Bob Balmer to Lead Workshop on Mining Your Life for Laughs on Feb 6

Bob Balmer

Mining Your Life for Laughs

Students will explore humorous writings in class and then discuss what about them makes us laugh: exaggeration, humiliation, characterization, one-liners, wordplay, irony, identifying with the story or the narrator, juxtaposition of internal monologue and external dialogue, structure or some other reason. Pay special attention to how the authors used events from their lives for humorous material. The instructor has provided a web site: (and then go to the upper left hand corner and click on the three lines to launch the tabs), that includes several essays to read.

The workshop runs from 10 am to 2:30 pm on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Tuition is $50. Click here to register.

Materials: Bring copies of the Ephron and Thurber essay and story provided on the website to class.

Bring laptop or pen and paper. Students will be writing in class.

Product: The goal is to produce a 600- to 1500-word rough draft of a humorous essay or story based on your own life.

Bring questions/ideas to share.

Please email the instructor with questions:

Bob Balmer’s first humorous essay was published in the Oregonian in 1992. His work has appeared in The Smithsonian, The Oregonian, The Seattle Times, The Seattle Weekly, Golf Illustrated, ZYZZYVA, Oregon Coast Magazine, Golf Weekly, The Eugene Weekly and Willamette Week. It has aired on the radio shows The Savvy Traveler, MarketPlace as well as on Oregon Public Radio and Television. He has an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and attended the Iowa Summer Writing Workshop and the Tin House Summer Writing Workshop at Reed College.

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