Introducing our esteemed panel of judges for the 2022 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition which includes actors, authors, bloggers, columnists, comedians, directors, editors, producers, professors, and writers from across the globe! We thank them for their time and expertise! See the list of judges from the last competition.
Max Pross is a Primetime Emmy Award-winning producer and writer known for The Simpsons, Seinfeld and Late Night with David Letterman. He has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy ten times and twice for Writers Guild of America, USA. Together with writing team partner Tom Gammill, he has also written for Saturday Night Live, It's Garry Shandling's Show, The Wonder Years, and Monk.
Susan Pohlman, proud University of Dayton grad, is an editor, writing instructor/coach, and freelance writer. Her memoir Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home was the winner of the Relationships category and runner-up in the Memoir category in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It was shortlisted for the 2010 Inspy Awards. She has written six short films for the Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project. The Misadventures of Matilda Mench won best screenplay in 2010 and the CINE Golden Eagle Award for the best Independent Fiction Short. Her essays have been published in a variety of online and print magazines and journals including The Washington Times, Family Digest, The Family, Raising Arizona Kids, Guideposts Magazine, Homelife Magazine, AZ Parenting, The Review Review, Tiferet Journal, and Goodhousekeeping.com. Susan has served as Writer-in-Residence for the State Arizona Library and has taught creative writing at Arizona State University’s Emeritus College.
Tracy Beckerman has been a nationally syndicated humor columnist for over twenty years. Her column, "Lost in Suburbia,” was distributed to over 600 newspapers across the country each week and was consistently the most downloaded feature offered by Gatehouse Media. She recently joined the renowned syndicate group, Creators Syndicate, who will distribute her column to their network of over 2400 media outlets worldwide. The popularity of her column has made her a much sought after speaker at schools and conferences, and a guest on TV shows, including NBC's Today Show, CBS This Morning, and CBS Sunday Morning with Mo Rocca. Tracy is the author of three books including, “Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the ‘Burbs,” Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir,” and the Amazon Bestseller, “Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble.” Tracy has been a past judge of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition many times, and has been on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop since 2008.
Frank DeCaro is the author of Drag: Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business, a Rizzoli bestseller lauded as “the definitive history of drag.” His other books include Unmistakably Mackie: The Fashion and Fantasy of Bob Mackie, two volumes of The Dead Celebrity Cookbook, the pioneering queer memoir A Boy Named Phyllis, and the forthcoming pop culture history Disco at 50. A graduate of Northwestern University, DeCaro writes frequently for The New York Times and Emmy magazine. As a performer, he is best known for his 12 years as the host of the daily national radio program The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM, and his six-year stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In addition, he spent four years playing large venues across North America as the opening act for comedian Lisa Lampanelli. DeCaro is active on social media at @frankdecaroshow. He and his husband, author Jim Colucci (All in the Family: The Show That Changed Television and Golden Girls Forever), live in Los Angeles with their Boston terrier, Gabby.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is the Opinion Editor for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Louisville Courier-Journal. She is also an award-winning syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. In 2021 her columns won first place in the opinion category of the National Federation of Press Women’s annual awards for the third year in a row. Bonnie Jean’s essays have appeared in the New York Times and several books including, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Laugh Out Loud, Fast Funny Women and the forthcoming Fast Fierce Women. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie
A professional writer/editor for nearly 20 years, Nancy LaFever has contributed thousands of online/print pieces in fine crafts, emotional health, business, humor, and popular culture/lifestyle publications. Those include Amex OPEN Forum, USA TODAY Travel, Readersdigest.com, and BELLA magazine. A former senior columnist for The Crafts Report magazine, LaFever covered the business and psychological aspects of doing art. Eight years ago, LaFever’s focus switched to book editing. "Word polisher" aptly describes her role in the collaborative, coaching relationship with authors. Check out her editorial musings on Editorchick.com. While her former careers include advertising maven, graphic designer, hair salon receptionist, and former psychotherapist/addiction counselor, LaFever tries not to do more than one of these at a time. It confuses people. Originally from Gambier, Ohio, LaFever now gratefully resides on the Oregon Coast.
