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Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

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More than 350 beginning and professional writers attend the biennial writers’ workshop, which attracts attendees from across the United States, Canada and other countries. In 2022, writers ranged in age from 17 to 93 and included bloggers, authors, columnists, stand-up comics, a New York Times editor, a Hollywood actress, four Bombecks and five mother-daughter duos. Many writers credit the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop with providing the knowledge and connections that brought their writing and publishing success to the next level.


We survey attendees after each workshop, and here are some of their recent comments:

  • I’ve attended plenty of retreats, conferences and workshops, and I usually feel a high after each one, but the high I feel after the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is next-level. I feel like my brain is in a vortex, but it is a magical, life-affirming one.
  • The fact that you were surrounded for three days by nothing but supportive, positive vibes while amidst greatness among the keynote speakers and presenters was unbelievable.
  • There’s a magic to this conference. It’s the perfect balance of entertainment, education and networking.
  • The best part about the weekend is experiencing the Erma family feel, and getting to chat with the fabulous speakers and presenters.
  • (The workshop) is the most fun one can have as an adult.
  • There was an underlying feeling of positivity, joy, gratefulness and love throughout the whole event.
  • I love that the conference included sessions for writers of all kinds — fiction, memoir, screenwriting, oral storytelling, podcasting, stand-up and even song writing. I love that it covered the craft as well as the business side of things — getting published, finding an agent, marketing. The entertainment was stellar, the keynotes were excellent and the stand-up night was hysterical. Most of all, the supportive environment was amazing — that “Erma magic" was back in full force. …The joy was palpable.
  • It was the BEST WORKSHOP EVER. The hospitality is spot on, everyone was so nice and friendly, and I feel as if I’ve spent the weekend with the most talented humorists in the country.
  • I’ve been writing for years. These few days changed my whole approach to this craft I so love. It is Monday evening and the only thing I’ve unpacked from my car is my computer. I’ve been sitting here pouring onto the page everything I learned from these experienced and skilled writers.
  • I will definitely come again — this was by FAR the best writers’ event I have ever been to. WOW!

Approximately 55 percent of 2022 in-person attendees completed the online survey and gave the overall workshop a 9.37 score (out of 10), the highest mark in EBWW history.

The workshop's cost vs. value and the opportunity to network with other writers and presenters also netted scores greater than 9. Approximately 86 percent said the knowledge and connections they gained at the workshop will cover the full cost of attending or far more than cover the cost of attending. More than 80 percent say they'd definitely come back or highly consider it.


The writers’ workshop faculty usually includes more than two dozen experienced writers and publishing professionals. They’re chosen for their ability to entertain while they educate. Most have taught at other writers’ workshops. You won’t find this type of lineup at any other writers’ workshop.


Your sense of humor, first and foremost. And, of course, your desire to be a better writer. We recommend comfortable clothes (including walking shoes), a notebook and a water bottle for the daytime sessions. We suggest business casual attire for the evening events.


You can signal your interest by filling out a form that will be sent to all attendees.

In the first of several opportunities, a portion of those who want to perform at the close of the workshop will be chosen randomly to audition at "Erma's Got Talent: The Stand-Up Auditions," a virtual event. The winner and runners up will automatically be part of the Saturday night show. A dozen more will be chosen randomly after "Erma's Got Talent" and informed via email. Jane Condon will select three more from her Stand-Up Comedy Boot Camp during the workshop. In all, the show will include 18 performers.


For the in-person workshop, registrations are 75 percent refundable with no cancellations after a certain date. To request a cancellation, please email erma@udayton.edu.


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Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

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