Introducing our esteemed panel of judges for the 2020 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition which includes actors, actresses, authors, bloggers, columnists, comedians, editors, producers, professors, and writers to score the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. We thank them for their time and expertise! See the list of judges from the last competition.
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa. For twenty years he lived in England, where he worked for the Times and the Independent, and wrote for most major British and American publications. His newest book is titled, The Body: A Guide for Occupants. His other books include travel memoirs (Neither Here Nor There; The Lost Continent; Notes from a Small Island) and books on language (The Mother Tongue; Made in America). His account of his attempts to walk the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods, was a huge New York Times bestseller. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and his four children.
Jess Montgomery is the author of the Kinship Historical Mystery series, focusing on a 1920s female sheriff in Appalachia. You can find out more about her books at her website, www.jessmontgomeryauthor.com, follow her on BookBub (@jessmontgomeryauthor), or reach her on Facebook @JessMontgomeryAuthor, Twitter @JessM_Author and Instagram @JessMontgomeryAuthor. Under Jess's given name, she is a newspaper columnist, focusing on the literary life, authors and events of her native Dayton, Ohio for the Dayton Daily News. Her first novel in the Kinship Historical Mystery series, THE WIDOWS, garnered awards even before publication: Montgomery County (Ohio) Arts & Cultural District (MCAD) Artist Opportunity Grant (2018); Individual Excellence Award (2016) in Literary Arts from Ohio Arts Council; John E. Nance Writer in Residence at Thurber House (Columbus, Ohio) in 2014.
A professional writer/editor/word polisher for 17 years, Nancy LaFever has published thousands of articles in the fine crafts, emotional health, business, humor, and popular culture sectors. Her work has appeared in Amex OPEN Forum, USA TODAY Travel, Readersdigest.com, The Crafts Report, and BELLA Magazine. LaFever’s current focus is book editing and coaching authors. Check out her editorial musings on Editorchick.com. While her former careers include advertising maven, graphic designer, hair salon receptionist, and former psychotherapist/substance abuse counselor, LaFever tries not to do more than one of these at a time. It confuses people. Originally from Gambier, Ohio, LaFever now resides on the Oregon coast.
Leighann Lord (standup comedian and author) has been seen on Lifetime, Comedy Central, HBO’s Def Comedy All-Star Jam and ABC’s The View. This comedy veteran has performed for U. S. troops stationed in the Middle East. Her comedy album, I’ve Got Connections, is played heavily on Sirius Satellite Radio. Leighann appeared in the George Lucas film, RadioLand Murders and is a former co-host of the Emmy-nominated Star Talk Radio with Neil de Grasse Tyson. Leighann, a native New Yorker and creator of the popular People with Parents podcast, is the author of several humor books including Dict Jokes and Real Women Do It Standing Up: Stories from the Career of a Very Funny Lady. One of the five national finalists for the American Black Film Festival – HBO Comedy Wings competition, she was also named one of the 35 Most Hilarious Comedians of Diversity and is the winner of the 2019 AHA Humanist Arts Award. Leighann acquired an honorary PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from South Hampton University. Yes, the comedy doctor is in! Leighann was the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop keynote speaker in 2016. Follow @LeighannLord at VeryFunnyLady.com.
Mary McCarty is a longtime Dayton-area columnist and reporter who currently teaches journalism at The University of Dayton. McCarty's column has appeared regularly on the national editorial wire and was widely syndicated through Cox News Service. She also served as an investigative reporter for the Dayton Daily News, specializing in narrative nonfiction projects. Before joining the Dayton Daily News, she was a staff writer and senior editor for Cincinnati Magazine. Mary has received many state and national awards for her writing, including the H.L. Mencken Award as well as being named Writer of the Year for Cox Newspapers and Best Columnist in Ohio by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Mary has been involved with the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop since its inception -- a very meaningful connection because of her mother's college friendship with Erma.
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.
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.
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.
