Humor writer of the month
Peggy Rowe began writing when her three sons “left our nest in Baltimore and moved as far away from us as they could get.” She’s published pieces in newspapers and magazines for about 15 years — mostly humor and human interest. Her occasional letters to her celebrity son Mike Rowe, which he reads aloud and shares on social media, have attracted a worldwide following. More than 110 million viewers laughed through her son’s delivery of a guilt-inducing letter, dubbed “Old Blue.” Her recent letter about an adventurous flight is also hysterical. She just finished her first book and plans to travel back to Dayton, when she turns 80, for the 2018 EBWW. It will be her fourth workshop.
Charlie Hall, an artist and stand-up comedian, parodies the 2016 presidential election in Electile Dysfunction, an adult coloring book. His cartoons are accompanied by a hilarious epic poem — for those looking for a reason to laugh instead of cry. Years of honing his craft as a comedian led to appearances on TV shows such as Star Search and the Joan Rivers Show, and he has opened for scores of headliners including Frankie Valli, Chicago, Kool & the Gang, Sam Kinison, Reba McEntire and Jerry Seinfeld. An award-winning political cartoonist, TV news courtroom artist, theater producer, art teacher, illustrator and caricaturist, he is a member of the Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame. He penned the lyrics for the official state song of Rhode Island.
Kathleen Gerard’s work has been awarded The Perillo Prize, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award and was nominated for Best New American Voices, The William Faulkner-William Wisdom Prize, The Mark Twain House Humor Prize, The Saturday Evening Post “Great American Fiction” Prize and Short Story America, all national prizes in literature. Her short prose and poetry have been widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies. Her essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Several of her plays have been staged and performed regionally and off-Broadway. She’s the author of three books, including the thing is, a lighthearted comical novel about a therapy dog named Prozac that rescues a woman in grief.
The hysterical Elayne Boosler, described as “a titan of the stand-up comedy world,” has appeared multiple times on late-night TV shows, produced and written five Showtime comedy specials, and written and directed two movies for Cinemax. Known for her “thoughtful and feisty political humor,” she’s currently working on three books. She founded and runs an animal rescue and advocacy non-profit organization, (Elayne Boosler’s) Tails of Joy, her passion. Her fashion philosophy: “If you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.”
Bruce Ferber has garnered a gold award in humor and a bronze in general adult fiction for his second novel, Cascade Falls, in Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year competition. Humorist Dan Zevin calls the book “poignant, moving and ridiculously funny.” Bruce is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated comedy writer and producer whose credits include Bosom Buddies, Growing Pains, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Coach and Home Improvement, where he served as executive producer and showrunner. A former EBWW keynoter, he’s also the author of Elevating Overman, which is being developed for the big screen.
Eric Heyl is a staff columnist and former reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where his writing has graced the newspaper’s pages for 23 years. His witty columns garnered him first place in the humor category for large newspapers in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ 2016 column contest. Judges called his work “laugh out loud funny” with “spot on” comical observations. He is the former president of NSNC, where he also served as vice president of the NSNC Education Foundation.
Writing humor is serious business. Just ask Donna Cavanagh, author of the newly published How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans. A former journalist and syndicated columnist, Cavanagh gained a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine, USA Today and other national media. She launched HumorOutcasts.com in 2011 as an outlet for writers to showcase their work in a world that offered few avenues for humor. The site now features the creative talents of more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors from all over the world. She has taught the how-to lessons of humor, blogging and publishing at The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Cavanagh has penned four humor books Reality: Fantasy’s Evil Twin, Try and Avoid the Speed Bumps, A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life (which she wrote with her dogs Frankie and Lulu) and Life On the Off Ramp.
Wendy Liebman is a nationally known stand-up comic who’s performed on Carson, Letterman, Leno, Fallon, Kimmel, Ferguson and Hollywood Squares. She was a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent. She’s hilarious. As part of the faculty at the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, she sparked laughter and encouraged learning — sharing her special brand of humor and grace.