Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Funny Business of Writing Humor for Kids, Contests

How much did the pirates pay for their earrings?
A buccaneer

Want to capture a kid’s attention and hold it with your writing? Try adding humor to your text. Today’s blog is part I of my article, The Funny Business of Writing Humor for Kids.

Kids love stories that make them laugh. Editors and parents love stories that make kids laugh. Humor is that delightful element that makes a story funny, but writing humor is serious business.

To create humorous stories for children, writers must consider the age-appropriate stages of humor in the development of children. A story that makes a four-year-old laugh may not be funny to a second grader. Humor is subjective and personal, and although everyone has an opinion of what is funny, the type of humor that connects with a child changes as the child grows older.

Babies, six months and older, laugh at silly actions, faces, and sounds. As writers, when we translate this to books, we can make human characters walk like a monkey, hang socks from ears to look like a dog, or moo like a cow to create a humorous book. Notice how parents interact with babies to get them to laugh. If the activity works for babies in real life, it will probably work for them in a book. The human character is doing something unexpected so it’s funny.

Parts II and III of this article will follow in my next two blogs.

Science in My Fiction contest!
Authors write a science fiction or fantasy short story which is inspired by a scientific discovery or innovation made or announced within the past year. It can’t be peripherally added: the science must be integral to the story. Writers must include a link to a relevant article or study of the applied science when they submit their stories.

We’ll be looking for thoughtful, creative and well-researched application of science to a story. This doesn’t mean you should neglect your plot or characters, though! The best entries will be those which use science to enhance the plot, setting and characters, rather than dominate them.

Details at
Deadline: June 30.

Trajectory Short Story Contest
Trajectory, a new Kentucky literary journal, is launching with a short story contest. The winner will receive $250. Submit original, unpublished work of no more than 10,000 words with a cover letter containing contact information. Trajectory is also accepting non-contest short stories and poems. More info, contact Trajectory, PO Box 655, Frankfort, KY 40602.
Deadline: July 1.


  1. First of all you a good communication skill is very much necessary. You must always make sure that you can make people understand what you want to say in your writing. Creative writing is the main aspect of this profession.

  2. Looking forward to reading parts II and III.