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, which includes his hometown paper, the Stamford Advocate. His column is distributed by Tribune News Service of Chicago and has run in newspapers nationwide and abroad. If you have ever wondered why journalism is in trouble, it would be because of him. Mr. Zezima is the author of four books, "Leave It to Boomer," "The Empty Nest Chronicles," "Grandfather Knows Best" and "Nini and Poppie's Excellent Adventures," 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, Mr. Zezima has won many awards, including seven for humorous writing from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He has done many radio interviews, he did a commentary for "CBS News Sunday Morning," he is a popular public speaker and he is writing a sitcom based on his work. If you think TV is bad now, wait until his show gets on the air. He even has a blog: www.jerryzezima.blogspot.com. He 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.
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!
Kim Bongiorno, the author, freelance writer, and award-winning blogger behind Let Me Start By Saying, is best known for her parenting humor, whether in 280 characters on Twitter or essay form in a New York Times bestseller. She has written thousands of articles for dozens of publications over the years, appeared in eleven humor anthologies, self-published a collection of short fiction, wrote a middle grade novel, has taught social media classes for writers and small businesses, and creates something new every day. Kim lives in New Jersey with her family, but you can find her on Instagram @thekimbongiorno, Twitter @letmestart, or learn more about her work at www.KimBongiornoWrites.com.
Kate Bostdorff is Communications Director for the city of Centerville, Ohio. In addition to her work documenting and promoting local government, Kate considers herself a budding marketing maven. She is also an Emmy Award winning reporter. She was formerly the evening anchor at WHIO-TV, the Number One CBS affiliate in the country. She lives in Kettering, Ohio with her husband and young son.
James Breakwell is a professional comedy writer and amateur father of four girls, ages eight and under. He is best known for his family humor Twitter account @XplodingUnicorn, which boasts more than a million followers. The account went viral In April 2016 and transformed James from a niche comedy writer into one of the most popular dads on social media. James has published three books, with several more planned for release in coming years. Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse offered useful advice for how to raise happy, healthy children in a world overrun by the undead. Bare Minimum Parenting: The Ultimate Guide to Not Quite Ruining Your Child taught regular moms and dads to best overachieving parents by doing less. How to Save Your Child from Ostrich Attacks, Accidental Time Travel, and Anything Else that Might Happen on an Average Tuesday is a guide for dealing with literally everything else. His next book, Prance Like Nobody’s Watching, a guided journal for kids, is scheduled for release in early 2020.
Jennifer Brown is the author of acclaimed young adult novels, Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, Thousand Words, and Torn Away. Her debut novel, Hate List, received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Bitter End received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. She is also the author of the Shade Me series. Jennifer’s debut middle grade novel, Life on Mars, was released in 2014, and was followed by How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel and Pennybaker School is Headed for Disaster. Jennifer also writes , as well as women's fiction, under the name Jennifer Scott. Visit her at www.JenniferBrownAuthor.com or www.JenniferScottAuthor.com.
Michael Campbell is a humor writer and musician. Of Mice and Me, Campbell's 2017 collection of humor essays, is now available in print and eBook editions, as is his previous book, Are You Going To Eat That? His "Dumpster" column closes every issue of Food & Spirits magazine. Campbell also has four albums of original songs. The 2015 album My Turn Now includes a title track with a hilarious cameo by former game show host Richard Dawson. Learn more at michaelcampbellsongwriter.com.
Molly D. Campbell is a two-time Erma Bombeck prize winner in both humor and human interest categories. She is the author of three novels and one book of flash fiction. Her latest release is The World Came to Us, a novel about two grieving women who attempt to withdraw from the world-but find that more difficult than they imagined. Molly lives in downtown Dayton in a brand new apartment that she loves. Her husband and cat like it, too.
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.
Christina Consolino has had work featured in Brevity Blog, Flights: The Literary Journal of Sinclair Community College, HuffPost, Short Fiction Break, Tribe Magazine, and Literary Mama, where she serves as Senior Editor. She is a founding member of The Plot Sisters, a local writing group that strives to offer compassionate writing critiques and promote literary citizenship, and also serves as second vice president for Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. Formerly an instructor at Sinclair Community College, Christina spends her days as a freelance editor specializing in independently published books. She also teaches writing classes at Word’s Worth Writing Connections. Learn more at http://christinaconsolino.com/.
