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Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

I believe everything of any importance in this world has been brought about by dreamers, visionaries who see beyond the first step.

Erma Bombeck

The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop has been dubbed the “Woodstock of Humor.” Another writer describes it as a “utopia” for writers — one “that only appears every other year, out of the mist, on the edge of the Great Miami River in Dayton, Ohio (like Brigadoon).”

The University of Dayton held the first workshop in 2000 as a one-time event to commemorate the Bombeck family’s gift of Erma’s papers to her alma mater. Erma’s famous friends — columnist Art Buchwald, “Family Circus” cartoonist Bil Keane, and author and ERA advocate Liz Carpenter — headlined the event. The workshop was so successful – and so much fun – that the university decided to continue it, reconvening every other year.

Today, the event has grown immensely popular with writers across the nation and sells out within hours. Inspired by Erma’s humor and humanity, writers gather to laugh and learn from the likes of Dave Barry, Adriana Trigiani, Phil Donahue, Nancy Cartwright, Don Novello, Roy Blount Jr., Gail Collins, Alan Zweibel, Lisa Scottoline and other celebrated humorists and writers.

The workshop’s mission is simple: to encourage and inspire writers in the same way Erma Bombeck found encouragement and inspiration at the University of Dayton.

Its mantra is timeless: “You can write!



Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop