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Write On! Free Workshop Registrations Available for UD Students

Coming soon to a laptop near you — the University of Dayton’s popular Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

Emmy Award winners, celebrated authors and comedians will headline the virtual Oct. 29-31, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Thanks to the generosity of the Alumni Association, UD students can attend for free. To register, contact Alan Abitbol, assistant professor of communication, at The deadline is Oct. 15.

Attendees will have the opportunity to laugh and be inspired by six keynote speakers and participate in 25 sessions, an attendee stand-up comedy show and Pitchapalooza, billed as “American Idol for books, only kinder.”

A bonus: you can attend in pajamas.

The workshop’s sessions will be recorded through the interactive platform Crowdcast, which gives attendees the opportunity to watch replays of every session for up to a year after the workshop ends.

The workshop will open with a “fireside chat” with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame and his mom Peggy Rowe, who penned two New York Times’ best-sellers after the age of 80. Besides the famous mother-son duo, the workshop’s keynoter line-up includes:

Annabelle Gurwitch, New York Times’ bestselling author of four books, actress, essayist and storyteller. She was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor Writing in 2015. The original co-host for Dinner and a Movie on TBS, she has appeared in numerous television and film projects. 

Wendy Liebman, stand-up comedian who has performed on late-night shows — from Carson to Kimmel — and appeared in comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central and Showtime. She was a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent.

Mike Reiss, Emmy Award-winning writer for The Simpsons and author of Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons and 19 children’s books.

Sophfronia Scott, award-winning novelist, journalist and essayist who’s been hailed by historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as “potentially one of the best writers of her generation.”

Among the nearly 30 experienced writers and publishing professionals, the workshop’s faculty includes a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Thurber Prize winner, a winner of The Moth GrandSLAM and four popular former keynoters — Leighann Lord, Bruce Ferber and the writing team of Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. Brian Kiley, head monologue writer for Conan O’Brien, will host the Attendee Stand-Up Comedy Night.

Read the keynoter and faculty bios and peruse the session descriptions.

The Writer magazine has called the biennial Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop the best writing conference in Ohio and "THE conference for humor writers." It's wildly popular and sells out within hours.

The virtual workshop is co-sponsored by the University of Dayton’s Alumni Association, College of Arts and Sciences and Bookstore; Smashwords; National Society of Newspaper Columnists; Writer’s Digest; Books & Co.; and the Washington-Centerville Public Library. Additional operating support is provided by the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop Endowment, A Hotel Room of One’s Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program and Nickie’s Prize for Humor Writing.

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