Jackie Curl handles public information for Washington Township, Ohio where the print materials she produces have won frequent awards from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association. Previously, as a reporter for the Springfield News-Sun, she wrote a column that took top honors from the Ohio Associated Press and Ohio Newspaper Women's Association. According to one judge: "She writes about Erma Bombeck-like topics, yet in her own unique style." Jackie has completed stints as adjunct professor at Antioch College for the Writing Well and journalism curriculum and as copy director for a communications firm with clients in the telecommunications industry. When she isn't writing, she is reading modern and classic novels with fellow members of the "Reinterpreting the Classics" book club.
Writer/Performer Frank DeCaro is the author of the 2019 Rizzoli bestseller Drag: Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business, a pop culture history which he is developing into a multi-part TV documentary series. His other books include Unmistakably Mackie, a coffee-table biography of the legendary costume designer Bob Mackie, two volumes of The Dead Celebrity Cookbook, and the pioneering queer memoir, A Boy Named Phyllis, which he recently recorded as an audio book, available from Audible. 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 much lauded, six-year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. In addition, he spent much of the last four years playing large venues across North America as the opening act for comedian Lisa Lampanelli. DeCaro contributes to the Styles section of The New York Times and other publications, and asks that you follow him on social media at @frankdecaroshow. (Photo courtesy of Erica Berger)
Matthew Dewald is a former director of the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop. He is now a writer and editor in Richmond, Virginia.
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."
"Parenting snarkologist" Norine Dworkin-McDaniel is co-creator of the humor site Science of Parenthood and co-author of the award-winning book, Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations. Most days you can find her in her sedan, driving her 14-year-old to school, dropping him off at play rehearsal and shuttling him to and from his many social engagements. She’s looking forward to the day her son gets a driver’s license so she can finally get out of the car. When that day comes, she hopes her legs still work.
Former Los Angeles Times writer and editor Karin Esterhammer is the author of the hilarious memoir, So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam (Prospect Park Books). Her essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal Market Watch, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, Asia Life magazine, and a bunch of tiny newspapers across the country that still owe her money.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is an award-winning freelance writer, columnist, and op-ed contributor. She is the Communications Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, member of the Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board, and a board member for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives with her family in Northern Kentucky. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie or at WriterBonnie.com.
Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mother of three (mostly) grown sons, food shopper extraordinaire, blogger, lifelong writer and college essay editor. She attended Brandeis University, from which she graduated cum laude with a degree in English Literature. A Founding Contributor and Advisor for CollegiateParent, her work has also been featured in The New York Times (Modern Love), The Huffington Post, Kveller, the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Her View From Home and MockMom. She is also a regular contributor for Grown and Flown. You can read some of Marlene’s work on her Facebook page, Thoughts from Aisle 4.
Jenny Gardiner is an award-winning #1 Kindle bestselling author who has published thirty-five novels, a memoir, and a collection of essays titled Naked Man on Main Street (after witnessing a man stripping naked on Main Street one morning, who wouldn’t feel compelled to write about that?). Her first novel, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, won an international fiction contest. Her work has been found in Ladies Home Journal, the Washington Post, Marie-Claire.com, Paste.com, and on National Public Radio. For years she was an essayist on regional NPR affiliate WVTF-FM, wrote a humorous column in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress for over a decade, and was also a food column for Cville Weekly for a while. She has worked as a publicist for a United States senator (where she honed her fiction-writing skills), an orthodontic assistant (learning quite readily that she was not cut out for a career in polyester), a TV reporter, a pre-obituary writer, and a freelance photographer, shooting such notable public figures as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Taylor, and the President of Uganda. She’s been the volunteer coordinator for the Virginia Film Festival for nine years. She’s really bad at math. She and her husband live in Virginia where they spoil their dog, their kids, and their kids’ dogs, not necessarily in that order. Find her at www.jennygardiner.net
Lisa Goich is an author, award-winning advertising copywriter, major market talk radio host, blogger, journalist and former stand-up comedian. Lisa's recent 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. Lisa has worked for nearly two decades with multi-New York Times bestselling author, Mitch Albom, on his weekday radio show, and is currently his co-host and producer on his new podcast, Tuesday People, a podcast sharing the lessons of Morrie Schwartz, his beloved former professor chronicled in his mega-bestseller, "Tuesdays With Morrie." Lisa's next book, "I Wonder..." is set for publication in November 2020. For more information visit Lisa's website at www.agirlonthego.com.
