Not too long ago a good friend and I giggled like teenagers as we contemplated what we were about to do; get our first “senior discount.” It was only ten percent off at one of our favorite department stores, but there was a bit of devil-may-care in our giggles that said—so what? We were about to join the millions of other men and women of a certain age who had worked in earnest at a productive life and were now reaping a small benefit from a grateful merchant.
Along with store discounts, cheaper insurance and early bird specials at some great restaurants, another benefit out there is the many publications that cater to the needs, desires, hobbies and overall changing lifestyles of the well-aged citizen. It’s occurred to me more than once what a rich bounty this is for writers!
If you think you might have some ideas that will appeal to this age group and would like to write about them, there are some things to bear in mind. For instance: Seniors do -
- Have sharp minds.
- Love to laugh.
- Enjoy sharing the highlights of their lives.
- Like to dress well, eat well and play hard (think travel articles).
- Have expendable income.
Gosh, seems like a great demographic to write for, doesn’t it? Here are some markets for this group.
- AARP the Magazine – Used to be Modern Maturity See full guidelines at http://www.aarpmagazine.org/Articles/a2003-02-21-mag-writers_guidelines.html
- Good Old Days – Write up some great memories for this one. Guidelines: http://www.goodolddaysonline.com/pages/magazineinfo.html
- Grand Magazine – A lot going on here. http://www.grandmagazine.com/Submit-Editorial.html
Seniors are just people. Sure, they’ve lived longer and done more than some, but writing for them only needs a bit of creative sensitivity while bearing a few other things in mind: Seniors don’t –
- Have the energy and agility they had thirty years ago.
- Like what’s happening to their bodies.
- Want to be left out of the technology loop.
- Listen to loud music or text message their friends
- Care as much as they used to about what others think.
Every person who lives for a half-century, and then some, comes to the realization that things change; sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Whereas a grandchild may be an utter delight, when it comes to horsey back rides on an old back—well—that’s a whole other story. The idea of death may not hold the terror it once did, but trying to figure out all the features on a new cell phone can make a senior’s blood pressure hit the ceiling. Writing about this side of senior life is important, too. Keeping it light and informative is what your editor will appreciate. Have a look at these markets.
1. Arthritis Today – Primary focus is baby boomers. See guidelines at http://ww2.arthritis.org/resources/arthritistoday/writingforarthritistoday.asp#freelance
- New Mobility Magazine – Another publication that will appreciate a senior slant. Guidelines available here: http://www.newmobility.com/magazine_writers_guidelines.cfm
My list of senior do’s and don’ts, of course, does not apply to everyone. As with any age group you choose to address, there is wide diversity. By simply living I, and hundreds of other, have passed into the realm our society designates “senior’ and it hardly bothers me at all. And I’m going to resist the temptation to put forth the old saw, “consider the alternative,” which is—staying eighteen forever. Good grief, who would want to do that? Certainly not my friend and I. We’re looking for discounts and great articles everywhere these days!
Image: Free Digital Photos