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Awards & Honors

2019 The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing (MVICW)
Author Fellowship Winner

MVICW is committed to providing financial support to writers through our fellowship program. Our fellowships offer educators, writers of color, parent-writers, and authors/poets with financial need the opportunity to attend our Summer Writers’ Conference every year. 

2017 Finalist:  The Erma Bombeck Humorist-In-Residence Program

That's ME!

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Two writers to be honored at Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop as humorists-in-residence. Best part? Two blissful weeks of solitude, with room service.




Karen Chee, a recent Harvard University graduate now working as a comedy writer and performer in New York, envisions Dayton, Ohio, as an "idyllic place for me and my writing" because of the slower pace of life and lack of "frantic, stressful distractions."


Samantha Schoech, a writer and editor from San Francisco, says her "go-to fantasy" is a "long, relaxed stay in a hotel and a Do Not Disturb sign."


They're getting their wish as  inaugural winners of "A Hotel Room of One's Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program." The competition drew applications from 401 hopeful writers in 44 states, the District of Columbia and five other countries.


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Our Finalists


More than 50 preliminary judges, all established writers, narrowed the field to 10 finalists. Comedy legends Alan Zweibel and Laraine Newman, original writer and writer/performer on "Saturday Night Live," reviewed those applications before selecting Samantha and Karen for the residency. 


All entries, at both stages, were blind judged. 


It was a competitive race to the finish. Kudos to these funny writers -- our finalists! --who win well-earned bragging rights (and our respect):  


Chanel Ali, Brooklyn, New York

Tracy Curtis, Charlotte, North Carolina

Deena Mendlowitz, Mayfield Village, Ohio

Valerie Nies, Austin, Texas

Margaux Hession, Santa Barbara, California

Jennifer Logue, Ponte Vedra, Florida

Keith Stewart, Hyden, Kentucky

Stacey Zapalac, Western Springs, Illinois


Write Like Erma and Win


The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition opens today (Dec. 4). It's a chance to win $500 and a free registration ($450 value) to the April 5-7, 2018, Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop at the University of Dayton. Entries will be accepted through Jan. 3. Details here.


Registration opens at noon (EST) Tuesday, Dec. 5, for the spring workshop. Check out the amazing program and please consider joining us for a long weekend filled with laughter, learning, inspiration and friendship. The 2016 workshop sold out in less than six hours, so we recommend registering early. We'll share the registration link via email, our blog and social media.


Keep writing!



 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

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