When Erma Calls: The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop

“As writers we hold whole universes in our souls.” Wise observations by award-winning author Susan Pohlman in the article below. Susan shares her experience as a workshop leader at the recent Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop:

Moments That Matter

images-58My mother is an avid newspaper reader. As a girl I can remember finding her with the paper spread across the dining room table. She would read it cover to cover, clipping recipes, reading aloud the latest hint from Heloise or cutting articles to send to various family members that she was sure they’d appreciate. My favorite memory, however was watching her giggle as she read the Erma Bombeck column of the week. She, like so many of her generation, would tape it to the refrigerator for the rest of us to enjoy.


Imagine my delight when I was invited to participate as faculty in the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop this past March in Ohio at the University of Dayton (Erma’s alma mater and mine as well!) I had been eyeing this writing conference as a participant for years and had never managed to register in time for one of the 200…

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RIFT: Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan Talk About Life Through Stories

This is one of the best flash fiction collections you’ll read all year!

Heavy Feather Review


Rift, by Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan. Unknown Press, December 2015. 216 pages. $14.00, paper.

Imagine a coffee shop, something independent, unique, not part of a chain, where the air is filled with a rich, dark aroma, where the tinkle of music is subtle, underlining real conversations about real things. Now imagine a solid wooden table, highly polished by hand, scarred by time, yet warm with love. Stitting across from you are two writers you admire, not just for the skilled pieces of written art they create at their computers, but also for their humanity, their generosity, their views on the human condition. Who would those two writers be? How about Kathy Fish and Robert Vaughan? What if they were taking turns, telling you stories? What would that be like?

The answer is their collaboration, Rift, two hundred sixteen pages of flash fiction pieces divided into four…

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Find Your Voice and Tell Your Story

Great news: there are a few spots left for Susan Pohlman’s “Find Your Voice” writing retreat in June. Sign up by 1/31/16 and save $100!


From Susan’s retreat info page:

Voice?  What exactly does that mean?
Your writer’s voice is the way you project yourself artistically.  It is the expression of you on the page, your humor, your use of language, your unique view of the world. It is that elusive element that makes your writing pop.
Every writer has a natural voice but it takes time, courage and study to refine it.  When you link your natural voice — the writing that springs from your deepest truth — to an understanding of craft you can take readers on a journey they will never forget. 
Voice is not something you can force, but it is something you can cultivate. Taking the time to focus and deliberate on it is time well spent.  Examining the work of others, studying differences in tone, style, diction and syntax will enhance and deepen your own work.

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I’ve studied with Susan for years, and I’m thrilled to be among the participants for this upcoming retreat. If it sounds like something you might enjoy, zip over to Susan’s website and read the details. I’d love to see you there!

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