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Mining your Life for Laughter
Mining your Life for Laughter

Sat, Jul 17


Online Workshop via Zoom

Mining your Life for Laughter

Registration is Closed
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Time & Location

Jul 17, 2021, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM PDT

Online Workshop via Zoom

About the Event

Join us as we examine how humor writers have taken incidents from their lives and turned the painful, the absurd, the odd, the embarrassing, the memorable… into humor.   We will look at what makes people laugh and the fact that what is funny is subjective.   We will look at the various ways writers convey humor– exaggeration, identification, embarrassment, self-deprecation… and through short writing exercises, practice using them. We will look at structure as a means to convey humor–essay, tale or story. Then, to follow James Thurber’s adage– “Humor is chaos remembered in tranquility”, we will sift through our lives to find our truth in stories, anecdotes, and incidents gilded with humor.​

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 and MarketPlace as well as on Oregon Public Radio and Television.  He has an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University, and he attended the Iowa Summer Writing Workshop and the Tin House Summer Writing Workshop at Reed College.  He recently returned from taking Improv and sketch writing classes at Second City Comedy in Chicago.  He has led humor writing workshops at the BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network) Write in the Harbor, Portland Storytellers Guild, The Oregon Writers Colony, Sitka Center for the Arts and Ecology, The Write on the Sound Writers Conference, The Hoffman Center for the Arts, Mary's Woods Retirement Center, The Oregon Council Teachers of English student writing Festival.


  • Mining your Life for Laughter

  • Writer's Guild Member Discount




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