The weekend before last, I was at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. It’s the second time I attended.
The workshop is held every two years at the University of Dayton campus. About 300 to 400 people attend for two and half days.
The workshop is completely unlike any conference I usually go to. Some of you may know that I do computer work, and a writer’s workshop is COMPLETELY different. First, the ratio of women to men is completely reversed. I think there less than 20 guys at the workshop. Estrogen galore. Whoa.
Second, the sessions start earlier. At the computer conferences I’ve been to, most sessions start at 10:30 or so. These started at 9am. A hour and half makes a difference to a computer guy.
The classes at the workshop were much smaller, which is nice if you want to interact with the instructor. You could certainly do that if you were brave enough to read any of the exercises you went through (I wasn’t).
Everyone was very interested in hearing about what everyone else wrote about. I did my best to try to explain the 24 stuff I write about, and to my shock, someone I met had actually read it before. And they didn’t want to chase me down with a hockey stick because of it. Theresa Lode, thanks for admitting you read that 24 stuff. Check out her blog, The Mother Lode.
I met a writer who gives tours and teaches out to write about your adventures while traveling, Dave Fox. He runs Globejotter Tours, and is great guy to hang out with.
I also met Danny Gallagher, a writer for TV Squad, and one of the guest lecturers. Danny was really busy, and seemed to know darn near everyone. Another really nice guy to hang around with.
I was able to get books signed by Bill Scheft (writer for Letterman), Steve Doocy, W. Bruce Cameron, Christian Lander (From the Stuff White People Like site. Christian’s rise from idea to New York Time’s best seller took about six months. Crazy.
If you’re at all interested in humor writing, be sure and keep you calendar free for spring of 2012, when they’ll hold the next workshop!