First Person Funny: Writing the Comic Essay with Dan Zevin

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 12:00 PM until Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY 10708
United States

Instructor: Dan Zevin
Length: 5 sessions, $450
Wednesdays, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Do funny things always happen to you, or is it just that you see your world through a comic lens? For humor essayists, it's a little of both. In this workshop, geared toward the writer who “thinks funny,” we focus on those small, funny moments that bridge the gap between personal and universal. Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, and Tina Fey are among the laugh-out loud essayists we’ll discuss, emphasizing comic timing, character arc, word choice, and the line between “person” and “persona.” Since a story is only as amusing as the way it’s told, we’ll try our hands at several forms, including funny diary entries and satirical “how-to” guides. Past students have successfully placed their essays and blog posts for publication. You’re the character. Just add material.

Dan Zevin is a Thurber Prize-winning humorist. He has written eight funny books, including Dan Gets a Minivan and The Day I Turned Uncool, which were both optioned by Adam Sandler. His next book, Very Modern Mantras: Daily Affirmations for Daily Aggravations will be published this fall by Running Press, a division of Hachette. Dan has been an award-winning humor columnist for the New York Times, a comic commentator for NPR, and a contributor to print or digital editions of The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Rolling Stone, Salon, the L.A. Times, Real Simple, and Parents, among others. He also teaches in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College.


Writing Institute Registration Process:

Step 1 - Registration Information: Complete this registration form in full.

Step 2 - Payment: Once you click submit on this form, a new page will appear in your browser with a payment link. Click on the payment link, complete the required information, and submit your payment. 

Payment is required for your registration to be confirmed. If we don’t receive your payment within 48 hours of submission of this form, your registration will automatically be cancelled. You will have to complete the form again if you wish to register for the class.

Step 3 - Confirmation: Once we receive your payment, your registration will be finalized and confirmed with an email. Please keep this email for your records.  Details about room assignment, parking, and any other information relevant to the course will be emailed to registered students the week before classes begin.

If you have questions about the registration process, please call us at 914-395-2205 or email

Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.