Funny On the Page – Comedy Writing in Fiction (Afternoon)

with Adriana Trigiani


A workshop with a funny bone. Humor is one of the great tools we can engage when writing. Whether writing a novel, a non-fiction book, screenplay or television script, we will explore the techniques used to enliven your work with your sense of humor. The instructor will give provide a brief history of comedy in our culture since the advent of the television set, to give cultural context to the project you are working on. We will simulate a writer’s room, so you get a taste for how your favorite shows are created, and how the room of writers that bring the creator’s vision to life on the state work with one another to achieve their goal. You will come away from this workshop with a sense of where you fit in the craft of comedy creation, and how you can bring your personal style to the page. Or, you may be curious about process, these sessions will give you insight into how studios, artists, talent, designers, visionaries and agents create the orchestra that delivers a world of characters and their foibles to the world. In our workshop, comedy gets respect, and its rightful place in the creative process of storytelling. Our time together will expand your own sense of possibility and joy.


4 Afternoons:  Monday 11/6–Thursday 11/9 | 1:30-4:30pm

A $100 combination discount will be applied when registering for the conference at the same time.


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Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 20 books in fiction and nonfiction, award-winning filmmaker, and host of the hit podcast, You Are What You Read. Published in 38 languages around the world, her novels include The Good Left Undone, The Shoemaker’s Wife and Lucia, Lucia among others. Her screen credits include writer/director of the major motion picture of her debut novel, Big Stone Gap, the adaptation of her novel Very Valentine and director of Then Came You.

Big Stone Gap, shot entirely on location in Adriana’s Virginia hometown starred Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg and more. The film was the #2 Romantic Comedy of 2015, and listed as a top-grossing women-directed film of that year. Then Came You, starring Craig Ferguson and Kathie Lee Gifford, debuted as the #1 Comedy in America in October 2020.

Adriana enjoyed a fabulous run as a writer/producer in series television. She was mentored by the great Bill Persky and worked for some spectacular showrunners, including Janet Leahy, Matt Williams, Alan Zweibel and Susan Fales-Hill. She wrote 15 pilots for actors including Jasmine Guy, Raven Symone and Mario Cantone. She was a writer/producer for The Cosby Show and A Different World and executive producer and showrunner of CityKids, for ABC/Jim Henson Productions. She also wrote and executive-produced Growing Up Funny, a television special for Lifetime which garnered an Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin. Adriana wrote the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a variety of television specials and series featuring great performers, including some of her all-time favorites: Madeline Kahn, Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, Laraine Newman, Marlo Thomas and Lily Tomlin, among others.

A sought-after speaker, Adriana has made regular appearances on NBC’s Today Show for over 20 years and is the permanent host of the annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards and the Arizona Womens Board’s Erma Bombeck Authors Luncheon among others. She has received citations from The Sons of Italy and was knighted with the Italian Consulate’s highest civilian honor, the Cavaliere nell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia, from President Sergio Mattarella of Italy. She holds an honorary degree from Saint Mary’s College, two honorary degrees from the University of New Haven, and has given the commencement speech at University of Virginia at Wise, the University of New Haven and Emory & Henry College.

She is proud to serve on the New York State Council on the Arts and lives in New York City with her family.