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fall-park-benchEvery year, I get excited about fall. It’s not just because I can start wearing sweaters and jeans again; I like everything about fall - the weather, the changing colors, the approaching holidays, and especially the peace and quiet. Fall is my favorite time to reflect. And write.

But if you’re like me, sometimes it takes a minute to get out of summer mode. The slower pace of August isn’t that easy to part ways with, even though the computer beckons.

What works well for me is doing something new and different to jumpstart my Autumn writing routine. Fortunately, fall is rife with options that are motivating, fun, and profitable. Check out these fall writing activities, and make this autumn your best writing season yet.

Write a Halloween Article or Story

If you’re a web content writer, there are all kinds of Halloween-related article ideas that are sure to sell, like Halloween safety tips, nutrition-based treats, modern-day costume ideas, or the latest Halloween apps. Halloween stories and articles for kids are big sellers, too. Look for Halloween writing contests for places to submit.

Get Ready for the Holidays

October is a great month to start writing for the winter holidays. Article buyers seek material months in advance, so get writing and submitting now. You may have a quick sale if it’s unique and well written. One thing’s for certain: holiday-themed writing is always in demand.

Write Outside

What better time to write outside than on a beautiful fall afternoon? The gorgeous colors, cool temperatures, and light breezes make being outside refreshing and inspiring. Head to the park, sit outside at the public library or pull up a comfy chair on the patio. A change of scene can be highly fruitful for your writing career.

Take a Hike with Your Notebook

Fall hikes are full of adventure - and writing ideas. Take a nature hike with your notebook and jot down whatever captures your attention. Hikes are exceptionally visual activities that can spark all kinds of thoughts, emotions, and sensory descriptions. Be sure your notebook fits in a pack or your pocket, and don’t forget a writing utensil.

Attend a Conference

Fall is loaded with conferences and the perfect time of year to attend one. If you’ve got kids, check into writing conferences that you can do together. Not sure where to look for a conference? Try local writing organizations, colleges or the public library, or look online.

Don’t let fall slip by without taking advantage of this great writing season. Try any of the above fall writing activities, and make autumn productively pleasing from start to finish.

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594px-Medieval_ghostHalloween is only 29 days away, but there’s still plenty of time to get into the spirit of this frightfully fun holiday. For writers, what better way to do this than to enter a spooky writing contest? Here are a few Halloween writing competitions worth a peek. They’re intriguing, they’ll inspire some creepy creativity this October, and they just might earn you a nice treat.  Check these out:

Every Writer Magazine’s Halloween Horror Contest. Perfect for the horror writer but also a good way to promote a literary magazine, book, or website, Every Writer’s Halloween Contest is open to the public, for stories under 1,000 words. The first place entry gets published in the magazine and on the website and receives three months of free ads (a $1,000 value). Deadline is October 20, 2014.

Writer’s Digest's Horror Story Contest. This contest falls under Writer’s Digest’s Popular Fiction Story Award Competitions. If you like writing longer stories, of up to 4,000 words, and have a knack for scaring readers, this might be the contest for you. A $2,500 grand prize, $500 first prize, and honorable mentions are all possibilities for contenders. Deadline is October 15, 2014. (Note: This contest has a $25 entry fee.)

Winona Public Library’s Haunted Halloween Writing Competition. Here’s a unique opportunity for Minnesota writers, 16 years and up. The Winona Public Library in Winona, Minnesota, is sponsoring a writing competition that will be voted on by the public. Stories must be 500 words or less and contain no vulgarity. A Target gift card and publication in The Winona Post go to the winner. Deadline: October 17, 2014.

FanStory's Horror Story Writing Contest. Need a little more time to get in the spooky mood? This contest from Fanstory.com doesn’t close until November 21, 2014. That gives you plenty of time to “put your readers on edge or terrorize them” with your horror story of 2,000 to 3,500 words. A cash prize will be awarded to the winner. Contests are free, but you must be a member of FanStory, which requires a minimal monthly fee.

Got a scary tale to tell? Get writing, and see how fruitful your frightfulness can be.

Image by Gallowglass