When I was a kid, I read everything I could get my hands on. That included things that maybe weren’t quite age-appropriate, since I swiped a lot of my mom’s books and magazines when she was done with them. I noticed early on that a certain name just kind of seemed to float to the top of the piles, even if I didn’t always understand or relate to her work yet: Erma Bombeck. There was something about her voice that struck me, before I even knew what “voice” was as a reader and, later, as a writer. When I got older, I started to understand her humor, her stories, and how special she was. How lucky we were that she shared her stories with us. How lucky I was to grow up knowing there was a funny female writer who was 100% herself and made a successful career out of it.

Today, many moons later, it was announced that the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop has named me their Humor Writer of the Month for February 2017.

Kim Bongiorno Humor Writer of the Monthbombeck-writers-workshop

To say this thrills me is an understatement that makes me blush and stammer and be unable to maintain direct eye contact, because now I’m the one writing from her home office, balancing family and work and loving it all. She was an inspiration to me as a person and as a humorist, and each time I go to the conference in her name it feeds me in a way that only a seed she planted could do. So let’s just say that today is a very happy day for me, and I’m feeling crazy grateful for both where I’ve been and where I am right now.