Plenty of kids think they’re comedians, as anyone who has ever attended middle school can attest. Now those junior jokesters can put their comedic prowess toward a greater good than just ticking off the teacher. Kids ages eight to 15 can enter James Patterson’s I Funny. You Funny? contest, inspired by the author’s 2012 middle-grade novel about a classroom cutup, by submitting a link to a video showing up to 60 seconds of them doing a standup routine. The grand prize is a trip to Universal Studios Orlando; up to 10 first-prize winners will have their best joke written into the I, Funny sequel, due out from Little, Brown this December, and up to 10 second-prize winners will receive five full sets of Patterson’s Middle School book series for their school library.
The author himself has gotten in on the act, in a series of video segments filmed with Zachary Gordon, star of the movie version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Additional videos will be rolled out over the duration of the contest, which runs through April 15.
A second Patterson-centric contest, this one via Figment, promotes the recent release of The Kiss, the latest in the Wizard & Witch series. Entrants ages 13 and older are invited to write a story, 500 words or less, “about a relationship that no one approves of.” The deadline is February 26; Little, Brown will judge the 200 most “hearted” entries. The winning story will be featured on Patterson’s YA Web site, and the winner will also receive $500, plus an iPad mini stocked with Patterson titles – and a Facebook shout-out from the author.