Now Read This!

By now, I’m going to guess that most of you know about my unexpected citation in The Washington Post this past Sunday. It came about following a simple Facebook query in which I asked the woman who runs the Style Invitational (a humor-writing contest open to the public) — known to contest fans as “The Empress,” — if she takes fans’ contest ideas. (Rarely, is the answer, by the way.) After considerable discussion, the matter was dropped and I concluded that the case was closed.

You can imagine my surprise then, when I saw my name in the paper. Of course, I couldn’t keep my good news to myself! As a writer and an “ideas” gal, I had to share it with, well, everyone. So I posted it as a Facebook status update and I shared my news on “The Writer’s Post” and, of course,  I emailed all my relatives.

Then I started to panic … .

If I was creative enough to submit an idea and have it accepted, I needed to show that I was good enough to enter the contest, too. I never like to make life easy for myself. Yikes! Nevertheless, I set about submitting my work.

Fortunately, for me, the current contest — entries for which must be received by midnight tonight — is a mite easier than the one I dreamed up because I have material to work with already, in a manner of speaking. Even so, I’m up against some fiercely creative minds and I’m just a newbie.

Not knowing whether any of my entries will survive the judging, I thought I’d share my submissions here for “Style Invitational Week 996: A Life-Time opportunity — Combine two magazines or journals and describe the result, supply a marketing pitch, or suggest a story or two that it might publish.

I’ve got 13 ideas. Lucky 13? Only time will tell — literally. Contest results will be published online on Dec. 6th. Wish me luck and, without further ado, enjoy my magazine titles!

  • Combine “Antique Trader” with “Everyday Food” to wind up with “Everyday Antique Food Trader,” a publication featuring recipes for pot luck suppers that use only ingredients found at the very back of the fridge.
  • Combine “Flyrodder” with “Foreign Affairs.” The first edition of this brand new publication, “Foreign Flyrodder Affairs” will feature an “intimate” look at General David Petraeus.
  • Combine “Gourmet” with “Southern Living” to get “Gourmet Southern Living.” Articles include, “Preparing Possum for a Prince” and “Git Yer Lardon.”
  •  Combine “Real Simple” with “People” to get “Real Simple People.”  Marketing pitch: “We only use small words in our stories so we can be sure you ‘get it.’” (The editors initially considered this pitch: “We only use words with fewer than two syllables to be sure you understand.” However, it was rejected as too complicated for the target market.)
  • Combining “Senior Living” (a Canadian publication) with “Playboy” yields “Senior Playboy Living.” Check out the cooking section in the latest issue which includes a recipe for “Spotted Dick.”
  • Combine “More,” “Money,” and “People” to get “More Money, People!” In this edition, a “how-to” guide from NHL players and management personnel and letters from ‘The 47%.’
  • Combine “Jewish Currents” with “Parenting” and you get “Jewish Parenting Currents.”  The marketing pitch:  “Would it kill you to read our magazine?!
  • Combine “Disney Adventures” with “High Times.” The result? “Disney High Times Adventures.” Articles include, “Man! Mickey’s ears are sooo big!” and “I’m flyin’ like Dumbo, Dude!”
  • Combine “Wired” with “The New Yorker,” to generate “The Wired New Yorker,” featuring an out-of-towner’s guide to all Starbucks locations in the five boroughs.
  • Combine “Gourmet” with “Freshwater and Marine Aquarium” to wind up with “Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Gourmet.”  In this edition, “Don’t flush those floaters, fry them!”
  • Combine “Giant Robot” with “Girlfriends” and you get “Giant Robot Girlfriends,” a publication for socially-challenged heterosexual men. Marketing pitch:  “No need for understanding when there’s programming!”

  • Combine “Mad” with “Washingtonian” to yield “Mad Washingtonian.”  Featuring in-depth interviews with Metrorail commuters. Marketing pitch: “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world and we’re at the center of it.”
  • Combine “W” with “Time” to create, “W Time,” a publication devoted entirely to the 43rd president. Marketing pitch:  “This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating so we thought we’d publish a magazine instead.” Alternative marketing pitch, “All Dubya, All the Time!”

Here is a link to a list of 600-plus magazine titles to get you started: Magazine Titles for The Washington Post Style Invitational Week 996.  Can you combine two (or more) titles to come up with an “alternative” magazine? What would it be called and what would it be about? Please share!

Leave a comment


  1. Wow let us know how you do!!

  2. Sorry I took so long to get here. These are fantastic ideas. Like Jenn said, keep us posted on what happens next.


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