I am judging the Shirley You Jest Book Awards

Want to enter a comedy book contest? Read here for details on getting your funny book read.

The Shirley You Jest Book Awards (presented by Liz D Publicity and Promotions) honor books by self-published and traditionally-published indie authors that “deliver the funny.” I am a proud judge and sponsor of this event and am excited to be part of this contest, which will bring much-needed attention to the overlooked worlds of indie publishing and humor writing. Now deliver the funny, authors.



For more info go here.


A must-own humor book all humor fans must own

Check out a great book filled with interviews with humor writers

comedy writing book

A few weeks ago I added Andy Borowitz’s The 50 Funniest Writers to this website’s esteemed list of Great Books About Humor Writing.  I read the other books on that list before I launched this site, which means I have not written about them. So let’s change that. I’ll start with one of my favorites.

In And Here’s The Kicker journalist Mike Sacks interviews 21 top humor writers about humor writing. Sacks did his homework. As a result, the conversations are enlightening and entertaining and the interview subjects are forthcoming. The 21 interviewed are Buck Henry, Stephen Merchant, Harold Ramis, Dan Mazer, Merrill Markoe, Paul Feig, Irving Brecher, Bob Odenkirk, Todd Hanson, Marshall Brickman, Mitch Hurwitz, David Sedaris, George Meyer, Al Jaffee, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Dave Barry, Dick Cavett, Larry Wilmore, Jack Handey and Larry Gelbart.

Not coincidentally, Barry, Sedaris, Handey and Wilmore all have pieces in The 50 Funniest Writers.

And Here’s the Kicker was published in 2009, but its stories are timeless. Most of the writers work primarily in television or film. The exceptions are Barry, Sedaris, Hanson and Jaffee, all of whom built careers out of entertaining people via the written word or, in Jaffee’s case, illustration.

A lot of what is discussed in the book regarding the mechanics of writing humor is well-known. In the book Barry makes a point that Bruce Cameron recently made on this website–that there is a technical skill to humor writing that must be learned and perfected.

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2012 Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop

The following was completely stolen from humorwriters.org:

The next Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop will be April 19-21, 2012, on the campus of the University of Dayton, Erma Bombeck’s alma mater. Registration will open Dec. 6, 2011, at noon.

The Bombeck 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.  Over the past decade, the workshop has attracted such household names as Dave Barry, Phil Donahue, Art Buchwald, Nancy Cartwright, Don Novello, Garrison Keillor and Gail Collins.

The workshop begins on a Thursday evening and continues through Saturday evening, ending with an attendee stand-up show. It features more than two dozen professional humor and human interest writers on it faculty, offering sessions on the craft of writing, turning an interest into a profession, marketing, publishing and more. We also offer breakfast roundtables and plenty of other opportunities for comparing notes and networking. The atmosphere is very supportive to both new and established writers looking for the kind of inspiration Erma received from UD professor Brother Tom Price: “You can write!”

And you’re guaranteed to laugh. A lot.

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