Comedy | Seminar

1-Day Humor Writing Seminar

Is it your dream to write and publish humor? Is it your more realistic dream to make some money doing it? Do you have no idea how to do either?

In this one-day, four-hour seminar, students will learn to conceive, draft, and polish, as well as how to submit humor pieces, from two writers and editors of v. popular humor sites.

Students will split into groups and spend 90 minutes with Elissa Bassist (founder and editor of Funny Women on The Rumpus), then 90 minutes with Caitlin Kunkel (co-founder and co-editor of The Belladonna).

Both will teach you every tip and trick they know about the practicalities of forming a comedic premise, pitching, and acquiring clips and publishing credits.

The final hour will be a mixer/problem-solving session with Elissa and Caitlin who will share secrets about venues, freelancing, and the rule of three.

Good news: Students will walk out the door with early drafts of two publishable pieces that will pay for this class, if all goes well. BYOB.


- Learn to write humor with more confidence and authority

- Create two early drafts of publishable humor writing and get tips for pitching and publishing those drafts

- Advice for creating a freelancing career

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

Caitlin Kunkel

Caitlin Kunkel is a satirist and producer with bylines in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She co-wrote the humor book "New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay," named one of the 10 Best Comedy Books of 2018 by Vulture. She’s the co-founder of the comedy site The Belladonna, created the online satire writing program for The Second City, and co-founded the Satire and Humor Festival. She teaches and speaks on satire and writing across the US and internationally.

Elissa Bassist

Elissa Bassist is the editor of the column “Funny Women” on The Rumpus and the author of Hysterical, a tragicomic memoir published by Hachette. Her writing appears in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Creative Nonfiction, and more, including the best-seller Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, ed. by Roxane Gay. She teaches writing nationally and is probably her therapist's favorite.


"Had a lot of fun with the class, and for the first time, I feel like I can write funny things (though I've always believed I'm extremely funny, and my friends think so too). Elissa's enthusiasm and laughter are infectious, would definitely take a class with her again."

Elissa's former student

"Besides the valuable advice, I found Elissa's words about the business aspect of the writing and submissions helpful. I’ve got a funny novel I’m finishing, and I’ll put her advice to use soon."

Elissa's former student

"Caitlin Kunkel was the teacher I needed to take my humor writing to the next level. She's a gifted writer, a knowledgeable instructor, and the most insightful editor I've ever worked with. Her feedback on my work was invaluable. I published nearly every piece I wrote in her classes and ended up recouping my tuition and then some."

Caitlin's former student

"Caitlin is pretty great, you guys. She teaches with insight, offers notes with purpose and respect and pushes you farther than you think you can go - over and over again. Her enthusiasm for her students and their work puts Walmart Greeters to shame. And her sense of humor is as twisted as they come. For the record: that is a compliment."

Caitlin's former student