Find Ideas for Freelance Feature Writing Everywhere

Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality FeaturesWhen you’re a freelance writer, everything you do in your day can lead to something to write about. Features are all about human interest. A broad field, no doubt.

Whether your idea yields a full-blown article, a short news item for the local Chamber of Commerce publication, or a magazine filler, writing for publication is a good credential to have. More importantly, it’s fun and rewarding.

To be a writer is to potentially be at work, no matter what time it is or where you are. You become an idea junkie. You must keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

Consider these ideas:

1) Did something humorous happen to you today?

Article idea: Write a first-person feature or filler for a magazine.

2) Did you watch a local television program that featured a profile of a local person of interest?

Article idea: Interview that person for a regional or national publication.

3) Did you receive a catalog in the mail about classes offered by your park district?

Article idea: Interview the teacher of an interesting class.

4) Did you receive a magazine in the mail, such as an automobile club one?

Article idea: Write an article about local spots of interest for that magazine, such as the zoo.

5) Did you go to a community center and find the work of a local artist that you enjoy?

Article idea: Interview the artist.

6) Did you meet a friend who has an interesting hobby for coffee?

Article idea: Interview your friend about the hobby.

7) Did your kids do an arts and crafts project?

Article idea: Write about an arts and crafts activity that parents can do with their kids.

8) Did you spend any time volunteering?

Article idea: Write an article that gives an overview of local volunteer activities.

9) Did you go to an interesting lecture at your library?

Article idea: Write about the lecture.

10) Are you on vacation?

Article idea: Write a travel piece about the spot you’re visiting and the fun things to do there.

As for marketing a piece, always be sure the publication you’re targeting the piece for, runs the type you want to sell.

For details about article ideas, interviewing people, the writing process, and marketing your articles, check out my book, “Beginners’ Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features” at your library.

Copyright 2011 by Charlotte Digregorio.


About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I am also the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I have signed books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won thirty-three poetry awards. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I am an internationally-published haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, haibun, free verse, acrostic, cinquain, etheree, and sestina poet. My poetry has been translated into six languages, and I have done poetry readings at a variety of bookstores, libraries, art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. My poetry has been displayed at supermarkets, art galleries, libraries, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I've been interviewed on cable television about my poetry. I also hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I was also self-employed as a communications/public relations/marketing consultant with 111 clients in 16 states. In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give special lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and to those at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and to libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America. Currently, I am Second Vice President of the Haiku Society.
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8 Responses to Find Ideas for Freelance Feature Writing Everywhere

  1. Number 4 seems like a good idea, but in that as in all of them, the publisher wants some high quality photos to go along with the article. That knocks me out. Do you think a post card of the place would be good enough? What about the others if we are not photographers?

    • As for number four, you can always get photos of travel spots or interesting places from the Chamber of Commerce. As for other photos, if you’re not a photographer, but you often freelance for the same publication, they will send their staff photographer to take photos. If you’re not a regular freelancer for a publication, ask other writers you meet at writer’s groups if they take photos or know of a freelance photographer. At any rate, don’t worry about photos until your piece has been accepted.

  2. Also, Carl, please note that civic organizations, such as a zoo, are glad to give photos for publicity purposes to writers. And, again, a local publication usually likes to run their own photos to accompany a feature, so they’ll make arrangements with their staff. If it’s a regional or national publication, the editors often know freelance photographers in other areas that do work for them.

  3. john says:

    am thinkin of takin a course in journalism what are some of the topic wil i find am what do they comprise

    • John,
      Take a class in feature writing or writing for publication. They will cover newspaper and magazine articles.They will deal with writing the piece and how to get it published. You can also check out the book I wrote from the library, “Beginners’ Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features: A Simple Course in Freelancing for Newspapers/ Magazines.” I used it as a supplemental text when I taught my classes.

      Good luck!

  4. RIDHI DOOMRA says:

    hi sir
    I have done masters in mass communication. my forte is personality development articles. please suggest me the market i can write for. and i only can do freelancing writting.

    • Ridhi,

      If your forte is in psychology, I would suggest that you write for men’s and women’s lifestyle magazines. If you also have degrees in the social sciences, write for trade journals in the social sciences area. I am somewhat unclear about what you mean by “personality development.”

      But, I hope this helps.

      Charlotte Digregorio

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