Paying It Forward

Posted Sep 26, 2021

Exciting news, writers! The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop is adding a third grand prize for this year’s Humorist-in-Residence competition — thanks to Second City’s Liz Kozak, a grand prize winner in 2020.

In her words:

“After I was honored with the 2020 residency, a lot of things happened to me very quickly: I published my first book, I co-created and executive produced my first sketch comedy TV series, and I became an Emmy nominee for my work on writing and producing for a national talk show. But guess what I *didn’t* get to do? Enjoy two weeks of writing bliss alone in a hotel room! The pandemic caused all of our lives to move in unexpected directions. I have been very fortunate, and it’s time to make space for new emerging voices. I am excited that the Erma team is allowing me to pay it forward and bestow the residency on a third writer in 2022. (However, I’m keepin the robe…!).”

Thank you, Liz, for paying it forward.

Here’s the deal: We’re offering three emerging humor writers the opportunity to compete for an all-expenses-paid trip to Dayton, Ohio — the birthplace of Erma Bombeck. Here, the winners will be “robed” in plush, custom-embroidered bathrobes and given free registration to the spring workshop, slated for March 24-26, 2022.

As part of this fun, unconventional program, the winners will spend two blissful weeks at the University of Dayton Marriott, the workshop’s official hotel and an in-kind sponsor, to work on their humor projects.

Yes, a hotel with a “Do Not Disturb” sign that can be draped over the door knob. Free room service. An omelet bar. A housekeeping staff. A TV remote of one’s own. The sun rising over the Great Miami River (aka, the Dayton Riviera).  It’s the ultimate gift for any writer — the luxury of time to write.

Applications will be accepted until midnight (EST) on Tuesday, Sept. 28, with Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson, and Mike Reiss, writer on The Simpsons for three decades, serving as finalist judges. Apply here.

The package for the grand prize winners is worth approximately $5,000, but the experience is priceless. Three finalists and five honorable mentions will win cash prizes ($250 and $100).