Dear Funny Pearls readers and contributors,
As you may be aware, we’ve been celebrating Funny Pearls’s first birthday for some time. That’s because we can’t be precise about when we were born! Was it when the idea first sprang into our heads? When the first submission popped into our inbox? When the website went live? What we can say with absolute certainty, is that it’s been a year of huge fun for us. But we couldn’t have reached this first birthday without the wonderful support we have received from all our contributors and readers. So, mostly, this birthday letter is a big ‘thank you’.
When we first starting scouting around for submissions, one of the comments we often heard from women writers was that they didn’t think they could ‘write funny’. Well you’ve proved yourselves wrong!
Everybody laughs and everybody finds different things funny and the strains of humour we have posted this first year are varied. Some of the stories on Funny Pearls are dark. Many of our contributors use humour to explore uncomfortable themes such as loneliness, anxiety, fear, illness or death. Others have chosen lighter topics or moments of obvious hilarity. And some writers have such a witty tone of voice that any topic they write about is likely to make a reader smile. Whichever way a writer chooses to express humour, there is a reader out there who will find it funny and be grateful to have been blessed with a moment of laughter.
We love the fact that the existence of Funny Pearls encourages writers to include humour in their repertoire – just as much as we love that, through our platform, these writers are able to bring a smile to our readers’ faces in the midst of the dreariest commute or the most uneventful day. Very occasionally we include our own material (such as cartoons or short pieces). We do so to showcase our own style of humour and because we believe we ought to put our pens where our mouths are! But Funny Pearls was never intended as a vanity project – our mission has always been to find writers and cartoonists who can make us and others laugh. We must be succeeding, because we have laughed a lot this first year. And the website and contributions have received much positive feedback, for which we are extremely grateful.
On that note, some of you have wondered why we do not allow comments on the site. One reason for this is that most of our contributors are active on either Facebook or Twitter and these are already great platforms for a reader to compliment a writer on her story. The second reason is that Funny Pearls should not be a competitive space. This is also why we do not have a ranking system (such as the ‘most popular post’- feature known from many blogs). In these times, when everybody feels free to comment publicly on everything from the latest episode of Love Island to the browning capabilities of somebody’s toaster, we want Funny Pearls to be a place where readers can enjoy the content without the distraction of other people’s opinions and where writers can showcase their art without competitive pressures. There are enough of those in the real world and we follow with delight the successes that our contributors enjoy there – and not only because we like to think it rubs off on Funny Pearls!
Whether you have won a prize, a magazine competition, found an agent, been published, or sold the film rights to your novel, we celebrate your success! We salute all of the Funny Pearls contributors who have met their personal writing milestones this year, no matter how big or small. Your support for Funny Pearls has kept us going and we are thrilled to cheer you in return.
We have some fun projects in the pipeline: The deadline is looming for our Birthday Competition. If you can send us a short story by 31st July 2019, you have the chance to win £250 in Amazon vouchers. There is still time, but do get those fingers clicking on your keyboards, those biros rolling over the page, and those feather quills scratching over parchment. See details here.
And later this year, we plan to launch the first Funny Pearls Podcast. We are hugely excited about this project because it means that eventually our readers will be able to listen to their favourite stories while also doing the ironing or driving to work. These are not activities you want to do while reading on your mobile phone or computer – not unless you have mad skills – so we are really looking forward to bringing readers the audible version of Funny Pearls. We will begin with a trial this autumn, announcement to follow!
Thank you for Year One. We wish everyone a great summer!
Philippa Hall and Mette Jolly