Skip to main content


Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

Experience Erma — For Free

The University of Dayton’s popular Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is sold out, but writers and Erma aficionados can participate in a number of free events leading up to the April 4-6 workshop.

"Beyond the Byline: Erma Bombeck’s Story" will be on display Feb. 1 through June 15 in the Stuart and Mimi Rose Gallery in Roesch Library at the University of Dayton. Best-selling author, humorist and feminist scholar Gina Barreca will keynote the opening event at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8. Matt Bombeck, a Los Angeles screenwriter who devoted countless hours to working with University of Dayton archivists to bring his mother’s papers to her alma mater, also will offer remarks. The opening will be live streamed on the University of Dayton's YouTube channel. Registration is required by Feb. 2 for both the in-person and online audiences.

Erma’s Got Talent: The Stand-Up Auditions (virtual) promises to be a night of belly laughs. Scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, the event is loosely formatted along the lines of America’s Got Talent. A dozen randomly selected contestants will be given the opportunity to perform two minutes of their original stand-up material in front of three celebrity judges — acclaimed comedians Jane CondonWendy Liebman and Joel MadisonNancy Berk, comedy writer and host of the podcast “Entertaining Insights,” will serve as emcee. For those who’d like to be part of the virtual audience, register here.

Award-winning novelist and Writer’s Digest columnist Sharon Short will lead a free writing workshop, “You Can Write, Too: Finding Your Voice,” from 3-5 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, in The Collab (Room 240) of Roesch Library at the University of Dayton. Space is limited and registration is required. Register here. The event is sponsored by the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library as part of special events surrounding the exhibit Beyond the Byline: Erma Bombeck’s Story.  

Erma Bombeck’s daughter, Betsy Bombeck, will keynote the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, at Woodbourne Library, 6060 Far Hills Ave. in Centerville, Ohio. Sponsored by the Washington-Centerville Public Library, this event is free and open to the public, but registration is required, and seating is limited.

Barnes & Noble, a co-sponsor of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, will host authors Jacquelyn Mitchard and Jessica Strawser in an “Authors in Conversation” event at 4 p.m., Saturday, April 6, at 2720 Towne Dr. in Beavercreek, Ohio. Mitchard, one of the keynoters for the spring workshop, is a New York Times bestselling author of 23 novels for adults and teenagers. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural Oprah’s Book Club selection and was adapted into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Strawser, part of the workshop’s faculty, is the author of six novels and serves as editor-at-large and columnist for Writer’s Digest

Beyond the free events, writers can also experience a taste of the April 4-6 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop through “Erma Home Schooling,” a virtual component that includes five keynote talks and four exclusive workshops. Register by March 8 at the early bird fee of $199. After March 8, the fee is $225. Writers can access the live-streamed keynotes and special sessions or listen to the recordings later at their convenience. Register here.

For more information about any of these programs, email

Previous Post

You Can Write, Too!

Award-winning novelist and Writer’s Digest columnist Sharon Short will lead a free writing workshop, “You Can Write, Too: Finding Your Voice,” on Wednesday, April 3, at the University of Dayton. Registration is required.
Read More
Next Post

Calendar Guy

Inspired by pop legend Neil Sedaka, who is most famous for his 1960 hit song “Calendar Girl,” I love, I love, I love to be a calendar guy, each and every day of the year. And since it’s 2024 already, this can mean only one thing for a geezer like me: Times flies when you’re incoherent.
Read More