No reading required for anyone in my history writing session. All that you need to bring are two possible ideas. One for an article, and one for a book.
For an article: This is an idea on something in your hometown or area where you currently live that might hold some type of historical significance and can be further explored in an 800 to 1,000 word article that can be pitched to a local newspaper. Ideas can simply be a street name in your town (most have historical significance), a business that has been around for an extended time or possibly a landmark.
Other Ideas: An old movie theatre, the location of an original police station or church, a famous incident or former resident of a region. For example, Annie Oakley actually lived in my hometown after her showbiz days, and the colonists and British had a skirmish there in 1777.
For a book: For this idea, you need more of a concept than just a simple incident, for it will have to be at least 40,000 words. Local history seems to sell best when it is regionalized, so instead of a very generalized “The History of Native Americans” you would need to refine that to “The History of Native Americans in Connecticut.”
Neighborhoods work too. Colleges. Regionalized sports. Be creative. Choose something you wouldn’t mind researching and is realistically accessible.
Feel free to email me if there are any questions (email@example.com