I discuss ten popular topics of feature articles in my book, Beginners’ Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features, that I wrote several years ago when I taught journalism. I will list them here. These are especially suitable for local publications. Some of these categories are broad and overlap:
These articles are among the most common and popular to write and read. You could write about someone with an interesting hobby, job or business; someone who is active in the community who is retiring or moving away; a unique child, senior citizen, or disabled person; an artist; or a famous person who has some link to your area. For example, you could write about an antique car collector, costume designer, or a glassblower.
You could write about public gatherings, such as festivals, exhibits, concerts, or shows. You could even preview them, interviewing the people involved in organizing them. You could also write about uncommon happenings, such as the birth of a second set of twins to a mother.
You could write about people who live in houseboats or log cabins. You could also write about people who operate successful home businesses.
You could write holiday features, such as how a certain ethnic group celebrates a major holiday. Other ideas are: fashion, food, and sports, pertaining to the current season.
5) Trends of the Decade.
Why not write about men and women entering certain fields that were traditionally limited to a certain gender? You could also write about new types of businesses that are becoming popular.
What about businesses that are becoming extinct? For example, I recently read a feature article about the only person left in my area who repairs typewriters.
7) Interesting Places to Visit/Travel to.
These articles could be about local or regional towns or even organizations, such as the local historical society. Or, they could be more general features about foreign countries that are becoming popular to tourists.
These could be about services offered to the public by the government and by social service agencies, such as food banks.
These cover a range of topics, such as self-help: improving your physical and emotional health, and staying fit. They could also deal with home improvements, such as interior decorating. Or, they could be about car maintenance for particular seasons of the year.
10) First Person Experience.
The most effective features of this kind are the ones where the writer has participated in some different or unusual activity or job, and shared his/her perspectives. Do you know someone who owns a farm? Be a farmer for a day and then report on it.
Ideas are boundless. All you need to do is sit down and brainstorm. And the more you read features, the more ideas they will trigger. Start being an idea person!
Copyright 2015 by Charlotte Digregorio.