Havin’ a Laugh The Book


1ST APRIL 2020


Havin’ a Laugh charity is bringing out a book and we’d love for you to be involved. We are looking for your funny, uplifting and turning point stories, poems jokes, illustrations & photos. All Welcome!

First deadline April 1st, 2020

When breaking through recovery and the cracks start appearing, let the spirit of life and humour shine through. We hope to make people smile and laugh with this book and share how important it is to have a laugh or smile even on our darkest days.

Stories of no more than 600 words. Photos and illustrations 1600×1200 ps minimum. Please send us your work using this link: Book Submission

Listen to our interview on Ocean FM

Select which of these 3 themes your piece fits in with:

You can select more than one theme

Theme 1 - Turning Point

Moments when an act of kindness or beauty lifted you or another from darkness

The Outstretched Hand:

I had been struggling on my own with guilt and anxiety for years. I decided to go to a community mental health meeting. I started to cry during a music therapy session when the therapist played ‘Let it Be’.

For the first time in years, I just let the tears flow.
A woman next to me reached across from her chair and gently held my hand. It touched me so deeply to think that although she was battling her own demons, she had enough compassion and empathy left somewhere inside to reach out and try to support me.

That simple act of kindness allowed me to start on the road to self-forgiveness and healing. Mental illness does not define a person. Somewhere behind the illness is a worthy human being.

Theme 2 - Spirit of Life

Extremes people have gone to do something uplifting for others.

Vigilante Sweeney Spirit Story

How positive life endeavours can triumph through dark times.

Theme 3 - Laugh it out

You couldn’t write it, stories of life that you couldn’t make up and cause you to laugh out loud.

The Wedding Story

The 9th of June, 1990 – the day of my wedding. This was back in the day where no one had a fake tan or got someone to do their makeup. So there I was with my pasty skin, covered in freckles and my bright blue eyeshadow, wearing the biggest dress you could imagine. I looked like a cross between a giant meringue and a reject from an Abba tribute band.

When I got to the church there was a huge crowd of people. My mother had invited a whole congregation of Irish cousins, most of whom we’d never met before. It was also my husband Andy’s birthday so I walked up the aisle to the vicar singing happy birthday to Andy.

After the ceremony, we headed to the reception but when we arrived there we noticed the cousins were missing. This was in the days before mobile phones but eventually, a call came through on the landline. The cousins had followed the wrong white car and ended up in Birmingham which was around an hour and a half away from the reception!

In the middle of the speeches, the cousins arrived. Instead of making a quiet, low key entrance one of them missed the steps and landed flat on his face in the middle of the hall, he was grand – thankfully!

Our wedding was quite low budget so our DJ was really a dustman and was doing the music as a nixer. We told him we wanted Endless Love as our first dance but as we were invited to take the floor the dulcet tones of Engelbert Humperdinck singing Please Release Me serenaded us. We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this point.

The rest of the wedding went without any memorable events until we got to our hotel. We were in the bridal suite of a very fancy hotel that boasted a jacuzzi in the bathroom. I was very excited to try it out only I didn’t realise that the drain cover was missing and my backside got sucked into the hole! Andy, my husband of a few hours, had to drag me off it and I had a bruise for weeks.

So that was my wedding, surely a day we’ll never forget!

We’d love to hear your funny, uplifting & turning point stories, poems, jokes, illustrations & photos. All Welcome!

We’ll be hosting two workshops in March to help get your story on to paper, or edit what you have submitted already.

© Copyright - Havin' a Laugh | RCN 20107710

The countdown for Havin' a Laugh Book Submissions

The first Deadline is the 1st of April 2020