Monthly Archives: January 2012

Get Your Learn On: PR and Comedy Writing Classes

I’m teaching a handful of classes in February through My last classes in January were so successful that I’ve added a MEDIA RELATIONS class and  a JOKE WRITING LAB. These classes have received amazing feedback from students, plus they are only $20. You can’t go wrong with that. Tell your friends or sign up yourself.

press releasePR 101: Press Release Writing Basics teaches students how to format, write and distribute a press release.

PR 201: Media Relations Basics teaches students how to follow up with a press release, prepare to be interviewed and, in general, interact with the media.

Smiley Face
Comedy Writing 101: The Basics of Joke Writing teaches students the nuts and bolts of putting together a zinger. You’ll receive a comprehensive overview of comedic genres as well as an in-depth list of tools and tips to help you craft your own jokes.

Comedy Writing 201: The Joke Writing Lab provides students with a workshop environment to test and refine material in a supportive. This highly interactive class focuses on instructor-facilitated peer critique.


I just published a piece about cursing on the Essay Fiesta blog. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Essay Fiesta

At Essay Fiesta, we have a set of guidelines that we provide all of our readers. One of the most contentious guidelines is our suggested limited cursing policy. It’s also one of our most misunderstood policies. Allow me to explain.

First, we abide by the rules of our generous partner, the Book Cellar, which has graciously lent us their space for use to host our little show. And because the Book Cellar is a family-friendly retail environment, it is their request that readers be mindful of their language. This does NOT mean no cursing. It means be smart with your cursing. And honestly, I think this is great advice for any writer.

Fuck! Do I love cursing! It can be an extraordinarily effective device in your writing. At times, no other word will cut it like the four-letter kind. There’s just a certain kind of weight that the…

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Least Consumer-Friendly Lawsuits of 2011


I’m very proud of this piece I wrote and researched on the least consumer-friendly lawsuits (and legal issues) of 2011. Also, if you get the chance to see Hot Coffee, by God watch it! You’ll never make a McDonald’s coffee-spilling joke again.

Here’s that story on the least consumer-friendly lawsuits of 2011. 

Here’s some info on Hot Coffee.

Press Release Writing Basics This Thursday

Have you ever wondered how to get your name in the news? Are you trying to drum up more clients for your business? Do you need more individual donors for your organization? Then you need to learn to market yourself to the public. And one of the best ways to do this is through press releases.

Press Release Writing

I am teaching a class through the wonderful site called Press Release Writing Basics. It’s a 2-hour workshop held this Thursday at Noble Tree in Lincoln Park. I do not mess around when I teach. YOU WILL LEARN! And if possible, I’ll even provide some personally tailored advice to give you some ideas of how you can get the coverage you desire. And for only $20! Sign up today!

Here’s what you’ll leave with:

1) Format – What are all those little details that you should include in your press release, from a dateline to those little hash marks at the bottom. You need your press release to look like a press release.

2) Content – Pitching your business to the media is a nuanced skill. Merely saying your product is worth writing about is not enough. You need to be clever and think like an editor in order to create a press release that will actually get media attention.

3) Distribution – So how do you find media contacts to reach out to? And how do you alert them to your press release? What’s the protocol on follow-ups? This class will touch on each one of these critical points regarding press release distribution.