My flash fiction “Ghostly Visit” will be appearing in the October 2013 issue of IdeaGems Magazine. Yay! They can’t pay for published submissions at the moment but they’re a reputable bimonthly magazine. I ran across their magazine in the book “2013 Writer’s Market” by Robert Lee Brewer some weeks back.
I’m not sure what it was about my cover letter that grabbed the editor’s attention but there must’ve been something about it because, when she couldn’t open the attached file for my story, she gave me a second chance and asked me to embed it in an e-mail. I wrote the normal things you’d put in a cv – title, word count, kind of story (short, flash, horror, fantasy, etc), story description, short bio, thanks, and a personalized paragraph that says I know something of the magazine to which I’m sending my story. Cover letters are very boring but at least they’re easier than queries because I was told it’s best to be boring and stick to the basics.
However, I was so amused with my mistake on what was needed that my personalized paragraph was more personal and with more my voice than I had ever done on any professional letter yet. The story behind that can be found in my Submission Guidelines post.
I admitted my mistake in my cv. It’s something I debated about, wondering if it was too casual/not professional but I suppose I made the right choice for this particular editor. She could have tossed my submission into the virtual trash but, as luck would have it, she didn’t.
She then sent me their consent form etc and I proceeded to lower myself in her opinion by acting like an unorganized airhead. At least, that’s what I assume she thinks of me now. So many important things were happening at oncet that I couldn’t get my brain to settle down and think properly. For a few days there I honestly felt like a headless chicken.
But I think she’ll forgive me as I was honest about that too and told her it was my lifelong dream to be published and now that it was really happening I was too excited to think straight.
So, I guess, honesty and a good story are key to getting a story published in a magazine? And really good timing I think. And good luck perhaps.