Thursday February 4, 2010

Laughter and Learning

The University of Dayton's National Alumni Association is offering 30 scholarships to University of Dayton students for the April 15-17 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. It's easy to apply. Registration deadline is Feb. 15.

The 2010 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop at the University of Dayton has attracted a slate of marquee names from the worlds of column writing to stand-up comedy. Keynote speakers include New York Times' columnist Gail Collins; PBS personality and humorist Loretta LaRoche; Fox & Friends co-anchor and author Steve Doocy; 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter author W. Bruce Cameron; and Late Show with David Letterman Emmy-nominated writer Bill Scheft.

The University of Dayton National Alumni Association will provide 30 full workshop scholarships for full-time University of Dayton students.

Students interested in scholarships to attend the workshop may apply by completing the workshop registration form at On the entry page, select "UD student scholarship" as the registration type.

Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 15.  Recipients will be notified by March 1.  All students who receive scholarships will be required to write a letter to the University of Dayton National Alumni Association stating how attending the workshop benefitted them.

"Our presenters come from a lot of fields: traditional column-writing, television, blogging, podcasting, twittering, photography, memoirs, fiction and stand-up. Some favorite faculty from past years are coming back, and we have plenty of new, very funny and accomplished folks to keep the conversations fresh," said Matthew Dewald, director of the workshop.
The 2010 workshop is expected to bring more than 300 writers to Dayton. Why the enormous appeal? The workshop has attracted such household names over the years as Dave Barry, Phil Donahue, Art Buchwald, Nancy Cartwright, Don Novello and Garrison Keillor, but the personal involvement of Erma Bombeck's family makes the event at her alma mater memorable and sets it apart from the myriad other writers' workshops offered across the country. Alumnus Bill Bombeck and his children, Betsy, Andy and Matt, attend the workshops.
Here's the line-up of keynote speakers:

Gail Collins joined The New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times' editorial page. In 2007, she began a leave to finish her newest book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. She returned to the Times as a columnist in July 2007. She's also written two other books, America's Women, Scorpion Tongues: Gossip, Celebrity and American Politics and The Millennium Book.

Loretta LaRoche is an international stress management and humor consultant whose wit and irreverent humor has, for more than 30 years, raised the nation's humor potential. She is a well-recognized TV personality on PBS and author of seven books, including the newly published Lighten Up! She writes a weekly syndicated column, "Get a Life."

Steve Doocy serves as one of FOX News Channel's co-anchors for its morning show "FOX & Friends." The Emmy Award-winning broadcaster has written two books, Tales From the Dad Side: Misadventures in Fatherhood and The New York Times’ bestseller The Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook.

W. Bruce Cameron hit the best-seller list in 2001 with his first book, 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter. It was made into a TV series starring John Ritter. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists voted his Creators Syndicate column the #1 best humor column for newspapers with a circulation of over 100,000 in 2003 and again in 2006. He has been called the "Dave Barry of modern family life."

Bill Scheft, a 15-time Emmy-nominated writer, has worked for David Letterman since 1991. He has written three novels, Everything Hurts, The Ringer and Time Won't Let Me, which was a finalist for the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Humor.

For a complete list of workshop presenters, see

The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop is co-sponsored by the University of Dayton’s National Alumni Association, the University of Dayton’s College of Arts and Sciences, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Dayton Marriott, Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Books & Co and the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop Endowment.

Follow the workshop on Twitter at

For more information or interviews, contact Matthew Dewald, director of the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, at 937-229-1404.

Matthew Dewald, director of the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, at 937-229-1404.