Don’t let a meaningless existence stop you from making resolutions!

By: Julie Vick and Sue D. Gelber

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Photo by from Pexels
  1. Exercise more! Running on a machine that goes nowhere will remind you that you are just a cog in a wheel. Plus, if you trip and fall off the treadmill, your roommates will laugh, creating a fleeting moment of joy in an otherwise bleak existence.
  2. Reduce your carbon footprint! Traveling less will help the earth heal, prolonging the pointlessness of human existence. Also, even after selling off your childhood collection of Beanie Babies, you can’t really afford to travel.
  3. Resolve to keep your inbox clear and empty. Like your inner life.
  4. Declutter! Purge your house of anything that does not spark joy. Your home should be an empty husk containing only your mug with a kitten on it filled with black, black coffee. …

My 2020 submitting and writing stats

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

[I am imagining the title being sung to the tunes of The Octonaut’s “Creature Report!” but if you have somehow not been watching this television show for children, I guess that won’t make sense.]

It’s that time of year again when I look back at my writing hits and misses for the year. I’ve been doing these roundups the past few years, and you can find last year’s report here. …

First, just sort through these 10,000 ideas

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Image Source: Pixabay
  1. Check email. Receive 500 ideas on how to entertain kids.
  2. Check social media. See 1000 ideas on how to entertain kids.
  3. Check the front door. Find it wallpapered with notes on what to do at home with kids.
  4. Check the web. Read articles saying if you don’t have some sort of schedule, your kid’s only college hopes will rest on you acquiring a lot of money and learning how to Photoshop your child into crew team photos.
  5. Keep scrolling.
  6. Read articles about how you should just let kids lie around and have unlimited screen time and not worry about them succumbing to an extended summer slide in the next 6 months to two years that they will be home. …

Work-from-home sign-offs for you to laugh at but not actually use

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Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

Are you practicing social distancing by working from home or avoiding work-related meetings, handshakes, and people? If so, you’re probably sending a lot of emails. Sure the standard “Thanks for your time” and “Best regards” sign-offs probably still work, but here are some more entertaining ideas:

  1. “Thanks for your distance,”
  2. “Take care not to touch your face,”
  3. “Looking forward to seeing your child give you bunny ears on Zoom again next week,”
  4. “Virtual elbow bump,”
  5. “Sincerely need to find a store in the area that still has toilet paper if you happen to know of one,”
  6. “Best hand washes,”
  7. “Best healthy synergy…

Both parents and children will love our “scream out your feelings” room

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Illustration by Emily Clouse

Welcome to Toddler Restaurant, where everything is designed with our most discriminating young guests in mind. No more uncomfortable seating arrangements or worries about other patrons staring at you while you blend a clump of mashed potatoes into your hair.

Here at Toddler Restaurant, we strive to meet your very specific and constantly evolving needs.

Dress Code

Guests are free to wear a range of attire from superhero costumes to pajamas or that empty box you found in the recycling. Shirts and pants are always optional.


We have a variety of eclectic options to choose from. Our Over and Under Room allows your entire party to grab a seat underneath or on top of one of our spacious tables. Complimentary flashlights and glow-in-the-dark menus are provided for our under-the-table guests, and helmets and padded seats are on-hand for those guests who prefer to stand on a table while they lick the ranch off of a celery stick. …

How cold querying led me to my agent

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Photo by Curtis Potvin on Unsplash

I am pretty obsessed with reading people’s stories of how they got their literary agents. I liked reading them before I got my agent and now that I have one, I am still pretty interested in what seems like a semi-mysterious process in a writer’s life.

I’ve heard stories of writers being contacted by agents after viral pieces, and these stories are very cool, but alas, are not something that happened to me. Trying to write something that will go viral and catch the attention of agents is not necessarily the best plan because a) turns out you can not will something into going viral and b) I’ve known people who have been contacted by agents, but those agents turned out to not be the right fit. …

A report on submissions, rejections, and some Medium stats for the year

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Photo by Maciej Ostrowski on Unsplash

For the past few years, I’ve been doing a year-end writing round-up/goal setting post, and it’s time for the 2019 edition. You can find the 2018 version here.

So first up — submission totals. I write humor, travel, and an assortment of random other things. Some things (like humor and essays) are typically submitted as full pieces. Other things (articles and travel pieces) are typically pitches. So this reflects a combination of the two. This year’s numbers:

  • Submissions: 93 — Some of these were pitches that contained more than one idea and many were pitching/submitting the same idea to multiple pubs. It looks like there were about 39 different pitches/full pieces, pitched 51 different markets, and I sent out and one piece that was submitted 8 times before it found a home. …

Some things to keep in mind when watching Baby Yoda

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Image by Felix Hu from Pixabay

Dear Stranger Who I Have Entrusted With Watching Baby Yoda:

Thank you for agreeing to watch the young one. As you can see, he is an exceptionally charming child, but you must not let those big brown eyes talk you into letting him get away with everything.

First, you should know that Baby Yoda is a bit of a challenging eater. I know that Happiest Baby in the Galaxy recommends children eat pureed foods at this age, but he mostly prefers raw, live frogs. …

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Photo by fotografierende from Pexels

Welcome to our freelance writing casino! Feel free to stop by our Twitter pitch fight arena — where you can battle other writers to be the last one standing for a chance to receive a modest assignment. Or stroll around and get a chance to enjoy any of our other popular games.


Step up to our Pitch Jack table to send out pitches to editors with names like Jack, and also other names. You’ll know this game from the group of people standing around their laptops, cheering or scowling as their emails roll in. If you’d like to spend hours researching and writing a carefully crafted pitch or story that could land you thousands of dollars or nothing at all, then this is the game for you. …

Some additional paying (and non-paying) markets for humor writing

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Photo by Diane Alkier on Unsplash

As a follow up to the initial list of 20 Markets that Publish Humor Writing I wrote earlier this year, I am now presenting you with a list of even more markets for funny stuff. The same disclaimer as before applies — because humor writing varies a lot across different publications, you should read a site and their submission guidelines to get a feel for what they publish before submitting.

Bonus disclaimer: Publications pop up (and unfortunately close down) all the time, so double-check that a pub is still running current pieces before sending something in. …


Julie Vick

Writer with work in New Yorker Daily Shouts, McSweeney's, and Real Simple | Read more at

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