"Hey, let's get the mail," I said to my fiancé as we walked from our apartment's communal fitness room. We made our way through the gate, as we always did, each time we checked the mailbox. But, this time was different. He slid his mailbox key in and pulled out the mail.
The bright orange manila folder stood out to me like an African horned cucumber in a basket filled with apples. I could easily identify an envelope that I myself had enclosed as a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope that writers include in a manuscript submission whenever they want their manuscript returned to them after consideration from agents/publishers). I had a collection of those same types of envelopes in a file deemed "rejected manuscripts".
"Oh great, another rejection," I think to myself. I slide my index finger under the envelope's sealed flap.
Then, I pull out a stack of papers, "my returned manuscripts" I think.
The bright yellow letters of the Highlights logo stand off the page, bright red oblong rectangle and all. I notice a lot of writing in this letter, so I run my eyes over the text:
"Thank you for your material which you have prepared for us. We are delighted to accept this material and would like to set forth our agreement in this letter" (Cully, 2011) says the letter, signed by Highlights Editor in Chief.
I scream! I jump! I dance in the grass beside our mailbox! I run to my fiancé and jump on him, hugging him closely. "It has happened!"
It has finally happened. Highlights has accepted TWO of my poems, and I am besides myself in excitement.
I am soon to be a published poet.
And because of this, I realize I must change the mission of my blog. No longer is it "my path to publishing", but "my path to publishing children's books." Because, as soon as I return this contract, I will be published.
I'm that much closer! Publishing in magazines is a way to build a name and a publishing history which increases my chances of having a Picture Book manuscript accepted, and I'm that much closer.
Here's Highlight's website: http://www.highlights.com/
What next, what next, what next?! :)