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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2017 > Finding the funny bone

Finding the funny bone

Polish your comic poems for this month‘s competition so they scrub up nicely, advises Alison Chisholm


Being funny is a serious business. Working as a stand-up comedian is not a job for the fainthearted. Writing poems that will make readers smile, snigger or laugh aloud is a far more difficult task than writing narrative, emotion-based or lyrical poems.

The winner in Writing Magazine‘s competition for humorous poetry needs to be doubly successful. As with any poetry competition, meticulous crafting is a prerequisite, but this is compounded by the particular demands of the subject matter. Your poem has to be funny; but everyone has a different idea of what is and is not funny. You are unlikely to delight everyone with your ‘take ‘ on humour – unless your approach and delivery of the material are so brilliant that readers will wonder at your amazing skills, whether your own interpretation of comedy appeals to them or not.

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Unlock your creativity: • 25 writing exercises to stimulate your senses • Don't fret about downtime – why you need a change of pace • Try the 1,000-word challenge for simpler, clearer writing Star interview: Katherine Webb talks about the emotional dramas and hidden histories in her bestselling novels WIN! £44,750 in writing prizes, and discover the latest opportunities to get into print and earn from your writing in Writers' News

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