Presenters’ Books, Music, and More

Here is a partial list of the resources created by our presenters.

Judy Carter – The New Comedy Bible

The New Comedy Bible is a step-by-step, no excuses manual for writing, performing, and launching your career as a stand-up comic. Written by Judy Carter, the author of The Comedy Bible (2001), which was called by The Washington Post and Forbes as a “Comedy Essential.” This new book, penned in classic Carter’s style — part career coach and part comedy dominatrix — has 100% new content where you will:

  • Partake in 48 new exercises to turn your problems into punchlines
  • Create 60 minutes of new material
  • Discover your authentic comedy persona
  • Conquer stage fright and slay hecklers
  • Push part procrastination and get booked

Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a pro looking to create new material for your next Netflix Comedy Special, Carter’s proven methods are legendary among today’s top performers. Alumni of her workshops include: Seth Rogan, Hannah Gadsby, Sherri Sheppard, and Maz Jobrani among others. As Lily Tomlin says, “Judy Carter helps others find their authentic persona and communicate in a way that makes audiences laugh.” Interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, she said, “Judy Carter can show you how to make your sense of humor pay off.”

The exercises in this book will get you off the couch and onto the stage, helping you develop the skills necessary to envision, and achieve, a successful career in comedy.

Dave Fox – Globejotting

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. You’ll learn to: — Bring destinations to life with bold details. — Splash those details quickly onto your pages so journaling doesn’t gobble up your precious vacation time. — Elude your “Inner Censor” and write with confidence. — Weave together your “outer” and “inner” journeys, using unfamiliar places as a backdrop for self-discovery. 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!

Sara Hoxie – “Waterfall Boy” & “For the Time We’re Here”

Sara is a published poet, songwriter, and the author author of three chapbooks: Thus Saith DogPond and Sky, and Above Pomponio in Winter. She also has released two CD’s featuring her performance of original compositions, Waterfall Boy and For the Time We’re Here.

Sara writes and performs in Northern California where she has lived most of her life. Her style is difficult to pin down. Some of it reflects the beauty of Northern California and its inhabitants, some is philosophical, and some is what she calls adult nonsense songs. Her songs are catchy, and easy to sing. “I have nothing to do with any of this,” she says, “these just come through me, it’s what I channel”.

Sara visit or check her out on Amazon, CD-Baby, and Spotify.

Robb Lightfoot – Problem Child: The View From The Principal’s Office

roblem Child takes you inside the hyperactive and somewhat Machiavellian mind of Robb Lightfoot, the kid who had his own special reserved seat in the principal’s office. He wasn’t looking for trouble, it just found him. He was president and creator of Highland Elementary’s short-lived rock-throwing club, a chewing gum connoisseur, and woodshop survivor.

This is not a memoir; it’s a sorta-was, a collection of 25 humorous short stories that date back to the days of the “unsupervised sixties.” Robb’s recollections are part truth and part tall tales. Learn why school is unlike Jeopardy! and why too much knowledge may be hazardous to your health.

Some of these tales happened almost exactly as written, others are a combination of pranks, misunderstandings, and mishaps that have been combined. Still others are epic stories that have grown with each telling, and form a part of the Lightfoot’s family lore.

A key point in these stories is that usually, Robb is trying to do the right thing and getting it all wrong. His allies are a patient principal, a tolerant mother, and neighbors who have their own quirks.

Author Robb Lightfoot went on to complete his studies and entered education as a profession. He now lives and writes in Northern California, and is a full-time, tenured college teacher. He owes a great deal of his success to the very patient faculty and staff at Highland Elementary in Oildale, California. So there is hope for hyperactive kids! They just need people to believe in them and, with kindness, hold them accountable.

Leighann Lord – Real Women Do It Standing Up

Comedian, author, and radio/TV co-host, Leighann Lord, shares stories about her life and career as a stand-up comedian. Dive into the world of this fiercely independent funny lady who still sleeps with a teddy bear. Whether it’s on stage, on the road, or at home in everyday life, Leighann has curated a collection of true tales including:

‘The Desert is No Place for Neat Freaks’
‘Peeing Standing Up’
‘I Have a Tattoo on My Vagina, Wanna See?’

You’ll have a lot of laughs and a few delightfully awkward, but hopefully poignant, moments with Leighann; the daughter Erma Bombeck and George Carlin should have had.

Andy Ross – The Literary Agent’s Guide To Writing A Nonfiction Book Proposal

To get your non-fiction book acquired by a commercial publisher, you are going to have to write a book proposal. This book, written by literary agent, Andy Ross, will lead you through the steps to constructing a convincing book proposal that will make the best case possible for your project. Writing a great book proposal shouldn’t be a daunting task if you have a great idea for a book. Andy Ross lays out the issues you will have to address in the proposal: how to describe what the book is, why it is needed, why you are the best person to write about it, who is the audience, and how will you promote the book when it is published.

Steve Van Zandt – Banana Slug String Band – Pollinator Nation

Check out their many albums at, CD Baby and Spotify.

Steve Van Zandt and his band formed the Banana Slug String Band (BSSB), formed in 1985. The BSSB, is a children’s band based out of Santa Cruz, California and are self-described as “Environmental Educators”. They’ve released 12 CDs, along with live recordings.

They focus on live performances at schools’ assemblies and music festivals. As of 2015, they were playing as many as 150 shows a year performing with costumes and as characters to deliver their environmental messages to children. The slugs have brought their musical messages to noted festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, and their home festival, Strawberry Music Festival, which they have played nearly 40 times! As of 2019, they still consist of the original four band members. They have won three Parents’ Choice Awards, most recently in 2011 for Only One Ocean, along with other awards. Some of their more well-known songs are, “Dirt Made My Lunch”, “Too Hot”, and “Water Cycle Boogie”.

All four members have been teachers and see their band as continuing to educate children. BSSB has partnered with many groups in their career, including 30 different ocean conservation organizations that helped fund their album Only One Ocean.

John Vorhaus – The Comic Toolbox: How To Be Funny Even If You’re Not

Comedy is not magic, not inspiration, not a “gift.” Mostly, it’s simple rules and structures—the logic of the illogical—tools that anyone can use.

The Comic Toolbox is a straightforward, often humorous, workbook approach to comedy writing as creative problem solving. In it, veteran Hollywood comedy writer John Vorhaus offers his tools of the trade to writers, comics, and anyone else who wants to be funny. Among these indispensable tools are Clash of Context, Tension and Release, The Law of Comic Opposites, The Wildly Inappropriate Response, and The Myth of the Last Great Idea.

Readers will learn that comedy = truth and pain (the essence of the comic situation), that fear is the biggest roadblock to comedy (kill your ferocious editor within and rich, useful comic ideas will flow), and much, much more.

With Vorhaus’ tools in hand, anyone can be funny.

Gordon Warnock (editor) – The Short Fuse Guide to Query Letters

Your query letter is your first step toward getting a major book deal. Literary Agent Michelle Richter demystifies the process of writing and submitting query letters that get results. Learn structure, technique, what works, what never to do, what attracts an agent’s attention, and special tips that most writers don’t think of. Help your submission rise above the slush and get read by those who want it most.

Short Fuse Guides offer insider tips and tricks for writers, written by agents and covering different areas of the ever-changing publishing industry.

Brian Wetzel – Sea of Pills – Depression, the Musical

Brian’s standup skills are captured for an important purpose, to shed light on the challenges faced by those with clinical and chronic depression. This work is also available on spotify.

#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