National Spotlight Falls on Erma Bombeck:, Podcasts Interview Family, Phil Donahue and Writers

University of Dayton Hosts Biennial Writers' Workshop

Apr 09, 2014, 15:28 ET from University of Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For Erma Bombeck fans, is carrying a wealth of interviews about the legendary humorist, whose writing captured the foibles of suburban family life.

In an exclusive interview and podcast entertainment analyst Dr. Nancy Berk chats with the Bombeck family about their memories.

The children recall leading a normal life — and were even a bit oblivious to their mother's growing fame as a writer.

What are the chances that two rising stars would live on the same block in suburban Centerville, Ohio, before hitting it big? Just days before returning to his roots to keynote the University of Dayton's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, TV talk show icon Phil Donahue reminisces about living across the street from the Bombecks.

"The arc of our careers pretty much coincided, although she was probably ahead of me," Donahue tells Berk for a "Showbiz Analysis" piece on "She quickly became a phenom. Everybody wanted her. She wound up on refrigerator doors all over the world, really." Listen to the interview on "Whine at 9."

Eight of this year's faculty at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop are featured in another online piece, including author and comedy writer Anna Lefler who calls Bombeck "the godmother of domestic humor."

Workshop faculty member Suzanne Braun Levine, the first editor of Ms. Magazine, became an Erma fan in the 1970s when the columnist campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Noting that the ERA was just 24 words, Levine recalls Bombeck's memorable quip. "She delivered one of the great lines of all time (when she said) 'no 24 words have ever been so misunderstood since 'one size fits all.'"

What inspired Berk, who's on the workshop's faculty, to shine a national focus on Erma's legacy and the popular biennial workshop held by her alma mater? This year's workshop sold out in 12 hours.

"The power of this conference suggested to me the need to archive something that's incredibly special," said Berk, who's both a clinical psychologist and an author. "From her family's support in carrying her legacy forward to the people who teach at the workshop to the writers who come to learn the craft of writing, this is an unusual and tremendous effort... Writers are inspired, and even the most seasoned professionals leave with ideas on how to develop and better showcase their talent for the world to enjoy."

SOURCE University of Dayton