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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sharon Gerger, A Creative Essay Winner Interview with a Very Funny Lady

This is an interview and a winning nonfiction creative essay you won't want to miss. Sharon Gerger is hysterical. Even her bio is funny. So, you definitely want to check out her essay, "Stuck" here, and then you'll want to read on to get some great tips while chuckling and smiling along the way.

Sharon is an award-winning writer with work published in New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Harpe...okay, that’s all balderdash. She writes a lot and sometimes people publish her work and that fills her with bliss. If they happen to pay her well, good-gosh-galoshes, she gets sorta delirious.

You can find more of Sharon at and on Twitter @sharongerger1.

WOW: Sharon, congratulations on placing as runner-up with your essay, "Stuck." It's about being stuck in an elevator with a co-worker. But really, it's about so much more. Tell us about the themes you were exploring with your essay.

Sharon: Thank you, very much. My knee-jerk reaction to your question is to holler, "Hold up there, lady, I'm not Ernest Hemmingway exploring the human condition, I'm just writing funny stories." I realize though, that is exactly what I'm doing.

My story is about two very different reactions to a situation everyone fears. Lots of people will identify with either Calm-Carol or loony me. Being stuck in an elevator removes our control, some folks, like Carol, can just sit back and let what will be, be. I'd called for help, so she knew it would all work out, and she'd eventually get out and get home. I knew they'd someday, find our rat-chewed bones in a pile in the corner of the elevator if I didn't stay on top of the rescue efforts and keep everyone in motion.

WOW: I promise I wasn't expecting you to answer like Ernest Hemmingway, but your answer was fantastic! :) Now on to your story--it has some funny parts! Any tips for putting humor in an essay? It is not easy to do well. (or humor in anything really--even your bio is funny!)

Sharon: You cannot worry about whether or not everyone will think you are funny. Everyone won't; don't let that stop you. If you think it's funny, then add it and send it out to the world for feedback. If you make even one person laugh, what a wonderful human being you are!

Lots of people will "get it", but there will be folks who don't see what's so funny. Those people are humorless statues, and you need to get away from them before the pooping pigeons arrive!

I think the trick to humor is to go gently in longer pieces, a little humor here and there stands out. In a short piece, I think you can go all-out ridiculous.

WOW: Great advice! We love the name of your blog (also hilarious!) Sharon Gerger's Tree Farts. Where did you come up with the name for this blog and what in the world does it mean (winks);?

Sharon: Tree Farts - little stories equal little farts of paper. I know, I slay me, too. I'm married and I have two adult sons. So many boys, so much fart humor. It's been a big part of my life for a long time.

WOW: Boys and potty humor! Well, my 7-year-old daughter likes it, too. (smiles) What are a couple of your writing goals and projects for the rest of 2018?

Sharon: This year I decided to have at least twelve short stories or essays out for consideration, at all times. I submit to contests or magazines or anyone who will consider paying me to write.

I am also working on getting all of my existing humor writing, both essays (creative nonfiction) and short fiction assembled into a book format. Then I will wait to be discovered, or I'll use my newly purchased Writers Digest membership to search for and hound every agent I can find who deals with old ladies who think they are a hoot.

WOW: You are a hoot! I love your goal of having twelve things out at all times. What does it mean to you and your writing career when you win a contest or get a publication?

Sharon: I've been published several times, in magazines, newspapers on the internet and recently in an actual book and it never gets any less exciting. Publication, paid or not, makes me feel valued as a writer, like I can actually do this. And if I am fortunate enough to get paid, I can use the money I earn to pay for stuff. Inexpensive, dollar store stuff, but stuff I paid for with my writing. Pretty cool.

WOW: Totally--being published never gets old. Thanks for your time!


  1. Margo--How horrid that you had to deal with such a dry and droll writer... Just kidding. You were right. Sharon's bio AND her essay were funny.

    Sharon--I'm slayed by your humor and your ability to have 12 pieces out there at all times. That is amazing. And I agree with you. Being published is way cool.

  2. Oh Sharon, I am such a big fan of yours. I can't wait to read your work as it comes out. Twelve pieces is not nearly enough. I am blessed to be living at this time in the presence of such a comedic genius. Don't stop!
    Briau de la Beouf

  3. Awesome interview, ladies!

    Sharon, you know I love your essay, and your advice on humor writing is so true. I'm always worried I'm going to offend someone with my humor, but we got to try to find out, right? 12 pieces out there is excellent! And TREE FARTS - Lol! Love that.

    I can't wait to read more of your writing! :)

  4. Great job with the essay, Sharon. As in introvert, I am also petrified of elevators and always feel so awkward in them. This was perfect and I'm glad you lived to tell the tale!

  5. Sharon, you know how I feel about you and your humour! 💖 Keep up the good work and never stop! Your family really is good fodder for good stories.. Luv ya!!


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