Mindy Hoffbauer is a professional explainer. During the past couple decades, Mindy has worked as a technical writer (just like Erma), editor, social media director for W. Bruce Cameron, online help developer, corporate trainer, and English adjunct instructor, among other things. She lives in Springboro, Ohio, has two grown children, and is married to a University of Dayton grad (just like Erma!). She writes mostly nonfiction, reads mostly fiction and never waves off the dessert cart (just like Guess-Who?).
Ryan Ireland, PhD, is the author of two novels published by Oneworld, Beyond the Horizon and Ghosts of the Desert. He has also published scholarly, popular, and creative nonfiction in Public Libraries Quarterly, Voices of Youth Advocates, Sidereal, and Ripcord. In 2018, he was a finalist for the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize, the Barry Lopez Nonfiction Prize, and the winner of the Tom Howard / John H. Reid Essay award. For the last decade he has worked in library communications. In 2016 he combined his passion for libraries and storytelling with his TEDx talk, Your Story Matters. In late 2019, he was a writer-in-residence for the Jan Michalski Foundation, located in Switzerland, where he finished his third novel.
Leigh Anne Jasheway is a comedy writer, humorous motivational speaker, stand-up comic, comedy writing teacher and wiener dog wrangler. She is the author of 26 books, including Confessions of a Semi-Natural Woman; Don’t Get Mad, Get Funny; Not Guilty by Reason of Menopause; Bedtime Stories for Dogs and Bedtime Stories for Cats; and her latest, The Dogs’ Guide to Human(Kind). She won the national Erma Bombeck Humor Writing Award in 2003 for her true story on how her first mammogram caught on fire. She teaches comedy writing and improv at Lane Community College, and formerly, the University of Oregon. She is a senior editor and contributor to The Syndrome Mag, a non-profit organization that uses comedy to educate and enlighten about feminist issues; she is the former humor columnist for the Register Guard’s Weekend (for the past nine years), wrote weekly columns for The Comic News for nine years, and has written essays and columns for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, and The Funny Times. She is the former host of The Giggle Spot on All Comedy 1450 AM. Read more about Leigh Anne on her website accidentalcomic.com.
Barbara Solomon Josselsohn is a novelist and freelance magazine writer. Her new novel, The Lilac House, is being released in March from Bookouture. Her articles and essays appear in a range of publications, including Parents Magazine, New York Magazine, Consumers Digest, The New York times, American Baby, and Writers Digest. Online, you can see her work at GrownandFlown.com, NextAvenue.com, and other websites. She teaches novel writing at Sarah Lawrence College as well as privately, and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Her first novel was The Last Dreamer (Lake Union Publishing). Visit her online at www.BarbaraSolomonJosselsohbn.com or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BarbaraSolomonJosselsohnAuthor. You can fin her on twitter and instagram @BarbaraJoss.
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.
Kathryn Kvas is a Brooklyn-based writer, satirist, and comedian originally from Toronto, Canada. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker's Daily Shouts section, McSweeney’s, and more. Currently, she works full-time as a Writer & Associate Creative Director at Spotify in NYC. As a comedian, she performs stand-up all around the NYC and the Brooklyn area (UCB, Caroline’s, Laughing Buddha, various open mics, her shower, etc). Follow her on twitter @KathrynKvas, please. PLEASE. She could really use a win.
