One of the two inaugural winners of the A Hotel Room of One's Own: The Erma Bombeck/Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program, which includes a two-week writer's retreat, is Samantha Schoech, program director of Independent Bookstore Day, who is also a writer, copywriter and editor.
The Humorist-in-Residence program takes place at the University of Dayton in Ohio and consists of the University's Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, which runs April 5-7, 2018, and then the two-week period at the University of Dayton Marriott.
Program organizers said that Schoech is working on a collection of humorous essays, People Really Like Me, "the story of a middle-aged feminist bumbling through a middle-class adulthood filled with the usual signposts: kids, husband, mortgage and a medical marijuana prescription. It's David Sedaris meets Amy Schumer. In Target. With a yeast infection."
Finalist judge Laraine Newman, who's written for LA Times Magazine, McSweeney's, Esquire and other publications and was an original writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live, said of Schoech, "I love this writer's voice. It's relatable, and her humanity is beautifully expressed."
The other winner is Karen Chee, a recent Harvard University graduate now working as a comedy writer and performer in New York is also working on a book of humorous personal essays, called I Probably Have Salmonella.