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Funny Reads, Substacks That Take Guest Posts, and Cactuses
May 2023 recs roundup
Welcome to the May monthly roundup.
My month has been hectic with end-of-the-year school stuff and travel. I went to the Mom 2.0 conference (which, as you can probably guess from the title, is a conference for moms who want to become robots).
But jokes aside, it was nice to connect with other writers and creators in the parenting space, and on more than one occasion I found myself saying that my content strategy is screenshotting tweets, so I’m sure I impressed many people. It was at a nice resort in Phoenix and I took a bunch of pictures of cactuses, so this newsletter is being brought to you by cactuses.*
Also, one housekeeping thing that I recently realized that may be useful to others as well—if you are a person who subscribes to a lot of Substacks and are getting overwhelmed with emails, you can opt to turn on “smart notifications” and read Substacks in the app instead of getting the emails.
I was hesitant to do this but recently tried it out and have found I like reading in the app because it feels like a nice little self-curated publication. There is more info on doing this here.
Now onto the good stuff…
Funny stuff and other distractions
I appreciated the above cartoon from writer and cartoonist friend Ali Solomon that ran in The New Yorker. It made me laugh because it is relatable and felt like something I hadn’t seen before.
I recently stumbled on the Live From Snack Time Instagram account that shares funny kid quotes (and they take submissions).
Hard to pick a favorite in this list piece but maybe the Red Hot Chili Peppers one?
The WGA is on strike and not surprisingly, that has yielded some good signs.
This month I’ve been listening to the book Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld and enjoying it. It focuses on a female writer on an SNL-like show, so not surprising that it is up my alley.
Friend of the newsletter and humor writer Holly Thiesen-Jones has a new book out The Green Dumb Guide to Houseplants. I think this would make a good gift for the new graduate or other person in your life who still somehow can’t keep plants alive. I definitely need this book.
Writing things to check out
I’ve noticed that some Substacks accept submissions and run guest posts and I think this can be a great way to build community and sometimes even get paid. I have a rough plan to pull together a post that includes a list of these, but in the meantime, check out the note thread above for some pubs that are taking submissions or guest posts.
I found this post by Carlos Greaves reflecting on his first rejected McSweeney’s submission interesting and informative.
Book royalties are confusing, so I appreciated this piece about an online calculator to show when your book is projected to earn out its advance.
St. Nells is taking applications for a family humor writing residency in August and you’ve got a few more days to get an application in. More details here.
There is helpful author platform-building advice in this piece by Catherine Baab-Muguira from Jane Friedman’s site.
News from me
I had a new piece in McSweeney’s comparing working in an upscale restaurant to feeding young children. Spoiler alert: They are basically the same thing.
The Colorado Sun recently ran an excerpt of my book and interview with me. Also, this opportunity came about because my book was a finalist for the Colorado Author’s League awards. So I think sometimes submitting to awards can lead to other things like this. And ICYMI, I talked in (much more!) detail about how well things I did to market my book worked in my last Substack post.
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*This newsletter contains affiliate links for which I will receive a small commission when you make a purchase through links at no additional cost to you. The affiliate links are really for book link purchases and have nothing to do with cactuses. And yes I know some people say cacti and yes I looked it up and it seems like both usages are acceptable.