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Workshop Postponed Until Fall

The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, slated for March 24-26 on the University of Dayton's campus, has been postponed until Oct. 20-22 in the wake of a surge in COVID cases.

“We appreciate the flexibility and generosity of our presenters and attendees — and the esprit de corps of the writing community who are looking forward to gathering together again in person,” said Teri Rizvi, founder and director of the popular, nationally renowned workshop.

Attendees will have the opportunity to transfer their registrations or cancel by Jan. 28. Registration will reopen on Feb. 1 for available slots.

Registration for the in-person workshop is $499 and includes meals and full access to a virtual package of the keynote talks and the entertaining and educational Pitchapalooza for attendees to experience again long after the workshop ends.

For those interested in the virtual option only, the registration fee is $79. From the comfort of your home (think: pajamas!), attendees can enjoy the keynote talks in real time, participate in a live chat with other writers who are joining virtually or tap back in later at their convenience. Register here.

The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition Awards ceremony, keynoted by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff of Queen of Your Own Life, is going virtual at 7 p.m. on March 23. It’s free, but registration is required.

Emmy Award-winner Cathy Guisewite, creator of the iconic “Cathy” comic strip and an essayist, will return to her hometown to kick off the fall workshop. Here's the rest of the keynote speaker slate:

• W. Bruce Cameron and Cathryn Michon, authors and screenwriters for major motion pictures based on Cameron’s popular novels. New York Times’ bestselling author Adriana Trigiani will engage in an entertaining, lively conversation with the husband-wife duo.

• Dion Flynn, improvisor, comedian and actor best known for playing Barack Obama on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

• Katrina Kittle, award-winning local author of five books and a popular public speaker.

• Laraine Newman, writer, founding member of the LA-based comedy troupe, The Groundlings, and an original cast member on Saturday Night Live. In 2021, she wrote and narrated an audiobook memoir, May You Live in Interesting Times.

The 2022 workshop will feature 30 professional writers and teachers on the faculty, including Saturday Night Live legend Alan Zweibel; New York Times’ bestselling authors; Judy Carter, author of the Bible (The New Comedy Bible; Emmy Award winners; Thurber Prize winners; a Moth GrandSLAM winner; screenwriters; and a slew of celebrated comedians. With her special blend of grace and humor, stand-up comedian Leighann Lord will emcee. Comic Wendy Liebman, a finalist on season nine of America's Got Talent, will host a stand-up comedy night.

Read more about all of the 2022 keynoters and faculty and peruse the workshop sessions.

The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is the only one in the country devoted to both humor and human interest writing. Through the workshop, the University of Dayton and the Bombeck family honor one of America’s most celebrated storytellers and humorists. In 2019, The Writer magazine named the workshop the best writing conference in Ohio and “THE conference for humor writers.” Immensely popular, it attracts writers from all over the nation and beyond.

The atmosphere is very supportive to both new and established writers looking for the kind of inspiration Erma received from University of Dayton English professor Brother Tom Price, who told her three magical words: “You can write!”

The workshop is co-sponsored by the University of Dayton's Alumni Association, College of Arts and Sciences and Bookstore as well as Books & Co., the Washington-Centerville Public Library, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Writer's Digest, Progressive Printers, Books Forward and A Hotel Room of One's Own: the Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program.

Attendees will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of arrival. Regardless of vaccine status, we encourage all attendees to test within 48 hours of arrival. Masks will be required indoors for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status. The vast majority of faculty, staff and students are vaccinated on the University of Dayton’s campus.

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