Monday, April 14, 2014

Top 10 Reasons I Loved the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

Immersed in writing for 2 1/2 days is a writer's dream, and I was lucky enough to live the dream last week at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop (EBWW). Although humor-focused - Erma being the First Mistress of humor writing - writers of all genres would learn and enjoy the experience.

My next post details the goings on, the speakers, workshops, and what I learned. This post is a list - in no particular order - of the top 10 reasons I loved the workshop and hope to return in two years (EBWW is a biannual event).

The Top 10 Reasons I Loved the EBWW

* The workshop officially began Thursday afternoon. A large number of attendees arrived earlier and met in the hotel restaurant for lunch. Sitting at long tables, most of us meeting each other for the first time, enjoying the company of other writers, I noticed a phenomenon not common in my everyday life nowadays. The women ordered real food - club sandwiches, french fries, pasta. It was wonderful!

           A note of explanation - the overwhelming majority of attendees were women of various ages.               Rumor was the workshop, limited to 350, comprised 345 women. Men were scarce.

* I did not have the biggest boobs in the room! Or butt.

* Attendees did not don cute exercise outfits - or any kind of exercise clothes for that matter - and bounce out of the hotel at the crack of dawn to jog around the University of Dayton campus or perform yoga on the lawn or do any other kind of crazy exercise routine.

* People actually ate desserts - cake (brownies, lemon, carrot, chocolate, and I cannot remember dessert #5) - for lunch and dinner, placed in front of us by harried but attentive waitresses. I did not have to set or clear tables, wash dishes, or make any food-related decisions. The food, although actually mediocre, tasted wonderful because I was hungry and not shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after the meal.

* The uniform of the conference ranged from very casual to business casual to downright quirky. I loved the bunny slippers, tiaras, hats, and generally independent, fashion-agnostic but comfortable outfits worn by most attendees.

* These were my kind of women! Not counting calories, not exercise consumed, and not fashion focused - at least for the duration of the conference. They were friendly, funny, relaxed, and great company.

* I met blog friends and made new friends. Fellow writers congregating in Dayton Ohio from all over the country were unpretentious and outgoing - often a difficult endeavor for work-at-home, solo introverts like me.

* There was a lot of gray hair and wrinkles. No one cared. Also a lot of very young faces. The youngest attendee I met was 24; the oldest 85.

* Renowned speakers regaled the audience at the three dinners and two lunches. All of them enthralled listeners with their personal history, stories, and anecdotes. Before and after formal presentations they mingled with the commoners (aka attendees), talking with us and graciously spending time answering questions and posing for selfies and group pictures.

* Seminar presenters were talented, interesting, creative individuals with a wide range of writing experience. Various workshops, six each session, some offered twice over the two day period, were chock full of information for writer wannabes, writers with lots of questions, and professionals with years of experience. Deciding which workshops to attend was the most difficult part of the entire conference.

I could go on, but I need to catch up on my sleep.

More on EBWW in my next post.


  1. I am so glad I got to meet you, Meryl! Hope there will be a next time soon.

  2. Sounds wonderful. I definitely want to go next time!

  3. Wow! You sure had a great time, and you communicated it perfectly to me. I felt like I was there in the room with you. No, I wasn't really, just virtually. I look forward to hearing more about it. :-)

  4. I think it's great that there was such a wide age range. I'd like to see some of your non-blog writing ... is there a way to get it on your blog? Btw, for more on Erma Bombeck:

  5. Love this. Food fun and friends. Who could ask for anything more?

  6. Meryl, it was such a pleasure to meet you! I can't believe I missed this the first time around - you summed it up perfectly! I've already started my EBWW fund for 2016 - SEE YOU THERE!!!