Yes, a hotel. Room service. An omelet bar. The sun rising over the Great Miami River. It’s the ultimate gift for any writer — the luxury of time to write…and on the “Dayton Riviera,” no less.
That’s the premise behind A Hotel Room of One’s Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program.
Thanks to a generous gift from comic novelist and writer Anna Lefler, the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in 2018 offered two emerging humor writers the opportunity to dive into their comedy writing without pesky everyday responsibilities.
“The chance to step away from your everyday responsibilities to concentrate on your humor writing AND have access to unlimited tiny soaps? The comedy practically writes itself,” says Lefler a Los Angeles-based author of two funny books, Preschooled and The Chicktionary, and a three-time workshop faculty member.
The inaugural contest drew applications from 401 funny writers in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and five countries. More than 50 preliminary judges, all established writers, narrowed the field to 10 finalists. Comedy legends Alan Zweibel and Laraine Newman, original writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live, reviewed those applications before selecting the winners: Karen Chee, a comedy writer and performer in New York City, and Samantha Schoech, a writer and editor from San Francisco. The other 2018 finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
Chanel Ali, Brooklyn, New York
Tracy Curtis, Charlotte, North Carolina
Deena Mendlowitz, Mayfield Village, Ohio
Valerie Nies, Austin, Texas
Margaux Hession, Santa Barbara, California
Jennifer Logue, Ponte Vedra, Florida
Keith Stewart, Hyden, Kentucky
Stacey Zapalac, Western Springs, Illinois
The program is open to all humor writers regardless of gender or comedic point of view. For more information, click here.