Fredrick Marion is the founder of www.daytonlit.com, a site committed to growing Dayton's literary scene. A former columnist and features reporter at the Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, FL, he also writes a weekly email newsletter on writing and life that's available at www.fredrickmarion.com. His first novel, a middle grade fantasy titled The Very Strange and Very Secret Trashcan Club, is in progress with representation by The Bent Agency. Proud papa to three kids (all 6 and under), all his shirts have a permanent spit-up mark on the left-hand shoulder. He says it adds character.
Wendy McClure is the author of several books for adults and kids, including the Wanderville series, I’m Not the New Me and The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan. Her memoir The Wilder Life (Riverhead, 2011) was a Barnes & Noble Discover selection and the winner of the Midwest Booksellers Award for nonfiction. Her work has appeared in the The New York Times Magazine, Chicago Reader, and on the radio program This American Life. She lives in Chicago with her husband.
Lisa Smith Molinari writes the award-winning syndicated column "The Meat and Potatoes of Life," which appears weekly in various publications, including Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for the US Armed Forces. The column won First Place for Humor in the 2018 National Society of Newspaper Columnists' nation-wide contest. Lisa's memoir, The Meat and Potatoes of Life: My True Lit Com, will be released in hardcover May 1, 2020. Lisa’s work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including: The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Military Spouse magazine and Proceedings Magazine; and in four anthologies -- Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Families; Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America; Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life; and Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Moms. Lisa currently serves as Immediate Past President on the National Society of Newspaper Columnists board. Lisa lives with her family in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
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 the Jewish Community Relations Council and as a writing teacher in the local public school system. 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
Patricia Gallagher Newberry is area coordinator of the Journalism Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A member of the faculty since 1997, she has taught an array of reporting and writing courses, from entry level JRN101s to senior capstone courses. Newberry also coordinates special events for her department, directs Miami's NYC Media program and chairs the Committee on Student Media. A long-time active member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Newberry is serving as the 2019-20 president of the SPJ Board of Directors, as well as a member of the SPJ Foundation Board. Before joining academia, Newberry spent about 15 years as a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist, covering mostly business news for 10 different papers in seven states. (In her subsequent freelance life, she penned "Married With Children" for the Cincinnati Enquirer for six years, with occasional Bombeck-like attempts at humor.) A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Newberry lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Doug; their three adult children; and the Two Best Basset Hounds in the World, J.J. Magoo and Winston. Off-hours, Newberry reads, eats, drinks and sleeps, and fitness walks as an excuse to listen to great podcasts.
Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally published author of 150+ children’s and adult books. Her titles range from the Divine to the feline and include such varied titles as Whatever Is Lovely: A 90-Day Devotional Journal, (Harper Christian) Cat Confessions: A Kitty-Come-Clean Tell-All Book, (Harvest House), The Joy of Being Fifty+ (Workman Publishing, illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast), and more. A former Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing senior editor, she collaborated with the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop to publish Laugh Out Loud with 40 funny EBWW humorists. The title won a 2019 Humor Indie Award. Two children’s books, a devotional, and a redux of the classic 101 Reasons Why a Cat Is Better Than a Man are in the works.
Bill O'Neill has written for the Cape Cod Times, the Boston Globe, the London Sunday Times, CMJ New Music Monthly, the Harvard Independent, and a batch of other publications. He was the lifestyle editor at the Cape Cod Times for almost 10 years, and the paper's pop-music columnist for 12 years. He won awards for his interviews with a mannequin keeper, Liza Minnelli and a guy who claims to be Elvis Presley Jr.
Ron Rollins is a writer, editor, poet and artist who lives in Kettering, Ohio. Ron works at the Dayton Daily News and Cox Media Group Ohio since 1986 and has served on the boards of several local arts, cultural and social-service organizations, including: Dayton History, FilmDayton, House of Bread, and the Antioch Writers Workshop. He was one of five featured Dayton-area artists whose work was featured in a traveling exhibition of nature-themed work to mark the 50th anniversary of the Five Rivers MetroParks. His work has been featured on ThinkTV’s “The Art Show” and on the cover of Mock Turtle Zine, a Dayton arts journal. Ron is married to Amy, he has two grown children and two grandchildren.