Anna Lefler is a humorist, comedy writer, and author of the novel Preschooled (Full Fathom Five, 2015), and the humor book The Chicktionary: From A-Line to Z-Snap, The Words Every Woman Should Know, which The Chicago Tribune called "a wry celebration of modern femininity." Anna is the founder of The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program, and she is a founding producer of the forthcoming Broadway musical, "Age of Power." Anna was a staff writer on the Nickelodeon/NickMom TV show "Parental Discretion," where she also served as a recurring guest comedian. She is a three-time faculty member of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and her humorous essays have appeared on Salon.com, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The Big Jewel. She has performed standup comedy in clubs around Los Angeles including the Hollywood Improv and the Comedy Store. Anna lives in Los Angeles with her two children, whom she regularly embarrasses.
Martha Moody graduated from Oberlin College and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, spending 15 years in private practice. After publishing her first novel, Best Friends, she retired from private practice. Since then she has written three more books, The Office of Desire, Sometimes Mine, and Sharp and Dangerous Virtues. When Moody isn’t working on her most recent manuscript, she is active in the Dayton Women’s Literary Club and volunteers teaching fiction writing in local schools and online. Moody is also involved in a long-term project teaching English to middle school students in the Arab village of Deir al Assad, Israel. In acknowledgement of her philanthropy, Moody was honored by the YWCA in 2011 as a Woman of Influence and by the local NCCJ in 2015 with a “Humanitarian Award.” Visit her website at marthamoody.net.
Ron Rollins is an artist, writer and retired journalist who wrote and edited at the Dayton Daily News and other Cox newspapers for 34 years. He is the editor of four books on Dayton history. Ron has served on numerous arts, cultural and social-service boards in the Dayton area, and maintains an art studio in Kettering. He and his wife, Amy, also a retired journalist from the DDN, live in Kettering. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Bill Scheft, the keynote speaker at the 2010 EBWW, was a 15-time Emmy nominated writer for David Letterman from 1991 to May 20, 2015. He is the author of four novels: The Ringer, Time Won't Let Me (a finalist for the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Humor), Everything Hurts, and his most recent, Shrink Thyself. For three years, his weekly sports humor column, "The Show," ran in Sports Illustrated and before that, for two years as "The Monologue" in ESPN Magazine. He has contributed humor essays to The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, Slate, Salon, TV Guide, Golf Digest and a few places that no longer exist, like George and Talk, and his pieces have been featured in the collections Mirth of a Nation, May Contain Nuts, 101 Damnations, Howl and The Final Four of Everything. He has written for the Academy Awards, the Emmys, the Tonys and numerous roasts at all levels of taste. He wrote jokes for President Obama's last White House Correspondents Dinner, when we still had a correspondents dinner. He latest work is I THINK SHE LEFT, a book about his late wife, the comedian Adrianne Tolsch, which he describes as 'a grief memoir masquerading as a novel.' He lives in Manhattan with his niece. And yes, she really is his niece.
Joel Schwartzberg is an award-winning humor essayist, author, and public speaking coach whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Post, New Jersey Monthly, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. His most recent books include Get to the Point! and The Language of Leadership. Joel lives in New Jersey with his wife and more cats than you think.
Tim Waggoner has published close to forty novels and three collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins, and his articles on writing have appeared in numerous publications. He’s won the Bram Stoker Award and been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. He’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio. Visit him on the web at www.timwaggoner.com, on his blog, Facebook or Twitter.
Anne Bardsley is an author, speaker, and all-around Fairy Godmother. Her books, How I Earned Her Wrinkles, Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause and Angel Bumps, Hello From Heaven have received five-star reviews. She is taking submissions for both Angel Bumps, Hugs From Heaven and Angel Bumps, Paw Prints from Heaven. By September, Nipples on My Knees, The Real Truth About Aging just might surface. Her work has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Grandparents Soul, Purple Clover, Grand Magazine, Paradise News and The Island Reporter, Guideposts, two anthologies, and more. She lives in St Petersburg with her husband and spoiled dog. She’s a mom of five, Gigi to five and wife to one lucky man. She’d hoped Florida sun would make her look thinner, but that has not been the case to date. She’s blaming wine and the rainy season. http://www.annebardsley.com
Sally Benford is an award-winning editor who has spent more than 20 years working with writers, photographers and designers to create top-notch publications, such as Arizona Highways, Phoenix Patriot, DRAFT Magazine and Phoenix Focus. She currently writes editorial and promotional content for a variety of publications and websites. Her byline has appeared in AAA Via, Arizona Republic, Next Avenue, Arizona Highways, Phoenix Magazine, MSN.com, Costco Connection, Armchair General and others.
