Open Call for Submissions to YA Humor Anthology

photo via p.a.h. and creative commons
I'm privileged to be editing an anthology published by Candlewick Press tentatively called OPEN MIC, a compilation of funny short pieces written by some of today's best YA authors, people who grew up along the margins of race and culture in North America (including Hawaii). One of my dreams has been to introduce one or two fresh, relatively unknown voices in this anthology, so I'm excited to announce that I'm calling for submissions.


It’s easy to see teens exploring boundaries, definitions, and trends in ethnicity and race in standup comedy, sitcoms, and funny short and long films. Meanwhile, many teen novels confronting these topics tend to be serious, reverential, or sad. Humor crosses borders like no other literary device, right? Shared laughter fosters community and provides the freedom to talk about issues that might otherwise cause division or discomfort. It also gets teens reading, and that's what we're aiming for in this book. Our authenticity and humor, hopefully, will inspire teens to talk about their own experiences as they share the book in classrooms, families, and through social media.


Your OPEN MIC contribution could include poignant, deep content as well as laugh-out loud hilarious scenes. You don’t have to focus specifically on racism, but your piece will explore or illuminate coming of age and/or growing up along the margins of race and culture in North America (including Hawaii). Hopefully, it will also be funny.

Your target audience is middle school to early high school, grades 7-9, so keep your protagonists at that age level or above. If your piece is chosen, you'll receive an advance against a small royalty percentage on the sale of the book across formats. As for promotion, along with Candlewick’s usual stellar marketing efforts, we’re going to spread the news like crazy through social media to publicize you and your other work as well.


I'm considering submissions to this open call on a rolling basis until January 15, 2012. Maximum word count is 2500. Send your story or essay (noting word count on the first page) along with a brief introductory cover letter to OPEN MIC, Attn: Mitali Perkins, Candlewick Press, 99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144. Manuscripts will not be returned.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not put your name on the manuscript itself, only on the cover letter. Candlewick will keep the cover letters and number manuscripts to track them. I'm hoping to consider submissions without knowing the identities of the contributors—and I can't wait to read your piece!