written by David Steffen
Readers of Diabolical Plots may or may not know of its sister website also run by Diabolical Plots, LLC, called The Submission Grinder. The Submission Grinder is a donation-supported website to help writers find publications for their work–it hosts thousands of listings of fiction and poetry publications which are searchable by attributes such as genre, word count, pay rate, and other factors. Writers can track their submissions to these publications, and submission response time statistics and graphs are produced from these submission records for each publication to help writers know what to expect.
Since the site was a few weeks old, way back in the launch year of 2013, it has had the same banner on the top of the site, with the large title text “The Grinder” and subtitle text “milling your submissions into something useful”, with a picture of a meat grinder with written pages sticking out of it and pieces of loose paper blowing away over the title. The image and the title are conceptually tied to Diabolical Plots‘s mad scientist logo–when we were thinking up the name for the site we imagined the mad scientist from the logo stuffing his rejection slips into a meat grinder and cackling while he turned the crank. M.S. Corley was the artist who made the original art.
We’ve never done an April Fool’s joke before, but this year with all the added stress of social isolation and worries about health and employment, we thought that people would appreciate something that gave them a little laugh, so we scheduled a bit of a light joke in the hopes of brightening someone’s day. On April 1st we announced a rebranding and asked for people’s feedback. On that day and that day only, instead of loading the classic banner it would load one of nine alternate banners. M.S. Corley reprised his role, doing the typography for all nine, and the illustrations for seven of the nine.
The Joke Banners
This one is probably the closest to The Grinder conceptually, since both are ways to process things that people eat–though someone really should have kept the lid on!
The flying spaghetti noodles make me laugh every time.
This was the first joke idea that came to mind!
It’s a lovely morning at the writing desk, and you are a horrible goose.
I am the artist for this grumpy pixelated face, M.S. Corley added the angry cartoon squiggles. 🙂
In case you don’t know, “Kinder” is the German word for “children” (as in “Kindergarten”). This is another artwork courtesy of myself–in case you can’t tell this is supposed to be a line of children sledding down a pile of manuscripts (or rejection slips).
I had to Google to make sure salamanders are actually slimy and have long tongues, I wouldn’t want my April Fool’s joke to be factually inaccurate!
I was asking for some ideas for the jokes from my writing group The Dire Turtles, and someone suggested “The Salander”, when meaning to type “The Salamander”. “The Salander” made me think of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I liked the idea of the dragon. And “Inking” also seemed appropriate since it applies to both tattoos and writing.
This one is extremely appropriate because needlework is probably the majority of the Diabolical Plots Twitter feed by volume!