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Writing Competition


The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition is hosted every two years by the University of Dayton and the Washington-Centerville Public Library in Centerville, Ohio, where Erma wrote the books and columns that launched her national fame. Over the years, the contest has drawn thousands of hopeful entries, submissions inspired by Erma Bombeck’s humor and humanity.

The 2018 contest opens Dec. 4, 2017. Entries will be accepted until Jan. 3, 2018.

Capture the essence of Erma’s writings, and you could win $500 and a free registration to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. In 2016, 563 writers from around the world entered previously unpublished essays in humor and human interest categories — roughly 253,350 words.

Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry and award-winning novelist and short story writer Bonnie Jo Campbell will serve as the finalist judges for the humor and human interest categories, respectively. The nearly 50 preliminary judges will include nationally known authors, columnists, screenwriters and stand-up comedians.

To read the 2016 winning entries, click here.

Reflections of Erma