Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Writing a Chapter Book, part 9/Calls for Submissions

Try these tips:
 When writing humor, don’t rely on one type to please all readers. Vary the humor by tickling the audience in a laugh-out-loud scene and again with a simple chuckle. Every sentence doesn’t have to be funny; instead, drop in funny situations and dialog as you play with the words and have fun with the story. Keep the audience in mind as you create situations that are relatable with the readers.
The main focus of the story should not be humor; rather, it should be about character and plot. Dashes of humor merely add kid appeal to a well-developed story. Humor is not the story.
Sometimes, the word choice for dialog or narrative is funny. Words, such as “doohickey” and “rumpus” are funny. Also words that start with a hard “K” or a hard “G” sound are funny. Consider “kerfuffle” or “girdle.” Their sounds bring a chuckle.
Never be disappointed when the humor in your writing doesn’t come through in the first draft. Humor is released in revision. Keep working the text until the humor emerges. 
Read humorous chapter books so you’ll get a feel for what works with this age group. 
Call for submissions for young writers:
Magic Dragon. Each writer and artist whose work is published in Magic Dragon will receive one copy of the issue in which the work appears.  Written work should be neatly printed or typed. If you type it, please double-space. Stories and essays can be up to three pages, poetry up to 30 lines. It is ok to send writing that you have also illustrated. You can write about anything that is important to you; it can be serious or funny, true or fiction. If you send originals and want them returned, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Submission guidelines at 
Call for submissions for adult writers:
AppleSeeds is a 36-page, multidisciplinary, nonfiction social studies magazine for children ages 6 and up (primarily in grades 3 & 4). Writers are encouraged to study recent APPLESEEDS past copies for content and style
Submission guidelines at 6 and up. Theme Lists for 2014-2015 have been posted on Submission-Guidelines page.
Submission guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. Good reminder with "humor is not the story." I continue to enjoy this series of posts. Thanks for doing them.

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  3. Great. Thanks, Rosi. For me, humor usually doesn't show it's wit until I'm in the revision stage. When writing the first draft, I'm totally focused on writing the "story." Once that is complete, I approach revision a layer at a time. Humor is one layer. If I think of a humorous retort, dialog, or situation, I'll include it. If I'm not sure where the humor will work best, I'll make a note. I can include it during revision so I can find the best place in the text for it.

    I probably should do a series of blogs on the process of writing, using such examples as I just mentioned.