Thursday November 17, 2011

Write On

Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop features SNL writer Alan Zweibel, best-selling author Jeff Zaslow and others. Registration opens Dec. 6.

The 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop at the University of Dayton will kick off with a keynote talk from Alan Zweibel, an original Saturday Night Live writer and author of the 2006 Thurber Prize-winning novel The Other Shulman.

Online registration for the workshop, slated April 19-21, opens at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 6. The registration fee is $375, with 35 free scholarships available for University of Dayton students, beginning in mid-January.  The keynoters include:

  • Alan Zweibel, winner of multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America and TV Critics awards for his work in television, which includes It's Garry Shandling's Show, Monk and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He co-wrote the screenplays for the films Dragnet, North and The Story of Us, and his many theatrical contributions include Billy Crystal's Tony Award-winning 700 Sundays, Martin Short's Fame Becomes Me, and the off-Broadway play Bunny Bunny ¿ Gilda Radner, A Sort of Romantic Comedy, adapted from his best-selling book. His newest novel, Lunatics, written with Dave Barry, will be published in January 2012.
  • Jeff Zaslow, Wall Street Journal columnist and best-selling author of The Last Lecture, The Girls from Ames and Highest Duty. He recently collaborated with astronaut Mark Kelly and his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on their memoir, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. His newest book, The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters, will be published in January 2012.
  • Adriana Trigiani, author of hilarious and heartwarming novels, including the critically acclaimed bestseller Big Stone Gap. Her novels Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time and Rococo all topped the bestseller lists. She was a writer/producer on The Cosby Show and A Different World as well as executive producer/head writer for City Kids for Jim Henson Productions. Her Lifetime television special, Growing up Funny, garnered an Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin.
  • Gina Barreca, author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World. She has appeared on 20/20, 48 Hours, NPR, the BBC, The Today Show, CNN, Joy Behar and Oprah. Her earlier books include the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted and Perfect Husband and Other Fairy Tales.
  • Ilene Beckerman, author of Love, Loss and What I Wore, which became an off-Broadway hit. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Ladies' Home Journal.

The workshop's faculty, nearly two dozen experienced writers and publishing professionals, include:

  • Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for Creators Syndicate, essayist for Parade magazine and author of Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths and and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man
  • Agnes cartoonist Tony Cochran
  • USA Today columnist Craig Wilson, author of It's the Little Things: An Appreciation of Life's Simple Pleasures
  • W. Terry Whalin, publisher at Intermedia Publishing Group and author of Write a Book Proposal
  • Novelist Katrina Kittle, author of four novels, Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, The Kindness of Strangers and The Blessings of the Animals, and a book for young adults: Reasons to Be Happy
  • Tracy Beckerman, syndicated humor columnist, blogger and author of Rebel Without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the 'Burbs
  • Anna Lefler, humorist, stand-up comic and author of Chicktionary: From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know
  • Jim Higley, parenting and family columnist for Chicago Tribune's TribLocal and author of Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew
  • Debba Haupert, creator of the online community, Girlfriendology, and social media expert
  • Patricia Wynn Brown, humorist and creator of The Hair Theater
  • Mary McCarty, Dayton Daily News columnist whose work is widely syndicated through Cox News Service
  • Kyran Pittman, blogger and author of the memoir, Planting Dandelions: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life
  • Suzette Martinez Standring, syndicated columnist for GateHouse News Service, contributor to The Huffington Post and author of The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists
  • Laura Pulfer, author of Mothers and Other Heroes and I Beg to Differ: Politically Incorrect, Proudly Midwestern, Potentially Funny
  • Karen Walrond, author of the photoblog Chookooloonks and the best-selling book, The Beauty of Difference
  • Deb Amlen, author of It's Not PMS, It's You! and creator of Wordplay, the official crossword blog of The New York Times
  • Nancy Berk, author of College Bound and Gagged, columnist and host of the podcasts, 'Whine at 9" and "College Mom Minute"
  • David Braughler, self-publishing adviser at Greyden Press
  • Nettie Hartsock, digital strategist and teacher
  • Dave Fox, author of Getting Lost: Mishaps of an Accidental Nomad and Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!)
  • Michele "Wojo" Wojciechowski, freelance writer, humorist and blogger who writes weekly humor column, "Wojo's World"

"Our presenters come a variety 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 writers presenting sessions," said Matthew Dewald, director of the workshop. "Many writers credit the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop with providing the knowledge and connections that brought their writing and publishing success to the next level."          

If past workshops are any indication, the popular event will fill up quickly. Every workshop has sold out ¿ some in a matter of days, others in weeks.

The 2012 workshop is expected to bring more than 350 beginning and professional 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, Gail Collins 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, regularly attend the workshops.                          

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, Greyden Press, Dayton Marriott Hotel and the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop Endowment. Workshop sessions will take place on campus, with dinners held at the Dayton Marriott Hotel, 1414 S. Patterson Blvd.  

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