Most of you have been asking us about how all of this really happened…Here is the full scoop to our cover story.
Well, it all started in January this year, when our dear friend, Divya Yadav (who is also the owner of a fabulous website called “Miss Enchanted”) shared with us a tweet from Femina that read – “Food blog? or No blog? Tweet us your blog’s url / Send your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org. You could feature in Femina #MyAceRecipe”. ( Thanks a lot Divya , for bringing in this opportunity)
Stage 1: Submitting our blog!
At this point, we had no clue that the editors at Femina were coming out with a crowd-sourced issue, but even an opportunity to share our blog with a brand name as big as Femina was hard-to miss. So a week later (blame it on our habit to procrastinate) , we shared a short write-up along with our story, our blog and links to few of our popular recipes with them. To be honest with you all, considering the popularity of the magazine and the number of recipes they would have received, we weren’t counting our chickens early. But we were confident that if it was a contest, our little creativity and passion as showcased through the blog, would take us at least to the top 20.
Stage 2: Great News! We are selected 🙂
Then came February, more than three weeks had passed since we wrote to the magazine and we had conveniently forgotten about it. Actually,Valentine’s day’s special menu at 156, Hungerlane kept us too occupied to follow-up . Shortly after Valentine’s day, we both reached home after our respective globe-trotting trips, checked our mail and whoa! Sitting patiently in our inbox was a congratulatory email from Femina sharing the big news! We had made it to the top 6 and had been selected to feature in Femina’s April edition! It was already February 18th, so things needed to move quickly from there.
We signed a contract and sent 4 of our original recipes for the editors to choose from. They chose our “Homemade Pesto Pizza with Oven Dried Tomatoes” recipe and just like that, we were on board! Next, we were scheduled to attend a meeting with the editors and fellow writers. Wow…. “Editors Meeting and all”… things had started to get exciting! Everyone selected was invited to Femina’s Mumbai office. For people like us, who were not from Mumbai, arrangement for an online hangout session was made.
We had a hangout session on 25th February and were really excited to meet the editor and other authors of the prospective articles in the magazine. Believe us, both of us were equally happy to see each other, as we haven’t met in person since this blog has started. All recent skype sessions have always been about 156Hungerlane, but this one was different. It was huge!
Coming back, it was in this meeting that we got to know more about the issue. It was Femina’s first crowd sourced issue through which it mobilized avid women readers from across the length and breadth of the nation, encouraging them to write for the magazine. The hangout session marked the first meet and greet platform for all those who had made it to this stage. It was a delight to be in room full of happy faces, all excited and eager for events to unfold. We were given an outline of the “made by you” issue. There were prospects of some interesting articles featuring the women of today and how they have used social media to build a career for themselves. This discussion made us look forward to reading articles written by fellow authors as well.
We were able to find the video of the hangout session in one of interesting articles written about Made by You. The link is here!
Next few days saw quick email exchanges. We were asked to mail our pictures to be posted along with the recipe. It was a mammoth task to select the best! ( We both had a skype session for this too :P). Our pictures were coming along with our recipe, so,we had to ensure that we looked at least as fresh as our Pizza 😛
Stage 3: The legendary Photoshoot!
As we were thinking about refining our recipe and sharing our story with the readers, we were hit with a bigger news! Femina decided to feature all the guest authors on its COVER PAGE!! Whoaaa… It took both of us some time to register what had happened and that’s not all.. we could see a photo shoot on the way as we were given photo specifications, one of them being- to dress in white and blue.
Next couple of days were exciting for us and stressful for our husbands as they had to help us find the best white top for this photo-shoot and also be the men behind the camera ensuring that we look thin and pretty in the pictures they click! 🙂 Considering how picky women can be, this was a tough task! (We’d like to take this moment to Thank our respective husbands for being so patient and kind towards us, here & otherwise! ;))
So, hundreds of photographs and multiple rounds of selection and rejections later, we finally picked our top 3 and sent them to the editor. Now we were most excited as we had sent all the material we could and had to patiently wait for the launch. Since everyone in our families had helped in selecting the photographs, they were thrilled too!
Stage 4: Femina is out.. On stands NOW! (You can find the recipe on pg175)
So over the past few weeks, we have had some sleepless nights in anticipation and excitement of reaching out to a far wider audience.. and it finally happened ! Femina’s first ever crowd sourced issue was published and it featured our very own blog, – 156, Hungerlane.
A bigger moment was to see our photographs make it to FEMINA’s COVER PAGE! In less than a year, this is a big achievement for us and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement we got from all of you!
We would like to thank our readers, our families, friends and most importantly,our spouses for supporting us, encouraging us and making us look beautiful as we stand tall on the cover page of a magazine that is loved by every Indian woman. Here’s a big thanks to Femina!
Until next time…
Rashi & Nupur