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April 2015 Third Thursday Panel

4/16/2015 From 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Funny Business:

Writing That Makes Us Laugh

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7 PM

BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 3rd floor*


*(please use the elevator in the back of the store to get to the third floor)


"There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt."

-- Erma Bombeck


"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died."

-- Erma Bombeck

Humor. We all have a sense of it. Some appreciate it or need it even more than others. Some have a knack for finding the comedy in situations and conveying it in writing.

From high satire to screwball plots to dark humor, comedic writing exposes the folly of our species and ourselves, allowing us to be OK with our foibles -- and perhaps even do something about them.

Join us on Thursday, April 16, and hear four writers discuss their approach to writing humor -- and the rewards, challenges, and opportunities that come with it.

Come meet ...

Wendi Aarons

Wendi Aarons is an award-winning humor writer whose work can be seen in a number of publications and websites, including McSweeneys, US Weekly Fashion Police, Someecards, Nickelodeon, and Lifetime TV. In 2011, Parents Magazine named her blog the Funniest, and she is also one of the co-creators of the parody Twitter account @paulryangosling that garnered national media attention in the 2012 election. Wendi is a frequent speaker on humor, and is featured in the upcoming Putnam anthology, "Listen To Your Mother." Her current projects include a YA novel and notes left on cars parked by assholes.



Les McGehee

Les is an author, comedian, and improv pioneer who has entertained and trained millions of happier people via stage, screen, and print. Les has done about 7000 appearances in 15 countries. Les’ book, Plays Well With Others, is popular in universities, theaters, and businesses. Year at a glance, Les just won an international award for business writing, national recognition for a food article, and has a deal to produce television for NBC. Les next book is titled Recess and will be out in early 2016. Les looks smartest when surrounded by his beautiful family since it gives the appearance that he knows what he is doing. So picture him surrounded by his beautiful family.


Neal Pollack

Neal Pollack is the author of nine acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, most recently a time-traveling romantic comedy called Repeat. His journalism, essays, and humor have appeared in countless magazines and websites. He's also a certified yoga instructor and a three-time Jeopardy! champion. He lives in Austin with his wife and son.


Susan Schorn

Susan Schorn is a second-degree black belt, self defense instructor, and author of the long-running Bitchslap: A Column About Women and Fighting, at McSweeneys Internet Tendency. Her work also appears on such sites as Jezebel, the Hairpin, and The Rumpus; her fiction has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and Austin Monthly, and she occasionally writes for radio as well, including the astronomy series Star Date and the Humanities Texas history program Texas Originals. She has been hit in the head more than most humor writers, with the possible exception of Fran Lebowitz.



This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


WLT would like to thank BookPeople for helping to make the Third Thursday program possible. In addition to providing space for the program, BookPeople kindly offers a 10% discount to WLT members. WLT and BookPeople applaud your support of independent bookstores and local businesses.