Robin Eileen Bernstein is an award-winning writer whose essays and features appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, The Daily News, Newsday, Narratively, Next Avenue, Next Tribe, Oldster, Ozy, Weekly Humorist, Manifest-Station, Purple Clover and elsewhere. She has performed her work aloud at a wide range of events in New York City and beyond including Generation Women, Now You’re Talking, Paragraph's Reading Series, Street Lab and Long Island LitFest. She spent a good chunk of her career as a custom content provider and as a speechwriter and ghostwriter to top executives. Her nostalgic memoir-in-progress takes readers back to 1970s Rockaway, New York, when she was a teenage girl with an unusual dream: to be the drummer in a rock-n-roll band. She’s mom to two delightful young adults and lives in Manhattan. More at robineileenbernstein.com.
Barb Best is the author of several humor books, the latest being The Misery Manifesto: A Self-Help Parody for the Self-Absorbed, a "hilarious" month-by-month survival guide for happiness seekers. Her writing has been published in numerous print and digital magazines and newspapers, and performed in NYC theater productions, radio, and on stage and TV by Joan Rivers. Barb’s entertaining blog at BarbBest.com was selected “Best of the Best” by Alltop and named by Feedspot as one of the "Top 100 Humor Blogs on the Planet." Follow her on Twitter @HaBarb for the sheer fun. She feels your pain!
Tim Bete is an award-winning outdoor writer, co-host of the Lure Love Podcast, author of four books, and former Director of the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop. You can find samples of his work at www.TimBete.net.
Courtney Turcotte Bond holds a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Language Arts Education and a master’s degree in Education. She’s been a high school English teacher since 2004 and teaches both honors English and creative writing courses. In addition to teaching, she is an author, poet, freelance writer, freelance editor, and blogger. Bond’s novel Breathtaking hit the Top 100 coming-of-age books on Amazon in 2020 and has received high acclaim from book reviewers around the world. She’s been featured on dozens of podcasts, publications, and with major organizations around the country such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Alex’s Hope. You can follow her on Instagram @courtneyturcottebond or visit her via her website www.courtneyturcottebond.com.
Kate Bostdorff is the City of Centerville’s Communications Director. In addition to her work documenting and promoting local government, Kate is also an Emmy Award winning reporter. Kate spent several years as evening anchor at WHIO-TV, the Number One CBS affiliate in the country. She is a graduate of Ball State University and spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Palembang, Indonesia. She is currently working on her Master of Business Administration from Ohio University. She lives in Kettering with her five-year-old son Charlie.
Regina Brett is the New York Times bestselling author of God Never Blinks, which has been translated into 22 languages. She currently writes a column for the Cleveland Jewish News. Regina has been a newspaper columnist since 1994. When she wrote for The Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, she was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Commentary in 2009 and in 2008. Her mother, who had 11 children, was Erma Bombeck's biggest fan.
Cynthia Marshall Burns is a native Daytonian who works as a writing teacher and communication consultant. Cynthia also performed stand-up comedy one time and mostly did not bomb. Though her stand-up career was short-lived, she's now content to use humor to make students and clients smile. Occasionally, she even succeeds.
Molly D. Campbell is a two-time Erma Bombeck winner-in both humor and human interest categories. She is the author of Crossing the Street and The World Came to Us, novels about women who are both brave and “unusual.” Moly’s blog, View From the Empty Nest, is in it’s umpteenth year. You can find her books on Amazon. Follow her on Instagram @mollydcampbell.
