In case you hadn't noticed, tonight is Hallowe'en. If you thought about it three or four months ago, you could now be celebrating winning a ghost story competition or having an article on the scary season accepted. If so, congratulations! There are certain themes and events that are popular every year, yet it's all too easy to forget about them until it's too late. Bonfire Night is less than a week away, and while it might still be possible to write something for a competition about it, there'd be little time to edit it properly. Even Christmas and New Year can seem to appear suddenly, despite months of hype. As far as features go, magazines have to plan months in advance.
    There are two ways to make sure you don't miss a chance to submit for an annual event or holiday. One is to put a note in your diary several months before it. The other is to start writing that tale about Jack O'Lanterns or 10 alternative uses for pumpkins now and get a year ahead.
    Here are some more dates to think about: Burns Night (25th January), Candlemas or Groundhog Day (2nd February), St Valentine's Day (14th February), St David's Day (1st March), Mothering Sunday (6th March 2016), St Patrick's Day (17th March), Vernal Equinox (20th March), Good Friday (25th March), Easter Sunday and British Summertime begins (27th March), April Fool's Day (1st April), St George's Day and Shakespeare's birthday (23rd April), May Day (1st May - Bank Holiday 2nd May), Father's Day (19th June), Summer Solstice (20th June), US Independence Day (4th July), Autumn Equinox (22nd September), British Summertime Ends (30th October), Armistice Day (11th November- Remembrance Sunday 13th November), St Andrew's Day (30th November), Winter Solstice (21st December).
    Of course, these dates are only a start and there are many others, but they should keep you busy for a while!