Monday, July 12, 2010

Winners: Bring On The Funny

Thanks to all who entered my contest! You guys are just fabulous. I always worry no one will enter and then I'm surprised by the enthusiasm. I've been smiling all week at the entries, which has certainly taken the edge off editing.

As I read through these to decide on winners, I realized just how hard funny is to write. Humor is such a personal thing! What's funny to one person may go over another's head, or they might think it's lame, or it brings a smile but not a chuckle.

I could see how each entry had the element of humor, but I was surprised how much my own tastes and current life experiences affected what made me laugh and what only brought a smile. So please know that I'm not saying your entries aren't funny—because they all were! But there were some that resonated more with me than others.

And I guess that's why humor is so difficult. Angst and sadness and fear are largely derived from the sames things—you can count on unrequited love being angsty, a death being sad, a serial killer being scary, for the most part. But humor is always changing, and you have to keep close tabs on the things that matter to your target audience.

Okay, enough of me rambling. Time for winners!

Third Place: Cindy Pon!
natalie whipple
sat by a thimble
filled with jam and wasabi
she dipped her dainty finger
into the mixture
and called the cabana boy
for some curry
then cindy pon entered
in a string bikini
with no stretchmarks or anything!
hello darling gorgeous thing
cindy blows kisses
is it saturday have you posted a drawing?
with an eloquent wave of her hand
natalie said: sit down, i'm about to brunch.
and lunch? cindy replied, with hope in her eyes
natalie nodded, and sup and tea!
cindy wiggled
clapping with glee
her bikini top nearly fell off
but it's okay, there's nothing to see
as natalie clanged silver cymbals
in filed an endless string of #cuteasianboys
bearing trays of delicious delectables
from sushi to thai curry
bulgogi to udon
mapo tofu, cold soba, hot tea!
natalie and cindy dined in a bliss
but made sure they left room for
something sweet

See, Cindy used what she knew about me to create something that would be particularly funny TO ME. It might not be funny to anyone else, but it had me rolling. This is a perfect example of considering your audience.

Second Place: Lynsey Newton
My boyfriend Chris took me out to our favourite restaurant for my birthday. It was a busy night and the restaurant was packed! Unbeknownst to me, Chris had arranged a birthday surprise but unfortunately, the waiter got the timing wrong. Chris had just gone to find the bathroom when the cheesy happy birthday music started and I was presented with a small desert with a candle.

The entire restaurant turned to look at me sitting all on my own. I even heard a “awww, she’s all on her own”. I had to address the entire restaurant by saying “No, it’s ok, he’s just gone to the bathroom”. When Chris came back, the waiter realised what had happened and apologised profusely. He took my desert away and then proceeded to play the music AGAIN. Thankfully I got my desert back but I died of embarrassment. Not once but twice that night.

Lynsey may have not known this would be so freaking funny to me, but this one hit home and had me giggling the rest of the day. I even had to tell Nick about it. Why? Well, I happen to HATE getting the birthday treatment at a restaurant. It's so embarrassing to me, free dessert or not. It was the perfect real life funny story for me.

First Place: Angela A!

I had an idea
late last night
and I jotted it down
so that maybe I might
turn it into a novel
and get a sweet book deal
with no strings attached.

It's got zombies and ninjas
(all those awesome things)
and death traps and werewolves
and magical rings.
So I got out my laptop
and started to type
to get this idea out
while it was still ripe.

But then I saw ice cream
and started to eat
and then I saw Twitter
and just had to tweet.
Ice cream's not healthy
so I went for a jog
and then I was sidetracked
by an author's blog.

"Start writing!" I told myself
okay, ready, set...
Hey wait! Is that an episode
of The Bachelorette?

Apparently I think poetry is funny, but Angela's poem was absolutely perfect for not only me, but I bet many writers. She got me with ninjas, etc, and yet she also appealed to a wider audience of writers in general. She nailed it, and rhymed too!

Winners, please contact me at to discuss prizes. Thanks for making me laugh!


  1. Thanks, Natalie! That contest was fun :)

  2. YAYAYAY for Angela A! I totally cracked up at hers, because it is SO (unfortunately) true.

    The others were great too! I would LOVE cute Asian boys bringing me delicious Asian food. And I cannot even imagine the embarrassment of the "aww she's all alone" mistake! o_O

  3. Congratz to the winners! Good job! By the way, I've removed my book excerpt/entry on this post, because after reading Write It Sideways' article on copyright and cyberspace posting, I don't want to keep my stuff up online too long:

  4. Angela A - I LOVE this and as Natalie said, probably only coz I'm a writer. But so awesome, congrats x

  5. Congrats to the winners! I actually laughed at Angela's, very funny stuff! :)

  6. Congrats to everyone who won! Each one was fabulously hilarious! The first place one, I read in the comments, she deserved to win! :)

  7. Congrats to the winners! Y'all brought on the funny!

  8. Congratulations to your winners! They were all wonderful!

  9. Congratulations, winners! And thanks for the contest, Natalie. It was fun to read.

    I can't wait to see what you draw for Cindy. Unless she lets you crit part of her next novel, in which case: JEALOUS!

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  11. I WON I WON I WON! *runs around natalie's blog in her string bikini chased by #cuteasiancabanaboys*