Iyna Bort Caruso is a New York Emmy Award winning promotional writer and principal of Sweet Lime Ink, a content studio that specializes in editorial, marketing and scriptwriting. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, History Channel Magazine, inflight magazines and others. Caruso has written and performed personal essays as part of a traveling reading series, Living Out Loud: Writers Riff on Love, Sweat and Fears. She has also developed and moderated memoir-writing programs for nonprofit organizations. Her website is www.iynacaruso.com.
Donna Cavanagh is founder of HumorOutcasts.com (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books (HOPress-Shorehousebooks.com). Cavanagh launched HO as an outlet for writers to showcase their work in a world that offered few avenues for humor. HO now features the creative talents of more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors from all over the world.
Janet Coburn is a writer, editor, and fellow Ermite. She has degrees in English from Cornell University and the University of Dayton. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines (including Black Belt and Catechist) and she posts weekly in her two blogs, But I Digress and Bipolar Me. Her writing idols are Jenny Lawson and Mary Roach.
Nina Lorez Collins is the Chief Creative Officer for Hello Revel, an event & community platform for women over 40, as well as the founder of The Woolfer, which Revel acquired in 2021. Her book, What Would Virginia Woolf Do? And Other Questions I Ask Myself As I Attempt to Age Without Apology, was published in April 2018. She’s a graduate of Barnard College, has a Masters degree from Columbia in the field of Narrative Medicine, and a long professional background in book publishing, both as a literary scout and then as an agent. Nina is the board chair of the Brooklyn Public Library as well as a trustee of the publishing house Spiegel & Grau. In addition to her work at Revel, she manages the literary estate of her late mother, the filmmaker and writer Kathleen Collins. She has four grown children and lives in Brooklyn.
Christina Consolino is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in multiple online and print outlets. Her debut novel, Rewrite the Stars, was named as a finalist for the Ohio Writers’ Association Great Novel Contest 2020 and the 2021 Best Book Awards. She serves as senior editor at the online journal Literary Mama, freelance edits both fiction and nonfiction, and teaches writing classes at Word’s Worth Writing Center. Learn more about Christina at https://christinaconsolino.com/.
Juliet Fromholt leads the music department at WYSO Public Radio, a community-owned public radio station based in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Prior to stepping into the music director role in 2021, Juliet developed WYSO’s digital and social media strategy, working closely with her colleagues on daily news coverage. An avid music fan and former record store employee, Juliet continues to host her two music shows, Alpha Rhythms and Kaleidoscope, which features studio performances from and conversations with musicians from Southwest, Ohio and beyond every week. Juliet is a writer and co-owns independent comic book company Blood Scream Comics. She’s the co-host and producer of Attack of the Final Girls, a podcast about the horror genre and strives to remain active in her local arts and culture community despite the pandemic.
Irene Dickey is an author, consultant, and a lecturer of marketing in the School of Business at the University of Dayton. As the landscape of business continues to rapidly change, Irene closely follows news and trends to educate her audiences on important and emerging topics and developments. Consistent with the University of Dayton’s mission, she has a passion for working with persons and organizations in the community in a broad scope of activities in order to help them grow and strengthen. Irene has won numerous teaching, professional and community awards. She has also been a frequent judge for the Dottie Yeck Good Life Award contest at the library. Irene lives in Washington Township with her husband and two dogs and is blessed to be surrounded by her growing family. She once said, to her, the Washington Centerville Public Library was like a "candy store."
Lisa Goich is an award-winning copywriter, podcast host, author and former Erma Bombeck "Humor Writer of the Month." She toured the world as a stand-up comic for nearly two decades. Her memoir, "14 Days: A Mother, A Daughter, A Two-Week Goodbye," was a National Indie Excellence Award-winner and a Foreword Reviews Indiefab Book of the Year Finalist. Her most recent book, "I Wonder...: A Guided Grief Journal," is a NIEA finalist. She can be heard every week on the Tuesday People podcast with mega-bestselling author, Mitch Albom. For more information about Lisa and her most recent projects, visit her website at www.agirlonthego.com.
