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Erma Bombeck Writing Competition


Monday, January 6, 2020


Entry Fees

$15. Online entries for the 2020 competition will be accepted Dec. 2, 2019 – Jan. 6, 2020.


Four winners will receive $1,000 and a free registration to the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, slated for April 2-4, 2020. Two winners will be selected in the humor category (one global, one Ohio) and two will be named in the human interest category (one global, one Ohio). Winning essays will be published in the workshop's program.

Writers receiving honorable mentions will be awarded $100 prizes.


The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, sponsored biennially by the Washington-Centerville Public in conjunction with the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, pays tribute to Erma Bombeck, one of the greatest humorists of our times. Previously unpublished personal essays of 450 words or less that capture the essence of Erma’s writings will be accepted in the humor and human interest categories. Entries are accepted from anywhere in the world, and all will be blind judged by a panel of accomplished authors, columnists, screenwriters, stand-up comedians and writing teachers. Bill Bryson, best known for his humorous books on travel as well as a variety of other genres, including the English language, science, history and non-fiction, will serve as the finalist judge for the humor essays. Jess Montgomery, a columnist and author of historical mysteries, will serve as the finalist judge for the human interest essays.

Contact Information

For information, email Debe Dockins, coordinator of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, at [email protected]. Questions also can be addressed to [email protected].


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