I looked at Highlight's "current needs" and found that they are looking for cultural articles with "intimate snapshots of life in other countries." The submission guidelines also states that they want "photocopies of key pages in references," and that "pictures are helpful and sometimes crucial in evaluating submissions."
Being the determined person that I am, I'm going to do my best to get an article published in Highlights. The best way to do this is to make sure that I have everything they asked for. I've got my article edited and ready for submission. I've already made photocopies of the references I used. The thing I wasn't too confident about is my "interview with an expert."
Is there such thing as a "Jeepney expert?" It's very difficult for me to get a hold of someone in another country. The best I could do is find one here in the U.S. The closest I could find to an expert was my uncle, a former jeepney owner. I just hope that he can pass as an expert by Highlight's standards. Cross my fingers!
Lastly, all I am missing now are some photographs. My mom sent me a few pictures of the jeepneys she took when she was in the Philippines. But it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. As I said, everything must be perfect. I wanted a picture of a very gaudy Jeepney. I called my mom again and asked if she could look at older photo albums. I needed her to find pictures from the time we went to the Philippines as a family back in 1976. I'm hoping that there is a picture of me or my brother in the picture. Highlights likes actual photos of kids spotlighted in the article. I know this from studying numerous back issues of the magazine. Lucky for me, my mom was in the middle of packing and moving so she had albums where she could find them- in a box labeled "albums."
As soon as I get my pictures, my submission packet will be complete. Wish me luck! Sometimes, luck is what you need. You could be a very good writer with a great story, but sometimes the timing may be wrong. A common rejection response is, "Sorry but your story/article does not fit our current needs." But hey...they can't use that excuse on me. After all, I made sure my article fit the bill!
Now here is a summary of the submission process:
1) study back issues of magazines
2) make sure your article/story make a good fit with the magazine
3) read submission guidelines
4) make sure you submit everything the magazine asks for
5) "google" and study the submission's editor to get a feel of her likes/dislikes
6) go for it!