Oregon humorist Bob Balmer will lead a free workshop to help you “Put Humor in Your Writing,” Wednesday, June 12, 2019, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The workshop happens at Augustana Church, 2710 NE 14th St., Portland. It’s in the basement, so enter through the red door at the bottom of the ramp.
Bob’s work has appeared in The Smithsonian, The Oregonian, The Seattle Times, The Seattle Weekly, Golf Illustrated, ZYZZYVA, Oregon Coast Magazine, and other print media. It has aired on the radio shows The Savvy Traveler and MarketPlace as well as on Oregon Public Radio and Television.
The workshop will examine how humor writers take incidents from their lives and turn the painful, the absurd, the odd, the embarrassing, the memorable into humor. It will explore ways to convey humor — exaggeration, identification, embarrassment, self-deprecation — and offer the opportunity to practice using them.
Participants will follow James Thurber’s adage, “Humor is chaos remembered in tranquility,” to sift through their lives to find stories, anecdotes, and incidents to gild with humor. There will be a PowerPoint, discussion, and in-class writing. Participants should bring a laptop or writing materials for in-class writing.
Bob’s first humorous essay was published in The Oregonian in 1992. 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 Write on the Sound Conference, The Hoffman Center for the Arts, Mary’s Woods Retirement Center, The Oregon Council Teachers of English Student Writing Festival and is facilitating a workshop at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in June of 2019.
For more information, check out Bob’s website at Discovering Laughter. Two readings on the website will be referred to during the class.