2023 Event Schedule

ThinkingFunny23 art

You may register for this event at this link.

Via CrowdCast, April 1, 2023 -schedule below is on Pacific Coast times All sessions allow the live participants to pose questions and to chat with the other attendees.

This is our first release of the schedule, and it will be revised to add links to the presenter’s biographies and, in some cases, pdf content and handouts.

8:30-9 am – Opening remarks and welcome to the event.

Host and Director of ThinkingFunny.com, Robb Lightfoot, opens the online event and welcomes attendees, guests, and presenters. He’ll give a brief rundown of the planned activites and panels and last-minute updates on any changes.

9-9:50 am – Dave Fox – Journaling On The Road (see note below regarding Dave’s session).

Most travel diaries fizzle. By day six of a big trip, people are struggling to recall what happened on days three, four, and five. They return home with mostly empty journals, or bland writing that fails to capture the full spirit of their journeys. Award-winning travel humorist Dave Fox comes to the rescue in this book that’s both informative and irreverently funny. He has actionable advice on capturing details, quieting your “inner censor,” and to quickly take notes so you can actually get out and enjoy life.

Dave shares his favorite journaling techniques, shows how to find time to write in the middle of an exciting trip, and infuses it all with a generous dose of his off-the-wall humor. Whether your journeys are weekend road trips or excursions around the world, this book will help transform you into a travel journaling superhero!

10-10:50 am – Joanna Briley, Leighann Lord, and Carole Montgomery share their insights on how to start and succeed in stand-up comedy. This talented trio are standup comedians, and they also write, direct, produce, teach, and coach comedy.

Joanna is a NYC-based comedian, actor, writer and the founder/creator of the Black Women in Comedy Laff Fest. Fueled by the lack of representation at national comedy festivals and local showcases within the NYC comedy scene, Joanna decided it was time to create something that focused on centering funny Black Women. With her one woman show “Swipe This: My Life in Transit!” Joanna also merged her comedy life with the 32 years as a New York City Transit Authority Token Booth Clerk into a hit stage performance. Joanna has appeared on Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,”Lifetime TV informercials, Advisory Board member for the Stand Up Girls! NYC organization, Gold Comedy Advisory Board and recently added to the Ladies of Comedy Association Talent Board. Joanna immerses herself in creating, building, and changing the narrative between women in comedy

Leighann has appeared on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and is a former co-host of the Star Talk Radio podcast. She has performed stand-up on Lifetime’s “Girls Night Out,” HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend”, and she won the “Hilarious Housewives Contest” on ABC’s “The View.” She cites as comedic influences including George CarlinMarsha WarfieldCarol Burnett and Bertice Berry. In addition to performing her own material, Lord was a writer for The Chris Rock Show and writes the syndicated humor column “The Urban Erma”.

Carole is a long-time standup comedian, the creator of “Funny Women of a Certain Age” on Showtime, tours the country, and has dozens of TV appearances. She’s also a mentor and coach to newbie actors and comedians. Her work has gained the attention of national publications such as Forbes and the NY Post. Read about her innovative work in The Fine Line, Silver Women Interview, Top Ten Innovators in Comedy 2019, and Funny Women Of A Certain Age.

11-11:50 am – Keynote Speaker John Vorhaus rides again

John has taught and trained comedy writers all over the world, and is the only human in history to have worked on the American, Russian and Bulgarian versions of Married… with Children. His Comic Toolbox and little book of SITCOM are considered bibles of the craft, and his A Million Random Words contains, as promised, a million random words.

In addition to his teaching, John has written five books on writing, seven novels, ten books on poker, two produced screenplays and (with Kevin Pollak) one documentary, Misery Loves Comedy. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, with credits dating back to before you were born. He tells everybody every day what a funny guy he is and they just laugh. 

Noon Lunch Break 12-12:50 pm and Chat With Award-Winning Humorists – Down time to take care of business and have a brief chat our panel of award-winning humor writers. Join us as a group of our past contest-winners discuss their methods, their aspirations, and their successes in writing and placing their work.

1-1:50 pm – John Vorhaus’ Comic Toolbox – Drop in and watch John share specific and actionable techniques to create comedic characters and generate the tension to sustain a good, funny story. John is author of many books on comedy, including The Comic Toolbox, the Little Book of Sitcom, Comedy Writing 4 Life, and most recently The Little Book of Standup.

2-2:50 pm – Laugahable Lyrics – Join us as a cast of silly songsters tell us how they generate usable ideas and craft lyrics. Panelists include Steve Van Zandt of the Banana Slug String Band and Jerome Kurnenbach, a composer, musician, and screenwriter who has taught basic songwriting classes through Second City’s online education program.

3-3:50 pm – – Selling Your Comedy in Print: A Comic’s Guide to Profitable Publishing – Nancy Fulton

You are in for a rare treat when Nancy shares her system for publishing and promoting Kindle books to generate consistent audience growth and income.

Nancy is a writer/producer and founder of Nancy Fulton Meetups which provides several live workshops every month for media creatives. She delivers hundreds of hours of instruction worldwide at FilmFundingClub.com. She’s been publishing books and making media for 30+ years. You can find many of her fictional works as Andreya Stuart on Amazon.com. She’s taught for UCLA and Fortune 100 companies. She’s written for many book and magazine publishers, including John Wiley & Sons and Advanstar. She enjoys helping people who amuse, entertain, inform, and advise learn more from their work. Nancy’s classes and coachin have helped many to improve their creative productivity, get funding for projects, and navigate the complexities of intellectual property rights. During her session she will be discussing her method of book promotion and distribution by taking advantage of the Kindle ecosystem.

4-4:50 pm – The Ins and Outs of Column-Writing Our expert panelists share advice on creating and sustaining a thematic–and even funny–topic. Panelists include long-time columnist and publisher Doni Chamberlain of ANewsCafe, award-winnning humor columnist Dorothy Rosby, Michelle Spencer whose work has appeared in the Good Men Project, Blunt Moms, and the Erma Bombeck humor site, and journalist/educator Mike Stepanovich, who has penned a long-running column that took a different tack on the world of wine.

5-5:50 pm – Agents panel – Join us a our agents talk about the relationship between agent and author and offer suggestions for how to find agents and work with them. You can ask questions of panelists Michael Carr of Veritas. Michael Larsen author of How To Write A Book Proposal, Maeve MacLysaght of Copps Literary Service, and Gordon Warnock of Fuse Literary.

Check out the biographies of these presenters and panelists by clicking here.


6:30-8 pm – After party. Contest results will be annouced and the event will move from CrowdCast to Zoom, which will allow more direct interaction between the attendees. Contest winners will be invited to read their work.

#humor #tf23 #VirtualErma agent agents animation art design banana slug string band bipolar bipolar support bombeck brian wetzel broadmay broadway musical characters chico clutter coach coaching code column columnist column writing comedy comics conference conferences contest coupon creativity crowdcast dayton discord discount disney erma erma bombeck erma bombeck writing workshop fiction funny ghosts giving tuesday graphic novels humor humor writing john rameriz judy carter leighann lord literary agent little sister masterclass master of ceremonies memoirs mental health museum music musical mystery nami nickies prize nonfiction oildale panel discussion patreon performing pitch pitching presenters public speaking registration retreats road trips roller skates schedule signups sisters sitcom sitcoms songwriting stand-up standup storyboarding stuff tall tales TF23 thinkingfunny21 thinkingfunny22 thinkingfunny23 travel travel writing urban erma vietnam vorhaus wetzel wind chimes wine workshop writing writing technique writing tips