Wanna see a picture of me? Open up your encyclopedia and look up the word "fool." And there I am.
I think it's very appropriate that today is April Fools Day and I recently discovered a huge blunder I made in a submission I sent to Women's World magazine. Okay, so the error was actually made in March. But they will likely discover it in April, which, I suppose, makes me both a March fool and an April fool.
I recently started trying harder to submit stories and articles to magazines for potential publication. You know, to make a few extra bucks until I strike it rich as a published author (HA!). Anyway, I have several submissions out right now that I'm waiting to hear back on and one of my stories is being held at Mature Living, for future publication.
So, as I was researching paying markets, I came across Women's World. Now, Women's World is a national magazine. An extremely successful national magazine. And they're pay scale is through the roof, as in $1,000 for an 800 word story. Yes, I said one THOUSAND.
So I figured...why not?
I polished up a short romance story that I think is perfect for their publication. It's exactly the type of thing they print. They don't have a website (I know. Weird, right?) and prefer hard copy submissions. It's been a while since I've submitted anything by snail mail (e-mail rocks!) but I am confident that I prepared everything correctly: the SASE, a nice cover letter, etc. I put it in a yellow manilla envelope and addressed it to the proper editor, went to the post office and mailed it off.
I did everything right!
When I first wrote this story, it was geared towards the Christian market and it started out like this:
"I sat at the counter after a long day at the office, flipping the pages of the latest Christian Women Today magazine."
Women's World isn't a Christian publication, so I tweaked it by inserting the name of their magazine instead. Bonus points! They'll love that I included their publication in my story. Now it's guaranteed to get accepted!
So the day after I sent it off, I started thinking. Did I write Women's World? I don't remember writing Women's World. I think I typed Women's Day. I held my breath as I checked the copy I had made for myself. Yep. Sure enough, it read,
"I sat at the counter after a long day at the office, flipping the pages of the latest Women's Day magazine."
So tell me. Why would Women's WORLD publish a story promoting Women's DAY? Hmmm? Yeah. I don't know, either.
Now, I'm praying that the editor will have an insane sense of humor and not hold my error against me, even though addressing the editor by the wrong name, let alone calling the magazine by the wrong name, is an industry no-no. I pray that this forgiving editor decides that my story is so good, she'll just change that silly little word and publish it anyway. It could happen.
And if it does, it will be a TOTAL God-thing.
Hey, I'm all for laughing at my stupid mistakes. I laugh at myself when I trip up the stairs, when I realize I've been driving the wrong way on the highway for the last fifteen miles, and even when I walk into a complete stranger's birthday party because their home is for sale and I thought they were having an open house (yes, I really did that!). But, when the mistake could cost me a thousand bucks?
Not so funny.
Oh well. Now I wait for their response. Whether an acceptance or a rejection, even though it may not be something to laugh about, it will definitely be something to blog about. Stay tuned...