Judy Gruen is the author of three award-winning humor books and the memoir, The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith (2017, She Writes Press), highly acclaimed for its “delightful humor and depth” in writing about her unexpected spiritual search. She writes regularly for the Jewish Journal, and her essays have appeared in Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Aish.com, and many other media outlets. Judy’s blog series, Chasing the Byline, entertainingly chronicles her long writing career and its intersection with faith. In addition to her regularly publishing writing, Judy is also a writing coach, workshop leader, and non-fiction book editor, with specialties including Jewish spirituality, healthcare, business, psychology, and societal issues. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and is also an active Nana to eight grandkids—each one cuter than the next. She adores dark chocolate, exquisite coffee, tastefully blingy jewelry, yoga, and British murder mysteries.
Sarah Hunt is an Ohio-based freelance writer and former Erma Bombeck Writing Competition Winner, placing first in the local human interest category in 2018 for her essay, "The Longest Road," about a somewhat harrowing (and very, very long) road trip along America's historic Route 66 with two young kids in tow. Her freelance writing and editing work has been featured in various local and national publications, including Michigan's longest-running LGBTQ+ publication, Between the Lines. She loves having the chance to read through first-round essays for the contest and often comes away inspired and in awe that Erma's legacy is still so prominent and important to so many. Sarah lives with her husband, Kurt, and her two teens. She works hard every day to avoid adding to her household's cat population, which currently stands at three. Please do not send her any photos of adorable cats who need chaotic homes.
Janet Irvin is a life-long educator and writer who has spent years accumulating ideas on sticky notes. The author of five novels -- mystery, thriller, and romantic suspense, Irvin has written for the Dayton Daily News and a variety of print and online publications, as well as authoring trade newsletters when not crafting her own scary tales. With degrees from Ohio University, the University of Dayton, and the University of Cincinnati, Irvin considers herself a genuine Buckeye nut. She lives in Springboro on the edge of a nature preserve with her husband, two crazy cats, and more stories than she can ever get down on paper.
John Kachuba is the award-winning author of twelve books and numerous articles, short stories and poems. Shapeshifters: A History was published in June 2019, and Dark Entry is his most recent novel. John teaches Creative Writing at Ohio University and the Gotham Writers Workshop. He is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Library Association’s Authors for Libraries. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, universities and libraries and on podcasts, radio and TV. His website is www.johnkachuba.com.
Lisa Kanarek is an author and freelance writer who writes about family, relationships and acts of kindness. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, AARP’s The Girlfriend, PBS’ Next Avenue, Points in Case, LOL Comedy, MockMom, and more.
Mathew Klickstein is one of today's most prominent pop culture historians, having penned such books as: SLIMED! An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age; Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons (w/ Mike Reiss); Being Mr. Skin: 20 Years of Nip Slips, Cheek Peeks, and Fast-Forwarding to the Good Parts (w/ Jim "Mr. Skin" McBride); and Selling Nostalgia: A Neurotic Novel. Mathew is also a longtime journalist, documentary filmmaker, television producer, playwright, podcaster, lecturer, and arts therapist who recently dipped his toe in the comic book creation realm with his debut series from AfterShock, You Are Obsolete, currently in active development as a television series. Mathew's latest book -- See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture -- will be out through Fantagraphics in late 2022 and is a visually-pleasing expansion of his highly-acclaimed audio documentary podcast series Comic-Con Begins, produced in partnership with SiriusXM/Stitcher and available free on all audio platforms. (www.MathewKlickstein.com)
Lizzie Lau blogs about family travel from the perspective of a single mom with an adventurous daughter, though their last flight was February 2020. She spent her pre-parenthood life as Chef / First Mate / Head of Security on live aboard dive boats, fishing yachts, and private yachts. The last yacht was an 11 year gig. She’s a former competitive skydiver and motocross racer, having competed in the Florida Skydiving League and the Federacion Mexican de Motociclismo. She lives near Vancouver, BC, and as her pandemic pivot bought a furniture store/art gallery with her parents.
Katherine McCarty is a writer, chiropractor, small business owner, and resident of San Francisco. She is working on publishing her first novel, and has published multiple fiction series within school and local community newsletters. While the adventures of California are a great distraction, she loves nothing more than to sit with a great piece of literature with the nearby warmth of a candle and mug of tea (is there a writer that doesn't?). Nature is her great motivator, and the observation of it her inspiration. The editing world has given her a new adventure over the years, producing a perspective that is vital to the beautification of storytelling.
