Adults and children ages 12+ must show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to attend in-person programs. Please read our health protocols before coming to 92Y.
Masks must be worn by everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status.
Starting Monday, September 6, 2021: Adults and children age 12+ must show proof of vaccination upon arrival at 92Y.
Thank you for doing your part in helping to keep everyone in our community safe.
Does not include service & handling fees, if applicable.
To paraphrase Joan Rivers: Your own suffering has the potential to be very funny. And to poorly paraphrase a lot of writers: Art is the opportunity to turn the worst things that have happened to you into some of the funniest.
Rendering darkness lighter is hard to do, yet there are a lot of ways to pull it off. In this four-week workshop we’ll talk about how, and then you’ll do it yourself or blackout trying.
You can look forward to discussing:
In class you’ll brainstorm to get in touch with your baggage. Specifically you’ll find your beat (everything you have to talk about via expertise or experience) and the hole in your heart (the feelings that will never go away). Your first assignment, which you won’t share in class, will be to draft your tragedy (300-1,000 words about a loss, an episode of depression, a history of anxiety, trauma, etc.).
We’ll pitch ideas in class about how you’ll repackage your story. We’ll compliment you and help you develop your idea.
Your second assignment will be a style exercise (you won’t share this either). It’s designed to expose you to new sentence structures to enliven and evolve your own writing. Most likely it’ll change your life.
You’ll put into practice the new devices to craft 500-1,000 words that we’ll workshop in week 4. The goal in reworking your tragedy into a comedy (or at least a more entertaining tragedy) will be to make readers laugh as you break their hearts. Happy endings will be thrown out.
We’ll workshop in a respectful, supportive environment, and we’ll also talk submission, publication, rejection, best therapists in the area, and general coping strategies. Every student will leave class as a funnier writer and healthier person. If not, then you took the wrong class.
Class meets Thursdays: January 20, 27, February 3 and 10.
Online programs:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase
Adults and children age 12+ must show proof of vaccination upon arrival at 92Y
Elissa Bassist is a humor writer and editor of the “Funny Women” column on The Rumpus. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, NewYorker.com, Marie Claire, Creative Nonfiction, Longreads, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, National Lampoon, Bitch, Jezebel, and more. She served as managing editor of The Best American Nonrequired Reading and writers' assistant on The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (honorees include Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, and more).
Humor-writing: Tragedy and Time with Elissa Bassist