Comedy | Workshop

6-Week Humor Writing Workshop

Learn to write alternative facts for's Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, National Lampoon, Robot Butt, and more in this very good six-week humor seminar/workshop/prayer circle.

There are many forms of comedic writing, from sketch to Sedaris, but in this class we’ll dismantle the short conceptual humor piece. We’ll discuss the ways to write and publish brag-worthy jokes-cum-prose and hone bookish wit.

However niche and epigrammatic, we may apply these lessons, virtues, and cheap tricks to all humorous writing, short fiction, personal essays, emails, and social media, if that's what you're into.

Plus, literary humor is the best gateway to comedy writing as a career or hobby.

Students will also learn (so help me God) the fundamentals of submitting (how to: write a no-miss cover letter, build a bio, sit in a chair).

Also included at no extra cost:

Guest hosts Seth Reiss (The Onion, Late Night with Seth Meyers, McSweeney's) and Caitlin Kunkel (The Second City Network and The Belladonna). Plus pro-tips from all-star contributors to Daily Shouts, Reductress, and miscellaneous TV shows.

Each student (hereupon known as "friend") will brainstorm, compose, and workshop five successful shortish satires/parodies—including general, genre, and pointed parody, political satire, character monologue, and balderdash—or die trying.

Good news: you'll get to meet once with me for an individual conference/dance experience to discuss goals, vision boards, and overall progress. We'll each prepare compliments for the other and hug it out.


-the ability to carefully, craftily break down the short humor piece to better understand how to create your own

-peer and instructor feedback on five satires or parodies

-fluency in the fundamentals of submitting your humor writing - from how to prepare a piece for submission to what venues are  best suited to your writing. 

-one individualized meeting with the instructor, to address your writing style, goals, and areas for improvement 

-a clearer sense of your weapons as a humorist, and the skills to deploy them on the page 

-exclusive access to our alumni newsletter, a monthly roundup of submission opportunities (prizes, residencies, lit mags, grants, and more), plus a 10% discount on all future classes

-more confidence as a writer, both on and off the page

* no class July 4th

Elissa Bassist

Elissa Bassist is the editor of the column “Funny Women” on The Rumpus and teaches writing nationally. Her sad essays and humor appear in The New York Times,,, Marie Claire, Longreads, and more, including the best-seller Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, ed. by Roxane Gay. She served as managing editor of The Best American Nonrequired Reading and writers' assistant on The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and she is probably her therapist's favorite. 


"I’ve heard several breathless, fawning reviews (no joke) and I know the students were thrilled to have you here. Students were particularly happy that the workshop was focused on specific (achievable, publishable) kinds of humor writing (and not like, ‘how to land a spot in the writer’s room of THE BIG BANG THEORY’)."

Justin Sherwood part-time lecturer/executive secretary at the New School

“Elissa is too good for most anybody.”

Bill Murray hijacking her Tinder

“Love your work on The Rumpus! You really do have quite a special, strong, funny voice. I LOVE YOUR WRITING! Have I not made that clear?”

Jill Soloway

“The editor of The Rumpus’s Funny Women column earns her title there and elsewhere, with spot-on essays with titles like ‘Addicted to Netflix: Teen-Soap-Opera Binge As Psychosis.’ She also has excellent literary taste, the perfect augmentation to any hilarious writer.”


"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). Your enthusiasm and laughter are infectious, would definitely take a class with you again."

former student

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

former student