Nancy's Books

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Keep Them Laughing/Call for Submissions/Contest

Wouldn’t you love to know what type story an editor is looking for? That would certainly put us a step ahead of the competition. Many editors say they don’t know what they’re looking for until they see it. Oh, well, there goes that idea. But one aspect of writing most editors are looking for is humor. Like editors, children of all ages enjoy humorous books.

Writing humor for children can be difficult. What is funny to a two-year-old may seem silly and boring to a five-year old. Humor must be geared to the child’s world so he will know and appreciate the words, actions, and plot. The child must understand what is happening before it the story can be appealing and funny. Humorous writing is difficult because what is funny is often subjective and personal. One reader may crack up laughing at a joke and another might see little or no humor in the text. Even though writing humor can be difficult, it is not impossible.

Here are some ways to create humor in books for children:

1. Dialog offers an opportunity to add humor seamlessly. “We’ll be batburgers!” is a line one of my characters said when lost in a cave.

2. Humorous narrative creates interest in a story. Another of my characters, Liz, is telling the story in The Munched-Up Flower Garden so her thoughts are expressed in a way to tickle the reader. I looked at my brother and said nothing. My look must have said plenty because he hightailed in back in the house.

Next week, I’ll discuss other ways to incorporate humor into stories.

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Kaleidoscope Magazine, which “creatively focuses on the experiences of disability through literature and the fine arts,” is planning an issue “on the theme of ‘Appreciating the Small/Simple Moments in Life.’ In the midst of our daily struggles there can be moments in which a small kindness, or the simple gesture of another, makes us feel as if all is right with the world. They are the instances that usually do not involve much, if any, preparation or planning. These are the small things that can make the biggest differences. These can be times of joy experienced in the midst of sadness, or of peace and contentment in the midst of chaos. They can be shared or solitary experiences, moments of transcendence that fulfill us. They are also those moments that, if we are not paying attention, can slip right past us. Share one or more of those moments with us, in poetry, fiction, or personal essays.” Deadline is March 1, 2012. Pays: $10-$125. See for more information

Contest for Young Writers:
PUBLISH-A-KID CONTEST-We invite young readers to write book reviews. Winning entries will be published in the pages of Moment. And yes, there will be prizes. We’ve selected a list of books for you to choose from. Pick one
or more that you enjoy or find intriguing and tell us why! Anyone ages 9-13 is eligible. We encourage children of all faiths to enter. Each review should be 1 to 2 pages double-spaced, 250-500 words. Each child can send one review for each book on the list.
Deadline: Deadline February 15, 2012.
Details at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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