Joel Schwartzberg is a nationally-published essayist and award-winning author of Get to the Point! (2017), Small Things Considered (2014), and The 40-Year-Old Version (2009). Joel is also a speechwriter and public speaking trainer, and his essays have been published in Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, New Jersey Monthly, The Star-Ledger, Fast Company, and five editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Amy Hartl Sherman is a graduate of the University of Illinois, a writer, cartoonist, humorist, and retired flight attendant. Amy has been published in Feisty After 45, The Heron’s Nest, It All Changed in in Instant: More Six Word Memoirs, and Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now. More of her work can be found at krankykitty.com and witfaced.com.
Pam Sherman, is a nationally-syndicated columnist, actor, recovering lawyer and leadership consultant who was profiled in People Magazine about her career transition from attorney to actor. Today Sherman conducts programs and coaches leaders all over the world in leadership communications and how to present themselves and their stories with passion. Her column, The Suburban Outlaw can be read in Gannett publications, including the Democrat + Chronicle and on the USA Today Network. Her best-selling book, The Suburban Outlaw: Tales from the EDGE is sold on Amazon. Her recent portrayal of Erma Bombeck in At Wit’s End at Geva Theatre Center, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Shea’s 710 has played to sold-out audiences and broke box-office records. www.thepamsherman.com
In the 1980’s, Ritch Shydner made numerous appearances on TV, including Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. He did an HBO half-hour special, "One Night Stand." He played Al Bundy’s co-worker on "Married with Children", and made guest appearances on many other TV shows, such as "Designing Women" and "Roseanne." Ritch was able to translate his modest success on TV into an obscure film career, appearing in Steve Martin’s, "Roxanne," and Eddie Murphy's, "Beverly Hills Cop II," before moving on to minor roles on smaller pictures. Ritch wrote for sitcoms such as "Roseanne", "The Jeff Foxworthy Show," and HBO’s "The Mind of the Married Man." Ritch wrote material for Jeff Foxworthy’s Grammy nominated comedy albums, "Totally Committed," and "Big Fun." He also wrote for Ron White and Jay Leno. In 2006 Ritch was co-author of a book on stand-up, "I Killed". In 2010 Ritch produced and performed in an award winning documentary on the world of stand-up comedy, "I Am Comic". Ritch's new book, Kicking Through The Ashes: My Life as a Stand-up in the 1980's Comedy Explosion, is OUT NOW! Read a story from the book. Currently Ritch is writing a movie adaptation for HBO of Bill Maher's book, "True Story".
Kelly Simmons is a book coach, editor and ghostwriter. She wrote a weekly "Erma-esque" newspaper column for 18 years, has written more than 30 books (some for New York Times bestselling authors, one that sold 3 million copies), and delights in helping people realize their writing dreams. Kelly changed her name but still can be found at www.kellyepperson.com or BirthThatBook.com.
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.
Winner of the prestigious Will Rogers Writing Contest, George Waters writes a weekly humor column which appears in newspapers and on his website , The "Wa" Blog. His work is featured in Suzette Martinez Standring's book, The Art of Column Writing, and his humorous parenting essays have appeared in L.A. Parent, Dallas Child, Kansas City Parent, New Jersey Family and numerous others regional parenting publications. Read more from George Waters in The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists by Suzette Martinez Standring.
Michele "Wojo" Wojciechowski is a national award-winning writer and humorist as well as an editor, speaker, and stand-up comedienne. Her work has appeared in Discover, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, Taste of Home, Country Woman, Discover Life, Energy Times, Parade, Vanity Fair online, the PBS website Next Avenue, Forbes.com, BaltimoreSun.com, and many other publications and websites. Her humor book, Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box, won an Outstanding Book Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. For 15 years, Wojo has written the award-winning humor column "Wojo’s World." She also just likes saying "award-winning." Check her out on www.WojosWorld.com.
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.