Peter McKay was for 19 years a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist based in Pittsburgh, PA. Peter’s humor column about his old house, big family and decrepit, smelly dog was homebased at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Peter also appears regularly in the national humor paper Funny Times. Peter is also a screenwriter and novelist, a pursuit that takes up much of his time these days. He wrote the screenplay for the Hallmark movie Pete’s Christmas, which has aired dozens of times during the holidays, and his comedy/drama screenplay Ben Avon is one of the highest-rated projects on The Black List website. Peter has written in a number of genres, from family comedy to indie drama to espionage thrillers, and is at work on a crime novel at the moment.
Alan D. Miller teaches journalism at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he has taught for 22 years. Miller served as executive editor of The Columbus Dispatch and regional editor for USA Today Network Ohio’s 21 newsrooms across the state from 2015-2022. He started at The Dispatch as a reporter in 1984 and has covered regional news, urban affairs, Columbus City Hall, and higher education. He was an assistant city editor, state editor and assistant managing editor before becoming managing editor in 2004 and editor in 2015. He is a past president of both the national Associated Press Media Editors association and its foundation, and a member of the professional advisory board for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Miller previously worked at The Repository in Canton, The Daily Record in Wooster and the Orrville Courier-Crescent. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Ohio University. In his spare time, he mends fences, cuts hay and picks apples at his family’s Ohio Amish country farm, which has been in his family for about 200 years. He’s on Twitter and Instagram @amiller78.
Lisa Smith Molinari's syndicated column, “The Meat & Potatoes of Life,” won first place for humor in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2018 Awards, and appears weekly in various publications, including Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for the US Armed Forces. Her memoir, The Meat and Potatoes of Life: My True Lit Com (2020) is a hilarious readable sitcom based on the honest reality of life as a Navy wife and mom. Lisa’s book has received multiple awards to include a gold for humor in the 2020 Foreward Indies Book of the Year Awards, gold for humor in the 2021 Midwest Independent Publishers Awards, silver for humor in IPBA's 2021 Ben Franklin Awards, and a gold for humor in the 2021 Military Writers Association of America Book Awards. Lisa has been published widely in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and books, including The Washington Post; Military Spouse; Military Officer; two Chicken Soup for the Soul books; Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life; and the upcoming Fast Fierce Women: 75 Essays of Flash Nonfiction by Gina Barecca. Lisa is also a lawyer, member and past president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and co-founder of Orion Military Scholarship Fund, a public charity. Lisa raised three children while living at military bases around the world. She currently lives with her husband and dog in Rhode Island.
Cappy Hall Rearick is an award-winning novel and short story writer. She is the author of seventeen published books and six successful columns. She was educated at the University of South Carolina, Los Angeles Valley College and Penn State University. Back in the day, she was voted as an Outstanding Young Women of America, and more recently was twice nominated as Georgia Author of the Year. She has written a series of cozies entitled The Glad Girls Mysteries. Her two latest works are literary novels, 14 Steps and its sequel, The 15th Step. She is currently working on the 5th Glad Girls Mystery in the series. Rearick is a grandmother who affectionately writes about her Grandkids from Hell. Her columns are syndicated by Senior Wire. She also writes for Opal Magazine. Cappy and her husband Bill share space with a spoiled rotten cat in Saluda, North Carolina. Read more of Cappy’s work at Simplycappy.blogspot.com.
Anne Marie Romer is a writer and author of the book, Just Give Me the Road. She is a Guest Columnist for the Dayton Daily News. She is a community activist for suicide awareness and serves on the Dayton Out of the Darkness Walk committee. Her essays can be found on her blog, Annemarieromer.com. She writes about the joys and sorrows that connect us all. She is a retired nurse and mother of 4. Perhaps most important, she is the grandmother of 6 and counting. Follow her blog, Annemarieromer.com, on Instagram @romerannemarie.com, or on FB Anne Marie Romer. Anne Marie lives in Centerville with her husband, Mark.
