Twain Events

April 11, 2014
"An Evening with 
Sarah Vowell"
7:30 PM

Doors open at
6:30 with music
by WD-40
(Wes Lanich '05,
Darrion Siler '07,
& Nathan
Graham '06) 



An Evening with Sarah Vowell 

Sarah Vowell

Photo by Bennett Miller

On April 11, 2014, Sarah Vowell will deliver the 8th annual Twain Lecture on American Humor and Culture. 

Event is free and open to the public.

"Assault of Laughter" Writing Contest

This contest is now open for 2013-2014!

Mark Twain
recognized the power of humor to combat even the most serious situations, but he also understood how to use this exceptional force as a means of mending such matters. According to Twain, laughter exists as the "one really effective weapon" available to the human race, yet it is, at the same time, "the great thing, the saving thing after all." In the spirit of Twain's sense of humor and his understanding of its power, The Twain Lecture Series and The Writing Center present the "Assault of Laughter" Writing Contest. Entrants will utilize the full power of humor to explore a range of issues affecting society and culture today.

To view contest guidelines, click here.

Read 2014's winning pieces:
1st Place
Chris Joyce (SMCM Junior)

2nd Place:
Thor Petersen (SMCM Senior)
Why I Have a P.O.

3rd Place:
Greg Croisetiere (SMCM alum)
Life of the Party


Read 2013's winning pieces:
1st Place
Marisa Muldoon (SMCM Senior)
Homer Greene

2nd Place
Chris Joyce (SMCM Sophomore)

3rd Place
Ben Israel (SMCM Junior)
A Semite Studies the Sacraments 

Read 2012's winning pieces:
1st Place
Julie Durbin (SMCM Junior)
"The Defecation of the Reputation of the Great Blue Heron"

2nd Place
Thor Petersen (SMCM Junior)
"The All-Student Email"

3rd Place
Benjamin Stoehr (SMCM Alum, '03)
"You Buy?"

Assault of Laughter Writing Contest Logo

Follow the links below for samples of Humor Writing:

"A Politically Correct Christmas? Who Cares!"   by Firoozeh Dumas

Amazing, Previously Unpublished Mark Twain Quotes  by Joe Veix

"Undecided"   by David Sedaris

Excerpt from Half Empty   by David Rakoff

"Time Lost and Found" by Anne Lamott

"Your Child Deserves a Halloween Costume by Calvin Klein" by Dave Barry

"Report: Increasing Number of Educators Found To Be Suffering From Teaching Disabilities" by The Onion

"The Uncompassionate Conservative" by Molly Ivins

"About the Man Uglier and Scarier than Ratzinger" by Dave Eggers

"Dear Mountain Room Parents" by Maria Semple

"Who Wrote Shakespeare" by Eric Idle

"Goodbye Cruel Words" by Gene Weingarten

"Gift-Challenged" by Jeff Hammond

"My Life at the Comfort Inn" by Jeff Hammond