. And if you’re at a loss for ideas, then consider checking out some of the many holidays and celebrations that are touted on a number of websites. Then, find a related article to go along with that holiday. 

Here are some of the sites that list holidays by the month, week, and year: 

(Please be aware that these are general market sites and will have a variety of national and worldly holidays and celebrations and anniversaries, along with various religious-based ones, too.)

You’ll find all sorts of silly, wacky, zany holidays and festivities to recognize on these various sites. Perusing the sites will help you brainstorm ideas for newspaper articles. 

Keep in mind, you’ll need to plan far ahead to choose a holiday, seek out a resource, write the article, and allow for publication time. For the sake of celebrating February holidays along with this column, let’s take a look at a few February holidays as examples. 

February is American Heart Month. You could interview several doctors in the area and share an article on the best health practices for a healthy heart. You might also know a community member who suffered a frightening heart-health issue that completely changed his or her way of life, who now spends much time giving back to the community with a new attitude about what’s truly important in this world.

Black History Month is celebrated in February. Seek out people of color to interview for feature articles. In fact, build a collection of articles to turn into an editor frequently, not just during the month of February. Pastors often have inspiring stories to tell about themselves or someone in the congregation that you might not be aware of. 

National Bird Feeding Month falls in February. Do you have a bird sanctuary in your hometown? Does an ornithologist from a nearby college live close by? Interview a bird expert to get tips for best bird-feeding practices this month. Hopefully, the person you interview can give you the directions for building or creating a simple bird feeder that families can do together. Include that in the article, too. 

National Marriage Week takes place in early February. Can you locate someone in your community who’s been married for more years than even they can remember? Interview both and ask the secret of a healthy marriage! 

For Thank a Letter Carrier Day, interview several postal workers and find out the wildest thing that’s ever happened to them while on the job! Compile the stories into a humorous article, and encourage readers to leave a thank you note for their letter carriers! 

February 14 is, fittingly, National Organ Donor Day. One of my most favorite articles that I had the pleasure of sharing in our newspaper was of a sweet young couple, who found out, after months of waiting, that her husband was actually a perfect match for her much-needed kidney transplant. He surprised her by scheduling the surgery on their fifth wedding anniversary and then surprised her with the test results! 

These few holidays don’t even touch the surface of all the silly, but actual, holidays celebrated in the month of February. And every month of the year. If you’re searching for new ideas for newspaper stories, those freelance submissions that have the potential to boost your writing resume, look no farther than the calendar on your desk. And get creative! 

Happy February! 


Julie Lavender has enjoyed celebrating silly holidays with her husband and kids for years now, incorporating many of those celebrations into her homeschooling curriculum annually. She enjoys welcoming each day as a gift from God and especially likes any excuse to celebrate with ice cream cone! Julie celebrated the launch of her book, 365 Ways to Love Your Children: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, back in October, with a large cookies and cream milkshake!


  1. Great ideas, Julie. I can see these topics being used in a variety of ways. Such good info!

    1. Thank you, my friend! I love all those silly holidays that someone has come up with for every day of the year! Great fodder for newspaper and magazine article writing!

  2. Thanks for this great post, Julie. I miss those big ole newspapers that took up half a table to enjoy. Two things that haven't disappeared, though, are appetites for a good story and bonds that can develop between a writer and a reader over time. One of my favorite stories ever came from sitting in the only available seat at a Waffle House: a counter seat by the cash register. Another came from attending a funeral in a 200-year-old, one - room church during a monsoon. There are stories everywhere just waiting to be told, whether we have to wait to write them or we have to write them well in advance. The deadline for my New Year's Day article for a bi-monthly magazine was October 31st - Halloween. But, that took none of the joy out of writing it.

    I intend to share your post with our entire guild.
    Jay in Upstate SC

    1. Thank you so very much, Jay, for your kind words! You are so right - stories are EVERYWHERE!!! I love being on the lookout for all those stories. I truly believe it makes me more interested in what others have to say to me - my wheels are always spinning, thinking, "Would this make a good story?", so I hang onto every word they say! Well, I at least try to, anyway! And, those far-ahead deadlines are great, right? It sometimes tricks your brain into thinking it's already Christmas, haha - which is not a bad idea after all, to celebrate the meaning of Christmas year-round!! Blessings, my friend!

  3. Good ideas on how to get a story/article from a topic. Going to share with my writing class. Thanks.

    1. Thanks so much, Marcia, for sharing! It certainly gets me brainstorming when I look ahead at all the holidays offered for a particular month! It makes the ideas seem to come faster and gives me topics to consider writing about! Blessings!

  4. Thanks, Julie! This is a great fit for me since my column had become sparse! Thanks again! Ethel

  5. Thankyou for the sweet comment, Ethel! Hope it sparks a few new ideas! It's always my go-to when I am stumped for something new to write about! Blessings!