Garrison Keillor on Writing and Erma Bombeck

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By: E&P Staff

Garrison Keillor offered advice for writers and praise for a famous columnist at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Dayton, Ohio.

“My advice to writers is to get out,” said the radio host, author, and Tribune Media Services columnist. “Writing is an obsessive activity. Walk for two or three miles everyday — rapidly if necessary — and get out and look at the world. When writing loses touch with the beautiful surface of the world, it loses its way.”

Keillor also discussed Bombeck — the popular humor columnist who was appearing in about 700 newspapers via Universal Press Syndicate when she died in 1996. “She was a great writer, a writer always true to her audience,” he said “She knew the people from whom she came. She was never guilty of the arrogance that creeps over writers when they become famous.”

A story about Keillor’s speech (and a video clip) can be seen here. The piece was written by Teri Rizvi, associate vice president for communications at the University of Dayton — from which Bombeck graduated.

Among the many others speaking at the April 3-5 workshop were Connie Schultz, who writes a column for The Plain Dealer of Cleveland and Creators Syndicate; and Mike Peters, who does editorial cartoons for the Dayton Daily News and King as well as the “Mother Goose and Grimm” comic for King.

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