|Seoul, South Korea
Little did I know that this Iowa girl would marry a guy from South Korea and that we would move there! I've been in the Seoul area for four years now. And over the years we've been married, I have been curious about Korean culture. Now you might not have lived in another country or married into a different culture, but you do have a heritage to share with this generation. What are some traditions and customs unique to your family?
Below are my tips to break into this market with real anecdotes from my writing life. Maybe something will strike a chord with you and plod you in the right creative direction.
|sightseeing on Nami Island
- Read books about your culture.
- Sightsee (my favorite) A museum, a sign on a statue, or a cultural place might hold a golden nugget.
- Interview relatives~I ask my in-laws questions about their holidays.
- Look through your cookbook~A recipe from your heritage might spark a story. Or you can publish the recipe in a magazine.
- List folk tales from your culture~ Are there any that haven't been written about?
- Check the Google Doodle~Since my computer recognizes that I'm in Korea, I see the Korean Google Doodles as well as the American ones and always check them out. They list a famous person's birthday or anniversary of some cool invention. I've listed many ideas from these.
|wearing traditional clothing for Lunar New Year
2. Find that fresh angle that hasn't been done before. For example, Lunar New Year is huge, but there are already picture books about it. I googled the second biggest holiday in Korea and found only one picture book. So I wrote my story about it using a Korean poetic form.
|one of my 1st publications, my kids on the cover!
3. Look for unique markets. As you know, I'm not a grandma, but one of my first publications was in Grand, an e-zine for grandparents! I checked their needs and sent off a query. The editor emailed that she wanted an article about a family with a set of close grandparents and a set of long-distance grandparents and how they kept the balance. (At this time, we were living in California.) I emailed the editor back and told her both sets of our grandparents were long-distance, one set in Iowa, and one set in South Korea so I wouldn't be able to help her. But she came up with the idea of my writing an article on how my kids kept a relationship with their overseas grandparents. This led to a contract, and my children were on the cover of the e-zine. She sent a photographer to my house to do a photo shoot with my kids! In the article I not only shared my ideas, but it also has a Korean cultural flair, and the editor asked for a recipe. I share this with you so that you'll look in unique places for getting published.
I hope this post has your brain thinking of some great story ideas. Stay tune for part 2!