How to ignore your inner critic and write without fear

Event Date: 
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 11:00am

Several years ago, when I was working at the University and living in St. Paul, I read that a University faculty member, a woman who also lived in St. Paul, had won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. The prize in previous years had gone to David Sedaris, Calvin Trillin, Jon Stewart, and Ian Frazier, to name a few. There had been a few women finalists, but never before was a woman awarded the prize.  

I bought the book, Dear Committee Members, and if you’d been in the room while I was reading it you’d have heard me laugh out loud and sometimes gasp, thinking, Can she say that? After I finished the book, I did something I hardly ever do. I wrote a fan letter to the author. And she graciously replied.

Julie Schumacher, the author of that book and its sequel, The Shakespeare Requirement, plus novels for young adults and a coloring book for academics (!), will be the featured presenter for the UMRA Living Well Workshop on Tuesday, February 15.

Writing can become enjoyable

She will discuss her own writing process and the ways in which writing—whether fiction, nonfiction, or poetry—can become more enjoyable and even, at times, less of a personal trial.

A member of the University of Minnesota faculty since 1996, Schumacher was named Regents Professor of English and Creative Writing in 2021, one of only two Regents Professors named last year. She was recognized by the College of Liberal Arts as a Scholar of the College for 2016–19, and has received a Distinguished Educator Award from the College of Continuing Education plus awards for the teaching of both graduate and undergraduate students at the U. For 12 years, she directed the Creative Writing Program in the Department of English. 

Many UMRA members may remember the previous occasion when she joined us as the keynote speaker for our 2017 Annual Meeting at the Campus Club.

What questions do you have for Professor Schumacher? One of mine will be, Do you ever have a good laugh from your characters as you write your stories, or is it only we, the readers, who get to have that?

Please register for this workshop and join us via Zoom at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 15.

— Jan Morlock, UMRA president

Event Location: 
Event to be held via Zoom.
Publication date: 
January 18, 2022
At A Glance
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Annual Meeting and Forum

Welcome back!

Campus Club, Fourth Floor
West Wing Dining Room
Coffman Memorial Union


10:45 a.m.

Check in


11:15 a.m.

Buffet lunch


Annual Meeting and Forum

Featured speaker
John Coleman, dean
College of Liberal Arts

Chicken in heirloom tomato sauce with roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and seasonal vegetables. GF.
For vegetarian/vegan option, please request when making your reservation.

RSVP by May 13

Prepayment of $25 per person.

Reserve and pay online or contact Diane Young at

Cancellations and refunds will be honored until May 13. We are not able to accommodate registrations on the day of the event.

For a discount of $1 per hour in University parking facilities, use the QR code on the back of your UMRA membership card when exiting. Credit cards only.

UMRA policy requires all participants to be vaccinated. Masks are optional.

Make your reservation today!

Unable to attend in person? Please register and join UMRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Forum via Zoom.