Writers from around the world entered the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition sponsored by Washington-Centerville Public Library and the University of Dayton. In the end, judges chose essays from the Dayton area, as well as Missouri and Pennsylvania as winners in the competition which began in 1996. The competition pays tribute to Erma Bombeck, one of America’s greatest humorists, and coincides with the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop planned for April 19-21.
Gina Sandoval of Oakwood placed first in the Humor category for her essay “The Force” and Christina Cahall of Dayton placed first in the Human Interest category for her entry “Rebel in a Cashmere Coat.” In the Global Human Interest category, the winner was Alison McDonough of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, for her essay “That’s Him All Over” and Donna Volkenannt of St. Peters, Missouri, for her humorous essay “Honey, Can I Borrow Your Garter Belt?” All received high marks from the judges whose credentials ranged from
stand-up comedians, newspaper columnists, magazine writers, and best-selling authors.
“We were thrilled with the feedback from our judges this year,” said Debe Dockins, coordinator of the contest. “We asked them to apply the ‘spirit of Erma’ to each of the essays and they took that task to heart. When we relayed the judges’ comments to the entrants, they were thrilled that such a distinguished panel took the time to comment. It’s wonderful to see how beloved and inspiring Erma continues to be both here in her hometown of Dayton and throughout the world.”
This year there was a $15 entry fee which contributed to a first-place cash award of $500. In addition, winners of the competition receive a free registration to the workshop. The library plans an Erma Celebration featuring humor writer and popular columnist Tracy Beckerman, as well as winners reading their essays. The event will be held at the Centerville Library, 111 W. Spring Valley Road, from 7 to 8:30 PM on Wednesday, April 18. For more information about the contest, including a complete list of winners and their essays, visit www.wclibrary.info/erma.