In Rae Ellen Lee’s entertaining memoir, My Next Husband Will Be Normal,” Lee and her husband fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands with a down payment for a mom-and-pop business on St. John. Then life takes a twist when soon after unpacking the flip-flops, the husband realizes “he” is really a “she.”
Angel in Your Mirror: Musings From the Curly Mind of JB Shelton-Spurr is a collection of humorous and poignant essays by a journalist and rancher who delights in writing about children growing up and grownups reinventing themselves. Author JB Shelton is president of The Agency for Written and Spoken Communications in North Carolina.
Leslie Marinelli is editor-in-chief of In The Powder Room, an online global community for women. Her new book, with 38 other women bloggers, is a humorous anthology of original short stories, You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth: And Other Things You’ll Only Hear from Your Friends In The Powder Room. She is the creative force behind the riotous blog, The Bearded Iris: A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All. Leslie was named a BlogHer Humor Voice of the Year in 2013 and 2012, and a Babble Top 100 Mom Blogger in 2011.
This is not your ordinary writing duo. Noah is a wise and witty horse who blogs, tweets and writes the occasional book with his business partner, Mary Farr. He calls her “Madam” and “The Management.” She’s the author of four books and frequently presents on topics that foster health, happiness and healing. Their funny and inspirational book, Never Say Neigh, won an honorable mention in the 2013 Paris Book Festival.
Sharon Short, director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, has published a beautifully written coming-of-age novel, My One Square Inch of Alaska (Penquin Plume). “I adored these characters, feared for them, and rooted for them every step of the way,” says novelist and EBWW faculty member Katrina Kittle.
A nearly 30-year veteran of the Akron Beacon Journal, Bob Dyer has earned 52 regional and national writing awards — including this year’s top humor award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for large newspapers. In 2008, the National Society of Professional Journalists voted him Best Columnist in the Nation. He has been named Best Columnist in Ohio by at least one professional journalism organization for six consecutive years. He was one of the lead writers for A Question of Color, a yearlong examination of racial attitudes in Akron that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. In addition, he has written two books.
For three days, we laughed. OK, howled.
We left renewed, inspired, motivated.
Fresh from the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, some of the 350 attendees and faculty tapped out humorous and, often, heartfelt columns and blogs. Here’s a sampling:
“Postcards From the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop” from Yuliya Patsay of the She Suggests blog
“Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop 2012: Will Somebody Please Remove the Ferret from my Toe?” by Dave Fox, author of Getting Lost: Mishaps of An Accidental Nomad
“Being Erma” by Tracy Beckerman, nationally syndicated humor columnist and author of Rebel Without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the ‘Burbs. And another, “Here’s Why Jennifer Aniston Probably Won’t Be Inviting Me to Her Wedding”
“Life Keeps Getting Weirder: An Open Letter to the Dayton Marriott” by Anna Lefler, author of The CHICKtionary
“Draggin Girl” by Deb Amlen, New York Times WordPlay columnist and blogger
“Best Moments From the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop” by Tara Adams
“Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop — A Unique Chance To Study ’Funny’” from The Laughing Mom blog
“Erma Bombeck, I Am a Writer” by blogger Nicole Shirley Morgan
“An Ode to the EBWW” by Gianetta Palmer
“Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop?…We’ll See” by Carolyn Plath
“You Had Questions? EBWW 2012 Had Answers” by blogger Jody Worsham on the National Society of Newspaper Columnists website
“The Once and Future Queen. Finding Erma Bombeck” by Kyran Pittman, author of Planting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life
“The Spirit of Erma” by Karen Walrond, author/photographer of The Beauty of Different
“On Being Erma’s Child” by Jim Higley, author of Bobblehead Dad
“Lovefest — Erma Bombeck Style” by Suzette Martinez Standring, author of The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists
“What Erma Bombeck Taught Me (Just This Past Weekend” by Amy Wilson, author of When Did I Get Like This?: The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be
“14 Things I Learned at the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop” by blogger Joe Donatelli
“Bombeck Writers’ Workshop Closes With Dedication” by Mary McCarty, Dayton Daily News columnist
“Stooges Funny? Don’t Make Me Laugh — Bombeck Rules” by Gina Barreca, author of It’s Not That I’m Bitter or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World “Erma
Bombeck’s True Gift” by blogger Stacey Hatton
“How I Overcame Chronic Shyness at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop by Jef Blocker
“The Spruce is Greener Surrounded by Family” by blogger Steve Vest
“Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop: The Meat and Potatoes (And the Chocolate Cake)” by Lisa Tognola, creator of “Main Street Musings” column
“Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop Wrap Up” by Sarah Hunt
“Life According to Erma” by blogger Jen Havice
“College Boys Aren’t Cute Anymore” by blogger Erin Breagy Gross
“Literary Arts Alive and Growing Here in Dayton” by Sharon Short, Dayton Daily News Literary Life columnist
“What Would Erma Say?” by blogger Dawn Weber
“UD Dedicates Tree to Writer’s Memory” by WDTN-TV
“The Next Erma Bombeck” by blogger Susanna Hickman Bartee
“Six Things I Learned at EBWW” by blogger Leslie Marinelli
“Six More Things I Learned at EBWW” by blogger Leslie Marinelli
“Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop: The Craft of Writing; the Gift of Friendship” by blogger Darlene Sneden
“From the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop — Blogging, Branding and Social Media, Part 1″ by blogger LD Masterson
“This is Where I Come From. And, I Might Be a Little Irreverent. And Also Irrelevent. And I Kinda Don’t Care,” by blogger Janet Frongillo
“Tricks to Beating the Shy Monster” by blogger Alexandra Rosas
“Dessert AGAIN? OK, I’m In!” by blogger Nancy LaFever
“Thank you, Erma Bombeck” by blogger Jules Fredrick
Attendee Susanna Hickman Bartee penned one of the best descriptions of this year’s workshop: “We were 350 writers and wannabes who met for seminars, encouragement, inspiration and tips. It was a grand party where everyday people like me got to listen to and rub elbows with Pulitzer Prize winners, Hollywood writers, uber-successful freelancers and even (in my case) share an elevator with Betsy Bombeck, Erma’s daughter. It was hard to leave when it was over.”
Mark the date: April 10-12, 2014. Join us for the 2014 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.
— Teri Rizvi
Teri Rizvi, associate vice president for University communications at the University of Dayton, founded the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in 2000.
Laura Rafaty, a columnist for the St. Helena Star, took first place for humor writing in both the 2012 and 2013 National Society of Newspaper Columnists award competition (newspapers with 50,000 and under circulation). She resides in the Napa Valley where she bases her law firm, Napa Valley Immigration Law. She is producing director of the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater and operates an online retail site and perfume company. A Tony-nominated theatrical producer, she co-authored the book, Straight Women, Gay Men: Absolutely Fabulous Friendships. She blogs at Up the Valley with Laura Rafaty. Read one of her winning essays here.