I received a surprise package in the mail earlier this week. A large envelope that was bent small enough to fit the mailbox popped out when I opened it. The return address told me it was from The Best Times.
When I got in the house, I opened it and found three copies of the October issue of this very fine monthly newspaper circulated in Johnson County, Kansas. That's the suburban side of the Kansas side of Kansas City. I normally receive copies only when I have a story in an issue.
I scanned the pages until I found my name on a story called "Halloween Confessions." The light dawned! A couple of months ago, I had sent the editor a personal essay about my dislike of the holiday most people love. She said she already had two Halloween stories for the October issue but she really liked the different angle I'd taken. She went on to say that she'd run it if they sold enough advertising to allow it to happen. Like so many publications, they run on a pretty tight budget, and to pay for one more story meant coming up with more paid advertising. My chances of getting the story published were not all that great, so I pushed thoughts of it far back into the recesses of my mind.
But there it was in the current issue. Read it here. Then read the homepage and browse through the website pages. The newspaper website offers a great deal of information, much of it geared to people 60 and older but still of interest to young whipper-snappers of 59 and under. The current print issue can be accessed from the home page, as well.
Writers guidelines are posted elsewhere. Look for this page for editorial staff and guidelines. The Best Times is a paying market and editor, Lynn Anderson, is great to work with.
Doesn't matter how old we are, everyone likes to receive a surprise package in the mail.