The next Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop will be April 2-4, 2020, on the campus of the University of Dayton, Erma Bombeck’s alma mater. Registration opens at noon (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 12.
A link will be shared via social media and the workshop’s free e-newsletter, available for subscription at humorwriters.org. The registration fee is $485 with a number of free scholarships available for University of Dayton students, courtesy of the Alumni Association, beginning in January. The registration fee includes meals and refreshments.
The 2020 workshop, in its 20th anniversary year, will feature Emmy Award winners, celebrated authors, comedians and a renowned cartoonist. Here’s the line-up of keynote speakers:
Cathy Guisewite, Emmy Award-winning creator of the iconic “Cathy” comic strip and author of a funny memoir, Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays From the Grown-Up Years. At its peak, “Cathy” appeared in 1,400 newspapers and earned a place of honor on refrigerator doors across the land.
Annabelle Gurwitch, New York Times’ bestselling author of four books, actress, essayist and storyteller. She was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor Writing in 2015. The original co-host for Dinner and a Movie on TBS, she has appeared in numerous television and film projects.
Wendy Liebman, stand-up comedian who has performed on late-night shows — from Carson to Kimmel — and appeared in comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central and Showtime. She was a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent.
Mike Reiss, Emmy Award-winning writer for The Simpsons and author of Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons and 17 children’s books.
Peggy Rowe, who at the age of 80, wrote and published a New York Times’ best-seller, About My Mother. A social media sensation, she counts more than 115,000 readers of her daily Facebook postings. Her letters and texts to her celebrity son, Mike Rowe, have reached millions.
The Bombeck Workshop is the only one in the country devoted to both humor and human interest writing. Through the workshop, the University of Dayton and the Bombeck family honor one of America’s most celebrated storytellers and humorists. Over the past decade, the workshop has attracted such household names as Dave Barry, Phil Donahue, Art Buchwald, Nancy Cartwright, Don Novello, Gail Collins, Connie Schultz, Roy Blount Jr., Adriana Trigiani, Amy Ephron and Alan Zweibel.
In 2019, The Writer magazine named the workshop the best writing conference in Ohio and “THE conference for humor writers.” The biennial workshop draws approximately 350 writers from around the country and typically sells out very quickly. The 2018 workshop sold out in less than five hours.
The workshop begins on a Thursday evening and continues through Saturday evening, ending with an attendee stand-up show hosted by Brian Kiley, head monologue writer for Conan O’Brien. It features 30 professional humor and human interest writers on the faculty, who will offer sessions on the craft of writing, turning an interest into a profession, marketing, publishing and more. We also offer plenty of other opportunities for comparing notes and networking. The atmosphere is very supportive to both new and established writers looking for the kind of inspiration Erma received from University of Dayton professor Brother Tom Price: “You can write!”
And you’re guaranteed to laugh. A lot.