Giving Voice to Humor: 5 Questions for Wendi Aarons

“Read. Write. Then rewrite. I think that’s common advice. But it’s also through writing a lot that you start to develop your voice. To me that’s what makes a writer special.” -Wendi Aarons

Wendi Aarons’ writing has appeared in The New Yorker Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, US Weekly, Texas Monthly, and other outlets. She’s also the Austin-based author of the middle grade novel Ginger Mancino, Kid Comedian and the humor memoir I’m Wearing Tunics Now. She’s a popular speaker and humor-writing teacher for both kids and adults.


On Saturday, May 27th, Wendi Aarons is teaching a class for the WLT called “How to Write Funny. In this class, you’ll learn more about how to weave humor into all aspects of your writing.

Here’s what Wendi had to share with us:

Scribe: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? How did you come to writing?

Wendi Aarons: I am the author of I’m Wearing Tunics Now, a non-fiction memoir, the middle-grade novel Ginger Mancino, Kid Comedian, and the gift book Socks. They’re all different genres, but share the commonality of humor. I also write humor and satire for online outlets like McSweeneys and the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts.

I came to writing because it’s how I make sense of the world. I started writing in earnest as a stay-at-home mom, and kept at it long enough to now be an empty nester with three published books.

Scribe: In your own work, how do you approach overcoming the challenges that come with writing, be it writer’s block or craft or business-related challenges?

WA: I am lucky to be friends with a lot of writers, so I run things past them when I’m stuck on something. I also love to collaborate, so I often ask a writer friend to join me on a humor piece. But basically, I just stick with it. I may not get a lot done today, but I know I will on another day. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.

 Scribe: Has there been a moment of epiphany in terms of your work, when you thought, “This is it! Now I know what I’m doing?” How long did that feeling last?

WA: I’m pretty proud of the last piece in my book I’m Wearing Tunics Now. It took me longer than normal to write, but it shows my growth into a decent satire writer after working on the craft for many years.

Scribe: What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?

WA: Read. Write. Then rewrite. I think that’s common advice. But it’s also through writing a lot that you start to develop your voice. To me that’s what makes a writer special. You know if you’re reading a David Sedaris essay. You know if you’re reading a Barbara Kingsolver novel. Your writing voice is yours alone.

Scribe: What is one thing that people will take away from this class?

WA: How to write humor, but also how to incorporate it into their existing and future work. I believe that humor is a skill that helps you in all aspects of life. Some of us have a natural instinct but there are also ways you can develop your funny bone and that’s what I want to leave people with after the class.

Thanks, Wendi!

Click here to learn more about Wendi Aarons’ upcoming class.


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