Lisa B. Samalonis is a health writer, medical editor, and essayist from New Jersey. Her favorite type of writing includes human interest essays about family life and the common experiences that connect us all. Lisa is also an adjunct journalism instructor at Rowan University. Her work has appeared in professional and consumer publications, including The Independent, Shape, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Grown&Flown, YourTeen, and Care.com. She is at work on a memoir about life as a single parent with her two sons.
Amy Hartl Sherman is a writer, cartoonist, humorist, and retired flight attendant. She raised two sons and one husband in Glen Ellyn, IL. Her writings can be found in Laugh Out Loud, Fast Funny Women, and Fast Fierce Women. https://www.facebook.com/AmyHartlSherman/
Lee St. John is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author, Georgia Author of the Year Finalist, Erma Bombeck Humor Writer, and a Chicken Soup for the Soul writer. A retired educator, newspaper columnist, and a tater-tot looking schnauzer owner, she has been married for thirty-eight years, has two millennial sons whose names are Lee and John and she is a saint for having raised them, and just became a first time grandmother. Lee has lived in Georgia all of her life and is a panel member of Southern Living Magazine's THE FRONT PORCH. And, as you can see, Lee is a believer in the Oxford comma.
Suzette Martinez Standring is a nationally syndicated columnist (2008-2021) and pens a spirituality column for The Patriot Ledger (MA). She is the award winning author of The Art of Column Writing and The Art of Opinion Writing. Since 2009 she is the host and producer of It’s All Write With Suzette, a cable TV show about authors and writing. She teaches writing workshops nationally and internationally, and was awarded the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Visit www.readsuzette.com
Pearl Steinberg works as a senior writer for Twitter. She's published humor pieces for Bark & Co. and My Ollie. When she's not making dogs laugh, Pearl writes for NYC & Co.'s seasonal tourism guide—welcoming millions of travelers to the city that raised her. She's taken humor writing classes at Gotham and Catapult. Mildly award-winning, Pearl got a 3rd place trophy for toy car racing as a Girl Scout in the 2nd grade. She's hopeful her next award will be the Pulitzer (or a participation certificate for judging this contest).
Marcia Stewart, a Bay Area writer and editor, is co-founder of Nickie’s Prize for Humor Writing and co-editor of Sisters! Bonded by Love and Laughter, published by the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.
Denise Thiery is a syndicated columnist for Senior Wire New Service and a blogger at https//levitybrevity.com. Her writing has been published in The Campbell County Recorder, Fort Thomas Living Magazine, Reminisce Magazine, and two anthologies. She is a retired school secretary, married for 51 years. As a tree-hugging nature lover, for 35 years she has belonged to a walking/hiking group which meets weekly, year-round.
Brian Thompson is the award-winning writer of the weekly humor column, "Life in a Nutshell," in The St. Augustine Record (St. Augustine, Fla.) He has written the column for more than 20 years, and in 2016 won second place in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Column Contest for humor. Thompson has also won multiple awards for commentary from the Florida Press Club, and his radio commentaries have been featured on Jacksonville NPR-affiliate WJCT. His columns have also appeared in The Palm Beach Daily News, The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, FirstCoastNews.com and The Gainesville Sun. You can read "Life in a Nutshell" online at www.nutshellcity.com. Thompson is a former journalist, editor, and author. He is also the News and Information Director at Flagler College, edits Flagler College Magazine, and advises the college’s award-winning online newspaper, The Gargoyle.
Terri Trespicio is an award-winning writer, speaker, brand advisor, and author of Unfollow Your Passion: How to Create a Life That Matters to You (Atria / Simon & Schuster, December 2021)—named “One of the Best Feel Good Books of the Year” by The Washington Post. Her TEDx talk, “Stop Searching for Your Passion,” has more than 7 million views and Hubspot named her one of the “Top 18 female speakers who are killing it.” A former magazine editor and radio host at Martha Stewart, she has appeared on the Today show, Dr. Oz, The Early Show, The Anderson Cooper Show—as well as Oprah magazine, Inc.com, and Business Insider. A national conference speaker Terri was rated #1 by attendees at Barron’s and How Design Live—and has performed stand-up comedy all over New York City. A certified facilitator in the Gateless Writing Method, Terri leads workshops for helping people tap their best ideas. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, won first place for creative nonfiction in the Baltimore Review’s 2016 literary contest. Terri lives in Manhattan. More at territrespicio.com.
