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The Virtual Erma 2023

Get Your Funny On! Virtual WorkshopIt’s time to get your funny on, writers!

Who better to bring humor and joy to your writing than Marta Kauffman, one of the biggest names in comedy writing? The creator of Friends and Grace and Frankie will keynote a half-day virtual humor-writing workshop with a talk and conversation.

Experts will then lead three, interactive hands-on workshops focusing on how to make young readers laugh; find the funny in tragedies (big and small); and craft a sharp, short piece that sparks laughter.

Whether you’re new to humor writing or looking for ways to write (and market) funnier prose, this workshop is for you. It will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Check out the amazing program and register today. Early bird rate: $89 by Oct. 1. To view the recordings after the event, the fee is $50.

Come in your PJs or yoga pants. Bring your sense of humor. (And if you have to pop out to take your kid to a soccer game, you can watch any of the recordings later. All registrants will have unlimited access to the recordings for at least six months.)

Register here.

P.S. This is also a terrific way to tap into your inner Erma, brush up on your skills and get psyched for the in-person Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop slated for April 4-6, 2024. Registration will open in November. 


Marta Kauffman recently finished the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, which she co-created. She may be best known for creating NBC’s long-running hit Friends with David Crane. The iconic series ran for 10 seasons and earned 63 Emmy nominations, winning Outstanding Comedy Series in 2002. Reruns continue to delight with Friends: The Reunion being a ratings juggernaut.

Read More About Marta


Janine Annett is the author of the humor book, I Am "Why Do I Need Venmo? Years Old. She has taught writing classes at the Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute, Thurber House, Hudson Valley Writers Center and Gotham Writers.

Read More About Janine
Author Donna Gephart won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award for the funniest children's book of the year for As If Being 12-3/4 Isn't Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President. She's a popular speaker at conferences, book festivals and schools.

Read More About Donna
Kristen Mulrooney is a writer, editor and one of the 2022 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop's Humorists-in-Residence. She's a contributor and editor of The Beladonna, a satire and humor site, and the co-author of the best-selling Gilmore Girls: The Official Cookbook.

Read More About Kristen

The Sessions

Learn techniques and tips to create funny children’s books, from picture books through young adult novels. Discover which types of humor work best for various age groups. Tap into your inner child with lively examples, fun exercises and practical advice that will inspire you to write side-splitting humor for the younger set.

Read More About Presenter Donna Gephart
There's an old adage that says "Tragedy + Time = Comedy." In this workshop, we'll explore how you can take negative experiences (on a personal or global level) and turn them into humorous pieces of writing. We'll look at other examples of funny writing that use less-than-rosy experiences as a springboard to comedy and we'll do some writing exercises that will help you find the funny side, even in serious situations.

Read More About Presenter Janine Annett

Jump start your writing career in 800 words or less with this crash course in short humor and satire. Writer and editor Kristen Mulrooney walks you through the process of crafting a sharp piece of short conceptual humor by nailing down your premise, choosing the right form, and uncovering every joke and laugh your concept has to offer. You'll get submission tips and self-promotion tricks and learn how you can use your published humor to make a name for yourself as an established writer.

Read More About Presenter Kristen Mulrooney

The Schedule 

11 a.m.-noon — Keynoter Marta Kauffman

Noon-12:15 p.m. — Break

12:15-1:15 p.m. — Everything You Need to Know About How to Make Young Readers Laugh (without showing them your bank statement, photo of your first perm or the love poems you wrote to your crush in middle school) — Donna Gephart 

1:15-1:45 p.m. — Lunch/Brunch Break

1:45-2:45 p.m. — Turning a Negative Into a (Comedic) Positive (Janine Annett) 

2:45-3 p.m. — Break

3-3:45 p.m. — Short Humor Crash Course (Kristen Mulrooney) 

3:45-4 p.m. — Wrap Up

All times are EST. The schedule will appear in your time zone on the Crowdcast event page.

(To cover our administrative costs, there's a 10 percent cancellation fee before Oct. 1. Registrations are 50 percent refundable after that, with no refunds given after Oct. 19. Please email