Laughing at winter and submission opportunities
January 2023 newsletter
Hopefully, your year is off to a good start and you are still holding onto some resolutions. One thing I’m trying to do more this year is to spend less time on Twitter. It’s been a time suck for a while and I had already been setting my phone to lock myself out of that and some other distracting apps at a certain point in the evening but I knew deleting the app from my phone was probably going to help the most, so I did that a few weeks ago and so far haven’t put it back on. So guess I am just quiet quitting Twitter for now.
I also recently set up some email filters to put things like newsletters into certain folders I can read when I have more time to focus, so I’ve basically completely overhauled my life! Stay tuned to next month’s newsletter to see how well that holds up!
Funny stuff and other distractions:
Alexandra Petri always makes me laugh and this imagined meeting of billionaires was one of my favorite columns of hers from last year.
The first book I finished of the year was Bob Odenkirk’s Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, which I listened to on audio. Odenkirk may be most well known for his Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul roles, but he has had a really long career in comedy (something I didn’t completely realize). He gets into a lot of nitty gritty on comedy writing stuff and fans of sketch comedy would particularly appreciate this one, I think.
For some reason (I think the reason was me listening to Odenkirk’s book which explains the “Van down by the river” SNL skitch origin story) I started showing my elementary-aged kids some SNL clips that are kid-friendly and have aged okay (spoiler alert: not all of them have!). So far, they seem to find Toonces the Driving Cat and David S. Pumpkins some of the funniest.
Doing Dry January? I’ve been trying out some non-alcoholic beer options over the past couple of years. For beer, this Kolsch is one of my favorites and my husband likes this one (which he says tastes the most beer-like to him).
Earlier this month I participated in Jami Attenberg’s Mini 1000 and it felt like a more doable writing challenge for me than most (6 days in a row of 1000 words). I got a good draft of a few essays written and even drafted this newsletter that you are currently reading. She does other minis throughout the year and a longer two-week one in the summer. More details are here.
I’ve done some writing on Medium (and it’s got a good collection of humor publications on it), but I find it a little overwhelming to search for new publications there. So this recent list of publications seems helpful. It does not seem to list all the humor pubs on there, but I listed some in some market lists I wrote for Medium that you can find here.
Comedy writer Georgia Shank has an excellent resource for writers interested in late-night writing linked on her website — The Late Night Writers Resource.
I recently saw Wash Post tweet out a link to their travel writing guidelines. Check them out here.
News from me:
I had a piece in McSweeney’s last month: Holiday Air Travel Haiku. Hope you did not spend part of the holiday season stranded somewhere.
I was on an episode of the local writing podcast The Writing Forge talking about humor writing. You can check it out here.
Scary Mommy featured one of my tweets this month. I had another tweet a while back about my kids wanting to write a book about butts do pretty well, so my closing joke writing advice is always to try to use the word butt.
My last post with an example pitch seemed to be well received, so I’m soliciting feedback for my next bonus email topic. Vote below if you have a preference.
The poll is limiting my word count on topic descriptions, but for the book marketing one, my thought is to go over some things I did and talk about how well I felt like they worked. For the humor one, my thought is to go over how a humor piece I’ve published came together from idea to some revisions). And if there is some other topic you would like to see me cover, feel to hit reply or comment to let me know:
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