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Call for submissions: humor anthology

(The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is teaming with prolific author Allia Zobel Nolan on a humorous anthology on aging. Here’s Allia’s update on the project.)

Call for Submissions: Humor Anthology
Deadline: Monday, Oct. 23

Breaking news!

We’re back with an update on the Allia Zobel Nolan/Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop humor anthology.

For a variety of reasons, the proposed humor anthology, Age Spots, has taken a new direction. That’s right. We’re changing the title. We’re adding more fun. And we’ve decided (because it’s in our best interest and allows us more freedom) to publish this side-splitter ourselves.

Benefits of self-publishing

Self-publishing will enable us to:

Accept previously published material.
Require only First North American Rights, so authors will retain their work and be able to resell it.
Have finished books (we hope; we hope; we hope) by the next EBWW workshop or very soon after that.
Allow contributing authors to buy a certain number of books at a discounted price for their own personal signings.
Give a portion of the royalties to EBWW to help keep the workshop affordable for writers
Pay a modest advance ($75), which can be donated to EBWW if authors so desire.
Include an author thumbnail photo and a three-line bio at the end of the book.
Accept 25 pieces, original or previously published.
Broaden the book’s theme to allow for more than just aging.

New title: From Hot Pants to Hormones: Celebrating How We Were Then — and Where We Are Now — Before We Forget

As with Age Spots, the book will be marketed as “By Allia Zobel Nolan, with Side-Splitting Contributions from the EBWW.” However, all authors will be listed in the table of contents and be featured in photos and bios at the end of the book.

Proposed content

Those of a certain age have a storehouse of memories reflecting (pardon the idiom) “the way we were.” We ironed our hair, rolled it in soda cans to straight it. We slathered on cement-colored lipstick that turned us into zombie princesses. We secretly idolized people like Twiggy, yet wanted to be Gloria Steinem when we grew up. We wore hot pants and platform heels. We were secretaries and nurses and teachers, but only until, as our mothers prompted us, we found “Mr. Right.”

These and countless coming-of-age memories deserve chronicling, while we can still remember them and before they’re lost forever.

With this in mind, we are asking authors to open up the files in their minds marked “Then,” and dig out their most humorous episode — the one we’ll all relate to and the one that will surprise us. At the same time, we’re still looking for the humor in what it’s like to blink and wake up to be 50, 60, 70 and beyond. (It’s the humor in the “now,” and there’s plenty of that.)

And gentlemen, don’t be fooled by the title. We need and welcome your viewpoints. So please answer our call.

Now for the six people who made the original cut, we’d like to use your essays in this new book with this new title. So no worries there. We just need you to be aware of and cool with the change.

This new title opens up a plethora of possibilities: episodes on weight, hair, (remember the helmet head hair spayed look?), fashion, blind dates, family interactions (moms, in particular), bosses and generally the fun stuff of yesteryear.

So, authors have plenty of leeway in this new iteration, especially since we can take your funniest previously published stories including pieces about what it’s like to have kids, not have kids, our love/hate relationship with middle age, etc. It’s a whole new ballgame and we’re looking for work that will guarantee us a home run.


No scatological or vulgar humor
Length: no shorter than 800 words, and no longer than 1,000, please.
EBWW has the discretion to edit/reject a contributor’s submission
Work can be original or previously published
Authors who make the cut must sign over First North American Rights, but will retain all other rights to re-sell.
Submissions from both women and men are accepted.
Authors will be paid (one-time amount $75) and can, if they wish, donate their portion to EBWW.
Deadline is strict in fairness to all. No work will be accepted after the due date.
25 authors will be chosen.
Submissions must be double-spaced, List your name, email address, date, title and word count on the left-hand side of the page. No cover page needed.
Submit to no later than midnight (EST) on Monday, Oct. 23. Indicate EBWW Humor Anthology in the subject line.
Authors who make the cut will be announced on the EBWW Facebook page and web page soon after.
Authors who make the cut are asked to provide a recent photo or cartoon illustration of themselves and a three-line bio.

Nota Bene: Please do not send more than one piece as, because of limited time and man(woman)power, we cannot read more than one essay and will have to delete your entire submission altogether. Just choose what you feel is your best and funniest essay.

As always, thank you so much for sharing your work and proving, “You can write.”

— Allia Zobel Nolan

Allia Zobel Nolan has published close to 200 books, some for children, others for cat lovers, some humorous, some devotional. A former senior editor at Reader’s Digest, she attended her first Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in 2016.

Reflections of Erma