Drum roll, please.
Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry and award-winning novelist and short story writer Bonnie Jo Campbell, finalist judges in the 2018 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, have selected four winners and awarded 14 honorable mentions. Betsy Bombeck, a social worker, community volunteer and daughter of the legendary humorist Erma Bombeck, will deliver the keynote address at the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 4, at the Centerville Library, 111 W. Spring Valley Rd. It’s free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.
Here are the winning writers:
Global Winner: Susan Keller of Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania, for It’s My Mortal Coil, and I’ll Laugh If I Want To
LouAnn Edwards of Beaverton, Oregon, for Lower the Bar, I’m Diving In
Pamela Wright of Clarkdale, Georgia, for The Seven Year Split
Kathleen Bouvier of Saint Lambert QC (Canada) for Monday Never Comes
Missy Nicholson of Greer, South Carolina, for I Know Where the Pink Grass Grows
Local Winner: Jeff Kennedy of Columbus, Ohio, for Another Day, Another Swatch
Stephanie Fellenstein of Aurora, Ohio, for Tales From the Road
Katlyn Stechschulte of Dayton, Ohio, for A Travelogue to Two Under Two
Donna Boen of Oxford, Ohio, for Smelling B, You Say? Recalculating.
Global Winner: Julie Watson of Wildwood, Missouri, for The Gift
Jillian Van Hefty of Waconia, Minnesota, for She Spins Like Saturn
Aussa Lorens of Denver, Colorado, for Not a Dog Person
Dana Star of Ransom Canyon, Texas, for The Lousy Tooth Fair
Holly Rutchik of Appleton, Wisconsin, for Something Nice
Local Winner: Sarah Hunt of Cincinnati, Ohio, for The Longest Journey
Rosalie Bernard of Miamisburg, Ohio, for Chairman of the Board
Vicki Edwards of Dayton, Ohio, for God’s Honest Truth
Dale Ehrlich of Oxford, Ohio, for Graduation Prayer
Read the winning essays here.
The contest drew 657 essays from 44 states, Washington, D.C., and nine countries (Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Kenya, Spain and the United Kingdom). The winners in the humor and human interest categories will receive $1,000, free registrations to the sold-out April 5-7, 2018, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, and publication of their essays in the workshop’s program. Those receiving honorable mentions will be awarded $100.
A free shuttle will be available at the Marriott at the University of Dayton for workshop attendees who would like to attend the ceremony. Please RSVP by emailing Debe Dockins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It takes scores of volunteer judges to read and evaluate roughly 295,650 words. The nearly 60 preliminary judges included an Emmy Award-winning writer, nationally known authors, essayists, comedy writers, columnists and stand-up comedians.
This is the second international competition affiliated with the workshop. The inaugural “A Hotel Room of One’s Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program” attracted 401 applications from 44 states, Washington, D.C. and five other countries — Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Samantha Schoech, a writer, copy editor and editor from San Francisco, and Karen Chee, a comedy writer and performer in New York City, will receive complimentary registrations to the workshop and two all-expenses-paid blissful weeks of solitude at the University of Dayton Marriott, where they will work on their proposed books of essays.