Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Funny Business of Writing Humor for Kids, Part III, Contests

Today’s blog is part III of my article, The Funny Business of Writing Humor for Kids.

Knowing the sensibilities of the audience is imperative to a writer, especially when writing humor. Young readers use books to help discover the world around them, so the more we know about young readers, the better we can develop the humor in our writing.

Humor should not the focus of a story. The story is a vehicle to make readers think and feel. A story without a purpose is probably going to fall flat, with or without humor.

So how do we infuse humor into a story? When I wrote, The Munched-Up Flower Garden, I wrote the basic story first. In revision, I added the humor. I also wrote in first person so I could flavor the story from beginning to end with the character’s attitude and feelings.

Don’t try to make every character and every word in the dialog funny. One funny character or comment will carry the entire scene.

Watch comedians. They set up the humorous situation and the punch line comes at the end of the joke. Use this technique to end the sentence or paragraph with humor.
Read humorous books written for children at various age levels. Compare how the humor is similar or different among the books and the age groups.

Keep the characters realistic to the story. Even those who inject comic relief have to be developed so the readers will care about what happens to them.

Talk with children. Observe them telling stories and laughing. Notice what action or event or words make them laugh. Play with words and sounds. Make your writing business funny business.

SPS Studios-- Sixteenth Biannual Poetry Card Contest
In addition, the winning poems will be displayed on our website.
Poetry Contest Guidelines:
1. Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better.
2. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write.
3. Poems are judged on the basis of originality and uniqueness.
4. English-language entries only, please.
5. Enter as often as you like!
1st prize: $300 * 2nd prize: $150 * 3rd prize: $50
Deadline: June 30, 2010
Details at

Cheerios Contest

Only writers who have never been paid for their writing are allowed to enter. Only US writers from one of the 50 states (or DC) can apply. Must be 18 or older.
Picture book story. Grand prize -- $5000, Runner Up Prizes -- $1000
Entry Deadline: July 15th.
Details at


  1. Stopped by to read part III of Writing Humor for Kids. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad you stopped by, Susanne. I love books with humor.