Linda Vaccariello spent three decades as a writer and editor at Cincinnati Magazine, a position that has allowed her to cover topics ranging from politics (looking at you, former mayor Jerry Springer) to pornography (rest in peace, Larry Flynt). Her work has appeared in Indianapolis Monthly, Readers Digest, Denison Magazine, American Archeology, and Outside.com, among others. She lives in downtown Cincinnati with her husband, a retired aerospace engineer, who wishes she would get more assignments involving the US Air Force Museum in Dayton.
Jude Walsh is a writer, writing teacher, and creativity and life coach. The author of the award-winning Post-Divorce Bliss: Ending Us and Finding Me (Morgan James Press, 2019), she teaches classes on writing mindset and legacy writing (personal essays for seniors wishing to pass down stories). As a coach, Jude especially likes working with women post-divorce and men and women wishing to reinvent themselves creatively and pivot to a new life. Her superpower is that she can see the best in a person and then help them see it and believe it too. She has numerous essays published in literary magazines and anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. She is currently writing her first romance. Jude writes daily, travels frequently, and leans into the abundant adventure her life has become. She lives in Dayton, Ohio.
Dawn Weber is the national-award-winning author of Black Dog, White Couch, and the Rest of My Really Bad Ideas and I Love You. Now Go Away: Confessions of a Woman with a Smartphone. Her work has been featured in HuffPost Comedy and five humor anthologies, and her Lighten Up column was a favorite in the Buckeye Lake Beacon where she was called the local love child of Dave Barry and Nora Ephron. She lives in Brownsville, Ohio (motto: Indoor Plumbing Optional) with her husband, kids and freakishly enthusiastic doc, Suzie the Meth Lab. Visit Dawn at lightenupweber.blogspot.com.
Debra Williamson has taught English and Communication at Edison State Community College for nearly a dozen years. Her prior life before moving to Yellow Springs included working in New York City in the financial services sector. Over the past twenty three years, she has cared for, raised, and advocated for her son, Alex, who lives with developmental disabilities. Raising Alex is among the most humbling experiences in her life. She lost her eldest son, Jason, to suicide more than a decade ago. His loss too has taught her much about listening. She is part of the Yellow Springs Poetry group who provide support, feedback, and a gentle place for sharing her poetic works. Her most recent publications are in Mock Turtle and Excursions. Debra also is an avid baker and cook who loves to share meals with friends and family. She credits meditation, journaling, yoga, and walking for what they bring to her days, enjoys reading creative non-fiction which inspires and informs her efforts at writing a memoir, and strives to be present to her unfolding life. Peace.
Award-winning humor writer, Linda Wolff, writes at Carpool Goddess, where she proves that midlife, motherhood, and the empty nest aren’t so scary. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Today's Parent, AARP, and many more. Her humorous essays have been published in numerous anthologies, the most recent: But Did You Die? Setting the Parenting Bar Low. Linda lives in Los Angeles with her husband and is the proud mom of two grown kids who still like hanging out with her.
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Tribune News Service, which distributes it to papers nationwide and abroad. If you have ever wondered why the newspaper industry is in trouble, it would be because of him. Mr. Zezima is the author of five books, “Leave It to Boomer,” “The Empty Nest Chronicles,” “Grandfather Knows Best,” “Nini and Poppie’s Excellent Adventures” and “Every Day Is Saturday,” all of which are crimes against literature. They also come in handy for propping up wobbly table legs. If you suffer from insomnia, you might even want to read them. As a chilling example of just how low journalistic standards have sunk, he has won many awards, including seven for humorous writing from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Mr. Zezima has a strong social media presence, he has made many radio and television appearances, he has done several YouTube videos, he is a popular public speaker, and he is writing a sitcom. If you think TV is bad now, wait until his show gets on the air. He also has a blog: jerryzezima.blogspot.com. Mr. Zezima lives on Long Island, N.Y., with his wife, Sue. They have two daughters, five grandchildren and many creditors. Mr. Zezima has no interesting hobbies.