Quotes from Writers at Erma Bombeck Workshop

Writers' Quotes at Erma Bombeck Workshop - Part 1 Stacey Gustafson

Credit: University of Dayton

Dozens of award winning authors, playwrights, actors, entrepreneurs, agents, speakers and bloggers flooded into Dayton, Ohio for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, a workshop dedicated to humor and human interest writing.

Each day, the workshop began at 9 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., with lunch breaks featuring greats such as Amy Ephron, Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. The fun didn’t end there. We were treated to keynote speakers during dinner such as Roy Blunt, Jr., Leighann Lord, and a one-woman staged reading of Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, starring Barbara Chisholm. Not trusting my own memory, I wrote down the quotes from  writers during the sessions.

Alan Zweibel

Writers' Quotes from Erma Bombeck Workshop - Part 1 Stacey Gustafson

Credit: University of Dayton

Original writer of Saturday Night Live and winner of multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America and TV Critic awards. He work includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Monk, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

  • “A lot of comedy comes from the same place pain comes from.”
  • “Fun doesn’t happen until it’s ready to be seen by others.”
  • “Once you write something, it’s in the hands of a different god.”
  • His comment to Roger Ebert after his terrible review of North, “Roger, I just have to tell you that I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate your sweater.”
  • “What I remember (about North) is the process, how I felt doing it.”
  • “It’s important the we (writers) all get together.”
  • “Success is a different animal. The victory is important.”
  • “It’s important to get together with writers and share experiences.”
  • “I love short stories.”
  • “Adrenaline kicks in for deadlines.”

Cathryn Michon

Writers' Quotes from Erma Bombeck Workshop - Part 1 Stacey Gustafson

Credit: University of Dayton

Best-selling author, actress, Hollywood screenwriters and director. Directed and starred in Muffin Top: A Love Story.

  • “Our people are just a hashtag away.”
  • “Women don’t always feel comfortable about their bodies.”
  • “If you have an idea people really want to talk about, you have the power.”
  • “What does an independent book store need? Loyalty.”
  • “The way you make impossible stuff happen, like books, blogs, is your core belief that this is something that needs to be out there.”
  • “I spend everyday not to be an insecure person…I’m passionate about that.”
  • “Creating the work is the most important thing.”
  • “Making short video content to support longer projects is a good idea.”
  • “We have the power to capture moments now.”
  • “Grow your audience by listening and responding.”
  • “The goal is trying to be the most authentic.”
  • “In the niches are the riches.”

Joel Madison

Quotes from Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop 2016 - Part 1 Stacey Gustafson

Credit: University of Dayton

Stand-up comic, writer for Rosanne, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and The Larry Sanders Show.

  • “The writers room is like a high school locker room.”
  • “Comedy is aggressive. It doesn’t attract women.”
  • “Sarcasm doesn’t read. It only works orally.”
  • “Every line must serve story, character.”


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  1. Great quotes! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I loved this. I am going to have to look into getting into that workshop. Oh, and you post is just what I love about Women of Midlife. Thank you.


    • staceygustafson says

      If you like to be around inspirational, funny ladies, it’s the best workshop around. Hope to see you there one day.

  3. Loved “In the niches are the riches.” Was almost like someone was speaking directly to me. “A lot of comedy comes from the same place pain does” has been true for so many comedians.

    • staceygustafson says

      That was one of my favorite quotes, “In the niches are the riches.” Find your voice in writing and people will be more likely to listen.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time and some really awesome quotes…I love quotes and close each post on my blog with one!

  5. Eugenia M. Murphy says

    You just keep getting better! Such fun to share the workshop, and hear the humorous quotes. Thank you Stacey.

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