Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sometimes I'm a Dodo-brain!

I am feeling some mixed emotions this morning. That's the happy me on the left and the dodo- brain me on the right.

I'm happy that my story The Perfect Grandchild is published this month in Long Story Short, an ezine that promotes writers. One that rejects as many or more submissions than accepts. So, I'm always very pleased when any of my work has been published by this ezine.

My dodo-brain self is blushing a bit because I did not do something that I am always preaching about on my blog. Over and Over, I tell writers to check the guidelines carefully. One slip or more can mean sure rejection. This time, I followed the guidelines perfectly except for one. It didn't get my story tossed out but it did create an error.

The story is a true one that happened many, many years ago. It has been previously published in a Guideposts anthology called Miracles of Hope. I read Long Story Short's guidelines and paid strict attention to their formatting requirements which let you know you'd better follow them if you want to be considered. Their was one area that I did not follow to the letter. In the subject line, the writer was asked to write Submission: Fiction or Submission: Nonfiction. I wrote only Submission.

The result was that the story did get published even though I missed that guideline, but it is listed under Flash Fiction on the home page. It belongs in the nonfiction category. I did state in my letter sent with the submission that the story was nonfiction, but I'd definitely left that word out of the subject line on the email. I went back and checked. (A good reason for saving copies of all your submissions in a folder in your email program) So, I was wrong but the editor also did not pick up the word nonfiction in my letter. Not surprising when they receive multiple submissions. I'm not blaming her for the error. It was my earlier mistake in not following those guidelines to the nth degree.

I wrote to the editor about the mix-up. I didn't want her to change the category, more to let her know it had happened and that it was partly my own fault.

So here I am today, happy, yet frustrated with myself for not following those guidelines perfectly. I guess it proves I'm human. Right? I do know it will make me read guidelines very, very carefully the next time I submit. I hope you'll do the same.

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