Categories: Arts Literature

SF (and former SF) humor writers win Erma Bombeck honors

As winners of the first “A Hotel Room of One’s Own” contest, Samantha Schoech and Karen Chee, writers with Bay Area connections, get to go to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton — and two all-expenses-paid weeks at the local Marriott to work on writing projects.

The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program winners were preliminarily selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants by a 50-judge panel; Alan Zweibel and Laraine Newman of “Saturday Night Live” picked the final two honorees.

Samantha Schoech, one two winners of an Erma Bombeck humor writing contest, will get to work on her publication in progress in Dayton. (Courtesy photo)

Schoech, a San Francisco copywriter, calls her in-progress essay collection “the story of a middle-aged feminist bumbling through a middle-class adulthood …. It’s David Sedaris meets Amy Schumer. In Target. With a yeast infection.”

Chee, who grew up in the Bay Area and is a recent Harvard graduate and comedy writer in New York, is working on “I Probably Have Salmonella,” a volume of essays she hopes will amuse people of color, who aren’t well represented in the humor essay field.

Lefler, the Los Angeles-based comic novelist who underwrote the program, said, “It’s all upside for these two ladies because while serving as humorists-in-residence, they might also score a side gig as cater-waiters for the Marriott.”

Leslie Katz

San Francisco Examiner’s arts and entertainment editor Leslie Katz has been assigning, editing and/or writing news stories about the Bay Area’s rich cultural scene since 1997. Reach her at (415) 359-2727 or

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