Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Writing a Chapter Book, part 9/Calls for Submissions

This article is the ninth in the series: Writing a Chapter Book.

Try these tips for writing humor:

Strange and wacky situations, such as a bird building a nest on a character’s head captures and holds the reader’s attention.

Use comedic timing. Place the punch line or funny word at the last possible moment.

Use the element of surprise. Humor comes from the reader expecting something, but a twist takes the reader in an entirely unexpected (and funny) direction. This works every time, except when it doesn’t.

Self-check the humor. If what you write cracks you up, someone else will probably find it funny, as well. Humor test your work with a group of kids the age of the audience for which your manuscript is intended. If the kids think it’s funny, you’re wheeling and dealing. If not, it’s revision time. Ask the kids where the humor fell flat and what parts were funny.

Call for submissions for young writers:

Spaceports & Spidersilk is an online magazine for younger readers [8 to 17 and beyond].  Formerly it was called KidVisions.  Spaceports & Spidersilk features short stories, poems, and art, as well as brief essays on science and the environment, interviews, quizzes, contests [and, quite frankly, anything else that is genre-oriented and will help encourage the younger generation to read...and to dream, especially about going to the stars].  We at Nomadic Delirium Press hope that younger writers and artists, as well as adults, will submit their work.

The genres for Spaceports & Spidersilk include fantasy, science fiction, and a category we are going to define as ‘shadow stories’.  Shadow stories are mild horror.  We want spooky, not terrifying.  Most of all, we want ADVENTURES!  And especially SF or fantasy adventures.

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Short Kid Stories. Kids love stories, they can’t get enough of them. Launching in 2013, Short Kid Stories is a site dedicated to short stories for kids and will showcase a huge range of classic and original short stories for children, free of charge. My aim for this is simply to be the best resource available for adults looking for short stories for kids, either to read to them or for kids to read themselves.

Submission guidelines at
Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. Thanks for keeping up your good advice in this series. I am enjoying these posts.

  2. Fantastic. Beginning next year, I'm rewriting a chapter book manuscript to develop it into a middle grade novel, and I'll use lots of humor. I'll probably write some blogs about my literary adventure.