New Class!

Lighten Up: Cultivating a Sense of Humor in the Writing of Serious Fiction

Thursday, September 4th, 6:00-9:00pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Humor is serious stuff. In a Huffington Post article about what she’s looking for in submissions to Best American Short Stories, editor Heidi Pitlor has this to say: "Here are some things I wish I saw more frequently: humor, genre-bending, humor, risk-taking, a more direct addressing of real world matters, humor."

Let’s give the woman what she wants.  In this workshop we will take Ms. Pitlor to task by briefly studying the spectrum of humor in writing, from vaudevillian to puns to satire and irony. We will discuss the strategies of surprise, misdirection, and timing and how these relate to character development. We will read examples from writers like Lorrie Moore, Don Delillo, Louise Erdrich, Michael Chabon, Jeffrey Eugenides, George Saunders, and Dave Eggers, among others, and discuss the very fine balance of getting serious about humor. We will also laugh and enjoy creating our own humorous passages. If you have some work you’re struggling with, bring it in and let’s see if we can lighten it up.

Also bring your favorite joke.


Wendy Wunder
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "High-Energy Class"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Study Published Writing
  • Inspiration
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

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