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An Unforgettable Mark

(Applications will be accepted Jan. 1-22, 2024, for the April 4-6, 2024, Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. Apply here.)

The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is collaborating with the late DC Stanfa’s family to help writers with financial need attend the popular biennial workshop at the University of Dayton.

A new award has been created to honor Stanfa, a writer, humorist and long-time EBWW aficionado and attendee who died unexpectedly in January 2021.

With initial gifts from her husband, Tom Schonecker, and daughter, Cori Hedrick, the DC Stanfa Memorial Writers' Award fund will provide financial support for EBWW attendees, especially underrepresented or diverse writers. Two awards, which cover the registration fee, travel and hotel, will be available for the in-person workshop, which is slated for Oct. 20-22, 2022. 

“DC brightened the world for 61 years through a life of kindness, positive energy and unique humor. Through her spirited nature and wonderful way with words, DC left an unforgettable mark on anyone who encountered her in person or through her writing,” said her sister, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, a fellow writer and EBWW attendee.

In 2006, Stanfa published her first book, The Art of Table Dancing: Escapades of an Irreverent Woman. She also co-wrote and edited the humor anthology, Fifty Shades of Funny: Hook-ups, Break-ups, and Crack-ups. She contributed stories to several other writing collections, including Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now… Before We Forget, published through EBWW.

In addition to her humor and writing, her legacies include her always-generous nature, such as mentoring other writers, supporting young women through the Boys & Girls Club of America and serving on a suicide hotline. She loved Elvis, stone crab, wine, reading, her girlfriend trips and annual vacations with Tom to St. Maarten, fabulous hats, Doris Day movies, the beach, and her friends and family, not necessarily in that order because orderliness was never important to DC, according to her family.

Anyone who knew DC realized she was one-of-a-kind. As her nephew Jorden said, “DC didn’t just march to the beat of her own drum. She said, ‘the hell with percussion’ and played something else entirely, and usually played it better.”

Writing, however, remained among her greatest passions. She had an especially strong affinity for EBWW and the many fellow writers and friends she met there.

“DC supported and encouraged the dreams of writers — unconditionally,” said Teri Rizvi, founder and director of EBWW. “That is her legacy. We’re so grateful for her family’s generous support of this new award and are honored to work with her loved ones to help raise additional funds to endow the fund, ensuring that awards can be made to deserving writers for every workshop.”

“DC would want each of us to make the most of our own life, to do what we love, and to be kind to one another,” said her sister, Sherry. “She would consider contributions to this new award to be not just a fabulous honor and tribute, but also an incredible reflection of caring and encouragement for others.”

To make a contribution to the DC Stanfa Memorial Writers' Award fund, contact Emily Holterman at or 937-229-5180.

Online gifts can be made here: (for Designation select "Other" and type DC Stanfa Memorial Writers' Award in the text box that appears).

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