Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, and How to Make $1000

Last night I dreamed Jennifer Aniston was my best friend, and I was doing a photo shoot with Britney Spears. Britney refused to pose with me and stomped off to her dressing room--she thought she was better at posing than I was, and in the dream, I secretly agreed with her.

After I woke up, I realized this dream came straight from the headlines I glanced at while in line at the grocery store: Brad leaving Angelina! Brad and Jen: Together Again? Brit's Breakdown!

I don't buy fan magazines, but I do buy magazines I've published in or hope to publish in. Woman's World is one of them. I've sold romance, a feature article, and several story ideas to Woman's World. The romance for me is the most fun, and here's the best part: They pay you $1000 for it.

I'm not saying this is easy. I've read reports that WW receives more than 2400 manuscripts a month, so the odds are against you. You'd have a better chance writing a New York Times bestseller. (According to this site, the odds of writing a NYT bestseller are 220 to 1.) But there is something you can do to improve your odds--yes, here it comes, you know what I'm going to say: Study the magazine!

Take WW for example. After reading their romances for a while, I began to recognize a structure:

Within the first paragraph, we know if the protagonist is married, divorced, single, looking, or trying to stay out of the game. The changing event then occurs, and the rest of the story is the dance, the sparring, the flirtation, all of it building to a short climax/resolution.

You don't need to wrap up the ending for WW--a conclusive hint at the happily-ever-after is the typical ending and more realistic. Speaking of realistic, WW doesn't usually publish exotic settings or historicals. Pull something out of the ordinary and transform the moment. Hone your editing skills for this market; your story must come in at 1000 words.

Good luck!